The Loh Down On Science

Do smartphones help or hinder fitness?

Does this smartphone make me look fat?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Sure, smartphones free us to roam, but how much physical roaming do we actually do?

Experts know plenty about our relationship to nonportable electronics. Think: computers, or those big-screen TVs that are turning us all into “couch potatoes.”

But how smartphones affect fitness is unknown. With their portability and health-related apps, do they help us stay active?

To find out, researchers at Kent State University surveyed 300 Kent State students. Each rated how much they use their cell phones and how much they exercise.  Then a subset of students did various exercise tests.  These were used to gauge cardiovascular health, body fat, and overall fitness.

And?  Heavy smartphone users were more sedentary and less fit than light users!

But take heart.  Smartphone use doesn't have to mean loss of fitness—some light users said they used the phone to connect with people around physical activities.  Like hiking, walking, volleyball.

I’ll look into it, right after I check my Twitter feed.

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, with 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Follow us on Twitter!


blog comments powered by Disqus