Increasing Daily Step Count Can Improve Health of People with Heart Failure, Study Shows
A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan has found that increasing daily step count can significantly improve the health of individuals with heart failure, with noticeable results observed in just 12 weeks. The findings of this study suggest that data collected from wearable devices such as FitBits can have clinical significance in managing heart failure.
Wearable devices have gained immense popularity in tracking and monitoring various health indicators and progress, but interpreting the data can often prove to be challenging. To delve deeper into this aspect, the researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 425 participants who were provided with Fitbits. These participants were then asked to complete questionnaires measuring physical symptoms, quality of life, and social limitations.
In previous studies, changes in scores of five points or more have been associated with heart failure outcomes. Throughout this study, the researchers were able to establish a correlation between higher daily step counts and increased scores for physical limitation and total symptom scores. Those who walked 1,000 steps per day exhibited lower total symptom scores compared to those who logged 2,000 steps. On the other hand, participants who walked 3,000 steps showed higher total symptom scores compared to the ones who walked 2,000 steps. However, when step counts exceeded 5,000 steps per day, the association between step counts and scores was no longer significant.
Furthermore, the study also revealed that changes in step count over time were closely linked to changes in scores. This highlights the potential of wearable device data in assisting clinical care. Participants who saw an increase of 2,000 steps per day experienced considerable improvements in total symptom scores and physical limitation scores, in contrast to those who saw no change in step count. Interestingly, individuals who witnessed a decline in their step count did not demonstrate significant declines in their physical limitation scores compared to those with no change in their step count.
In conclusion, this study emphasizes the importance of monitoring step count and physical activity in individuals with heart failure. The results indicate that improvements in step counts can serve as a positive indicator of improved health. With the prevalence of wearable devices on the rise, harnessing the data they provide can be greatly beneficial in managing and enhancing the well-being of heart failure patients.
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