Exercise in unconventional areas

David Chaves | ResearcherThe society we live inis increasingly aware of the fact that exercise is a source of health and satisfaction, and, indeed, that the lack of exercise causes some of the diseases with higher incidence nowadays, such as heart problems or many others related to obesity. Specifically, in Galicia, the quality of life and its expectancy are particularly affected by high rates of obesity among people of different ages.

In 2004, the World Health Organization proposed to combat that leading cause of death worldwide by establishing as a fundamental objective the promotion of physical activity among the different population groups. This objective is by law to be enforced by national, regional or local administrations. 13122012_ejercicio

However, to adequatelypromote physical exercise at institutional level governmentsshould provide the necessary means to support citizens that practice it. These means are, on one hand, the creation and maintenance of both conventionalareas (sports halls, courts, etc. …) and unconventional ones (parks, promenades, walking routes …) for sport practice. On the other hand, new tools are needed to conduct exercise correctly.

There are many market-ready personal exercise monitoring systems, such as those sold by Polar, however, their characteristics do not suit the needs of a system promoted by public administrations.

This is why Gradiant, in collaboration with the City Council of A Coruña and the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of University of La Coruña, have started a collaboration to developa community system for promoting physical exercise in unconventional areas (ENC System), whose first prototype was demonstrated March 11th2011 in A Coruña. This system will allow users, through the simple use of a bracelet, to correctly plan and track exercise, and specialists to easily monitor users.The system also incorporates social networking features that make sport more exciting and fun. Projects like this are part the of research lines of Gradiant that aim atmaking appropriate use of new technologies to improve population health and quality of life.