Did you know that the famous 10K steps per day goal was not originally based on science? Monpo-keiTranslated as “10,000-step-meter”, introduced in 1965 by a Japanese pedometer manufacturer. As we know at Fitbit, there has been extensive research since then, actually suggesting that hitting this daily goal can improve sleep duration and quality. , has a positive effect on self-reported mental health, increases blood oxygen levels and decreases resting heart rate.
Research shows that it’s not just the step count, but the intensity as well. Since 2020, Fitbit has inspired users to increase their physical activity levels with the introduction of personalized Active Zone Minutes (AZMs) minutes of high-intensity activity based on heart rate targets for each minute you spend in any workout. Heart pumping
For this analysis, we investigated whether the American Heart Association’s recommended physical activity goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week leads to measurable improvements in Fitbit users. We also looked at how long users should meet these physical activity goals to get the highest return on investment on these aspects of their health.
We analyzed the steps of 471 million AZM and 106 billion anonymous and consenting users who met physical activity goals in February 2022, but not in January 2022, and assessed whether they saw improvements in their health compared to those who did not meet goals during the same period. Results showed positive health effects across resting heart rate, HRV, sleep and stress management scores until at least a threshold was reached. Health benefits are more pronounced when users achieve multiple recommendations.
Users who meet Both AZM targets of 10K steps per day and 150 per week saw improvements in multiple metrics compared to those who did not meet these thresholds. Specific improvements were as follows:
- Heart rate variability improved by 20 percent (6.1 milliseconds or ms. difference).
- Resting heart rate decreased by 8.1 percent (4 bpm difference).
- Stress management scores decreased by 7.3 percent (difference of 5.4).1
In addition, users who met or exceeded the daily recommendation of just 10K steps still showed 3.44 milliseconds more heart rate variability (higher is better), 3.05 beats per minute lower resting heart rate, and a 3.97 improvement in their stress management scores compared to comparison users. .
Users who met or exceeded the recommendation of only 150 AZMs per week showed 3.08 ms higher heart rate variability, 1.35 beats per minute lower resting heart rate, and 5.08 higher stress management scores than comparable users. These results suggest even that meeting one Goals can still include improving your health.
Next, we looked at how long the same users who didn’t initially meet their physical activity goals needed to be active to start reaping the health benefits:
- Reaching 150 AZM per week and a daily target of 10K steps For two weeks only Heart rate variability increased by 20 percent, RHR decreased by 4.3 percent, and sleep scores increased by 4.2 percent compared with remaining below target physical activity levels.
- For those users who manage to hit physical activity goals An extra two Their resting heart rate decreased by 4.9 percent over the week (6 weeks total)²
- Importantly, these positive effects on health last for more than 4 weeks, even if activity decreases afterwards!
Key recommendations: Shoot for 10K steps per day as well as 150 AZMs per week for the biggest benefits. If that’s too much, aim for a continuation of activity balanced with some high-intensity workouts for measurable benefits. Use Fitbit’s Activity Goals to set daily goals for steps and AZM, and don’t forget to turn on those reminders to get moving! By enabling these features, Fitbit can help you set goals and achieve your health goals.
1 This analysis was not designed to directly compare AZM and step count physical activity goals because these individual workouts are subject to different variables that affect health, such as measurement error. It is therefore possible that the association we found with health is attributable to some other unobserved characteristic of exercise.
² Because these analyzes were observational in nature, we were unable to control for all confounding variables, so it is possible that the associations we found with physical activity and health were attributable to other, unobserved characteristics of the cohort. However, other studies including prospective randomized controlled trials have shown comparable changes in RHR and HRV over the same time period.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, changing your sleeping habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.