Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is Basis the Best Fitness Monitor?

Is this another fitness watch or something more like a wrist-based monitor a la BodyMedia's SenseWear Armband?   Pulse Tracer will soon be releasing their Basis, a watch monitor that packs in a bunch of sensors that monitor not just movement but heart rate, temperature and skin response.The company recently announced the raising of $9 million in funding from Norwest Venture Partners and DCM. Can't wait to get this one in the lab to compare to the Armband.

Announced features and sensors:

  • Price $199
  • Accelerometer (presumably triaxial)
  • Galvanic skin response
  • Skin temperature
  • Optical blood flow 
  • Online tools to manage and analyze (and share) data. Think mini PHR/EHR 

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Exergaming Heart Rate and Perceived Exertion Self-Selected Intensities (study)

Exergames may be useful for promoting physical activity in younger populations. Heart rate (HRs) responses and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) at self-selected intensities were compared in college-age participants during 2 modes of exergame activity vs. traditional exercise. Thirty-seven participants (men: 20, women: 17) completed 3 30-minute self-selected intensity trials: (a) video game interactive bicycle ergometer (GB) (CatEye GB300), (b) interactive video dance game (Dance Dance Revolution [DDR]), and (c) traditional cycle ergometer (CE) while watching television. Mean HR, peak HR (PkHR), and minutes above target HR (THR) were significantly higher for GB (144 ± 22 b·min−1 [57% HR reserve (HRR)], 161 ± 23 b·min−1, and 22.5 ± 11.1 minutes) than for DDR (119 ± 16 b·min−1 [37% HRR], 138 ± 20 b·min−1, and 11.2 ± 11.9 minutes) or for CE (126 ± 20 b·min−1 [42% HRR], 144 ± 24 b·min−1, and 14.2 ± 12.6 minutes). The RPE was significantly higher for GB (4.2 ± 1.5) and CE (3.8 ± 1.2) than for DDR (2.7 ± 1.3). Recovery HR (RecHR) (15 minutes postexercise) was significantly higher for GB (91 ± 14 b·min−1) than for DDR (80 ± 11 b·min−1) and neared significance vs. CE (84 ± 14 b·min−1p = 0.059). No difference in PkHR, RecHR, or minutes above THR was observed between DDR and CE. Session RPE was significantly higher for GB (4.6 ± 1.7) and CE (4.1 ± 1.6) than for DDR (2.8 ± 1.5). All modes elicited extended proportions of time above THR; GB: 75%, DDR: 37%, and CE: 47%. Results support that exergames are capable of eliciting physiological responses necessary for fitness improvements. Practitioners might consider exergames as periodic activity options for clients needing motivation to be regularly active.

Kraft JA, Russell WD, Bowman TA, Selsor CW 3rd, & Foster GD (2011). Heart rate and perceived exertion during self-selected intensities for exergaming compared to traditional exercise in college-age participants. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association, 25 (6), 1736-42 PMID: 21386720

Click here for more studies in the ExerGame Lab archives. 

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