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. 2016 Jun 23;4(2):e77.
doi: 10.2196/mhealth.5518.

Cardiorespiratory Improvements Achieved by American College of Sports Medicine's Exercise Prescription Implemented on a Mobile App

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Free PMC article

Cardiorespiratory Improvements Achieved by American College of Sports Medicine's Exercise Prescription Implemented on a Mobile App

Gianluca Rospo et al. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Strong evidence shows that an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and physical activity (PA) reduces cardiovascular disease risk.

Objective: To test whether a scientifically endorsed program to increase CRF and PA, implemented on an easy-to-use, always-accessible mobile app would be effective in improving CRF.

Methods: Of 63 healthy volunteers participating, 18 tested the user interface of the Cardio-Fitness App (CF-App); and 45 underwent a 2-week intervention period, of whom 33 eventually concluded it. These were assigned into three groups. The Step-based App (Step-App) group (n=8), followed 10,000 steps/day prescription, the CF-App group (n=13), and the Supervised Cardio-Fitness (Super-CF) group (n=12), both followed a heart rate (HR)-based program according to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines, but either implemented on the app, or at the gym, respectively. Participants were tested for CRF, PA, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP, DBP), resting, exercise, and recovery HR.

Results: CRF increased in all groups (+4.9%; P<.001). SBP decreased in all groups (-2.6 mm Hg; P=.03). DBP decrease was higher in the Super-CF group (-3.5 mm Hg) than in the Step-App group (-2.1 mm Hg; P<.001). Posttest exercise HR decreased in all groups (-3.4 bpm; P=.02). Posttest recovery HR was lower in the Super-CF group (-10.1 bpm) than in the other two groups (CF-App: -4.9 bpm, Step-App: -3.3 bpm; P<.001). The CF-App group, however, achieved these improvements with more training heart beats (P<.01).

Conclusions: A 10,000 steps/day target-based app improved CRF similar to an ACSM guideline-based program whether it was implemented on a mobile app or in supervised gym sessions.

Keywords: ACSM guidelines; cardio-respiratory fitness; mobile app; physical activity.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest: Francesco Sartor, Alberto G. Bonomi, and Saskia van Dantzig work for Royal Philips Electronics.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Study enrollment flow-chart. Step-App, 10,000 steps/day training plan provided by a mobile app; CF-App, ACSM guidelines-based cardio-fitness training plan provided by a mobile app; Super-CF, ACSM guidelines-based cardio-fitness training plan provided by a personal trainer.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Study protocol outline.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Multiple screenshots of the Cardio Fitness mobile app used in this study.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Baseline (W0) and 2 weeks (WL2) systolic and diastolic blood pressure changes induced by the interventions. Step-APP, 10,000 steps/day training plan provided by a smartphone application; CF-App, ACSM guidelines-based cardio-fitness training plan provided by a smartphone application; Super-CF, ACSM guidelines-based cardio-fitness training plan provided by a personal trainer. a, Significant main effect of time. b, Significant main effect of group. c, Significant difference between Step-App group and Super-CF group.
Figure 5
Figure 5
A) VO2 max week 2 – baseline deltas. B) Mean weekly steps showed for the baseline week 0 (W0), and the two intervention weeks, week 1 (W1), and week 2 (W2). C) Mean weekly mBeats expressed as percentage of target mBeats (for the definition of mBeats see methods section). D) Week 2 - baseline Heart rate (HR) deltas at rest, for the maximal recoded during a squat exercise test (peak), 1 and 3 minutes during the recovery from the squat exercise test, and for the Ruffier-Dickson Index as defined in the method section. a, Significant time x group interaction. b, Significant main effect of time. c, Significant main effect of group. d, Significant difference between Step-App group and Super-CF group. e, Significant difference between CF-App and Super-CF group.

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