Why older adults shun fitness bands

New York: If your grandmother does not like to wear a fitness band or a smart watch, there are deeper reasons than just being tech-savvy. According to researchers, older adults wish to remain active together in a group, not competing with their peers while being in the park.

While counter-intuitive, engaging in competition with family and friends decreases the odds of long-term use among older adults, perhaps because they feel it's demotivating, according to researchers from Michigan State University.

And wanting to lose weight, become more active and monitor health doesn't seem to influence length of use either. But technological savviness does.

“For older adults, motivation is about partnership and collaboration, such as walking together,” said Anastasia Kononova, assistant professor of advertising. “It’s about being active together, not competing.”

“For starters, manufacturers should incorporate activities specific to an older population, such as swimming and gardening, into trackers,” Kononova said.

Like younger users, physical appearance of trackers is important, so big and bulky doesn’t work.

“Wearable activity trackers have the potential to improve older adults’ health, yet many adopters don’t use them on a long-term basis,” said Lin Li, a doctoral candidate studying health and technology who led the study. —IANS

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