Internet, smartphones help people adopt healthy lifestyle

Zee Media Bureau

New York: Does internet and smartphones have an impact on our lifestyle? Well, a new study suggests that internet and mobile-based programmes helps people adopt healthy lifestyle and become more physically active, eat healthy and achieve modest weight loss, which may in turn reduce their risk of chronic disease.

The study showed that participants in internet interventions improved their diets, became more active, lost body weight or fat, and reduced tobacco use as well as cut excessive alcohol use.

Participants using smartphone apps or receiving text or voicemail messages have also increased their physical activity and lost body weight or fat.

"Programs that have components such as goal-setting and self-monitoring and use multiple modes of communication with tailored messages tended to be more effective. We also found these programs were more effective if they included some interactions with healthcare providers," said lead author Ashkan Afshin, acting assistant professor at the University of Washington.

For the study, the team reviewed 224 studies conducted on generally healthy adults and published between 1990 and 2013.

"Such programmes can help people improve their lifestyle behaviours and reduce the risk of chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes," Afshin added, in the paper published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

(With IANS inputs)