The Longevity

AARP Wants Better Fitness Trackers for Seniors

July 14, 2015 | Physical Fitness

The AARP has news for companies like Fitbit, Jawbone, and Misfit: Seniors want to buy fitness trackers, but nobody is making the products they need. According to a new study the agency conducted in conjunction with Georgia Tech and Pfizer, elderly users find fitness trackers handy but feel they lack the right features and functionality.

Project Catalyst, a collaborative effort between Georgia Tech, the AARP, MedStar Health, Pfizer, and UnitedHealthcare, supplied 92 users over the age of 50 with fitness trackers from Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit, Withings, and other brands. But the study participants found that once they put on the trackers, the functionality wasn’t perfect. Subjects said the trackers were difficult to calibrate, frequently lost data, and were not packaged with seniors in mind.

What the participants really wanted, they said, was to easily measure biometric data such as blood sugar and heart rate, and sport bands that were more comfortable. Many said that, due to the way aging skin changes, fitness tracker bands were uncomfortable to wear.


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