Researchers discovered that the use of wearable technology, text message feedback, and goal setting increased physical activity and aerobic capacity in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Their findings were published in the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis.

An appropriate exercise program is recommended for all patients with CF because evidence suggests that it reduces lung function decline and improves airway clearance. In addition, physical activity could contribute to increased bone health, greater muscular strength, and improved overall quality of life. 

Studies indicate that one method that encourages physical activity is to invite participants to engage in a home exercise program. Physical activity increases when activity counseling is discussed. Conducting exercise programs at home instead of at a healthcare facility gives patients greater autonomy, freedom, and flexibility. 

The authors of the study sought to investigate the effectiveness of a home exercise program that includes wearable technology, text message personalized feedback, and goal setting in adults with CF at a single center. They were tested at baseline, 12 weeks, and 24 weeks. 

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“The results indicated that [physical activity] increased significantly in the [intervention] group when compared to the [active comparator] group at 12 weeks,” the authors of the study wrote. 

One of the activities that participants were encouraged to engage in was walking. The researchers found walking to be a simple, accessible, and readily available form of physical activity that requires no equipment and is hence highly recommended for patients with CF. 

This study did not investigate the intensity of physical activity. Nevertheless, medical literature indicates that any aerobic activity, regardless of frequency or intensity, increases aerobic capacity compared to no activity. 

“In conclusion, wearable technology, goal setting and text message feedback significantly increased [physical activity] and aerobic capacity in adults with [cystic fibrosis],” the authors of the study wrote. 

Reference

Curran M, Tierney AC, Collins L, et al. Steps ahead: optimising physical activity in adults with cystic fibrosis: a pilot randomised trial using wearable technology, goal setting and text message feedbackJ Cyst Fibros. Published online November 16, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.jcf.2022.11.002