Health Check: B-Mobile

The Miriam Hospital is looking to enroll people who are overweight to see if a smartphone app will encourage them to be more active.

The smartphone app is called B-Mobile.

Participants in the research study will be required to walk around with a smartphone. Throughout the day there will be activity prompts.

"The activity prompt is just a short message to let somebody know that it's time to get up and move," said Dr. Graham Thomas, a researcher at The Miriam Hospital.

Thomas said the app is designed to make it as easy as possible to spend less time sitting.

"It uses a built-in accelerometer in the phone. It's to actually measure the amount of time a person spends sitting and then prompt them when they've been sitting too long to get up for what we call an activity break," Thomas said.

The activity breaks will vary. But what if a person is already active?

"No matter how much physical activity that you do, the amount of time you spend sitting is a risk factor for things like heart disease and even dying early," Thomas said.

For the study, the hospital is enrolling participants between the ages of 21 and 65 who are clinically obese.

All B-Mobile participants will be given a smartphone with the app to use for the study.

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