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If you are like a lot of people, you are often stopping to look at your smartphone throughout the day, whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go. Smartphones are a necessity these days for many people, but it turns out that, even though they can provide a lot of benefits, they might be causing a decline in fitness efforts.

New research is now starting to suggest that smartphones are turning people away from their fitness routines and are directing them toward being more sedentary. If you aren’t sure what you would do without your smartphone, then you might want to know what research has to offer you as an answer: you’d get more active and spend more time working out. Keep reading to discover more about this interesting topic.

What Studies Have Found Regarding Smartphones and Fitness

The people who spend the most time on their cell phones have a tendency to be considerably less fit than the individuals who spend a smaller among of time on those devices. This is according to a study that was recently published within the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The study was conducted by a team of scientists from Kent State University.

A Little Bit About the Research

During the first part of the study, researchers surveyed 305 college students about their physical activities and about their level of cell phone use. What they discovered was that the people who talked on their phones the most were also the ones who had the lowest activity levels. This, despite the fact that half of the people who used their cell phones the most said that their addiction to their devices didn’t have any impact on their activity levels.

In the second part of the study, 49 of the participants underwent a cardiovascular fitness test. What was determined aligned very well with the results that were found in the first part of the research. The people who used their cell phones the most were also the ones who scored the lowest in physical fitness on the tests.

This relationship between cell phone use and reduced fitness levels was explained in the study by saying that the more time an individual spends using a cell phone, the less time he or she has to do other things – including being active.

One Exception Worth Noting

The only exception was when the cell phone was being used to “kill time” while the person was actually working out.

A co-author of the study, Gabe Sanders PhD, a Northern Kentucky University assistant professor of exercise science and former fitness trainer, said that “If using a cell phone helps you ‘kill time’ on the elliptical, I’m all for it.”

However, it was also noted by Sanders in a previous study that when people are on their cell phones to talk, text, or do anything other than listen to music, they will run more slowly on a treadmill.

When they listen to music, on the other hand, they will run more quickly. This was explained by saying that the cell phone is a distraction that stops the runner from keeping up his or her pace or holding the right form.

There Are Ways to Use Smartphones to Improve Fitness! 

Even though there is a lot of information about smartphones getting in the way of fitness these days, there are also methods that allow you to use these advanced devices to get your body moving.

According to Forbes, there are a variety of apps that encourage fitness and wellness, so if you want to use smartphones to motivate yourself to do more to stay fit, consider the following fitness apps, as a couple examples:

  • Fiit – This app boasts classes that are interactive and inspiring when you need a little encouragement to get a workout in. Plus, it is a lot like having a personal trainer, no matter where you are. There is a free version that you can download, and it will give you access to on-demand classes, training plans, and customer service. The paid version of this app has hundreds of classes, even more training plans to choose from, and the ability to train with friends and track your progress. You can use it with an Apple Watch if you already have one, or you can opt to purchase one of their Fiit devices to track your calories burned, heart rate, reps, and more.
  • Beachbody on Demand – You know that Beachbody is a brand known for its intense workout classes that deliver amazing results when followed correctly, but did you know that you could also get on-demand classes on your smartphone? This service lets you easily stream more than 1,000 really fun and effective fitness classes. Plus, you also gain access to helpful nutrition plans to revamp your diet and get even better, faster results. Download this app to stream top-quality workout routines on every device you own.

As you can see, even though smartphones can get in the way of your fitness progress, if you are strategic about the way that you use those devices, they can actually help you get on course and stay on track. But, if you aren’t going to use your smartphones to inspire your fitness routine, the next time you think about using your device, you might want to set it down and go for a power walk, first. You can make your call when you get back.