A new study reveals wearable devices can do a lot more than you imagine for your health. While many use these devices to just track their steps and keep their heart rate in check, researchers say it may help to predict when you get the flu. A popular fitness tracker called Fitbit can now do just that, according to researchers. It may even provide data to alert health officials of a potential outbreak.
For the study, Scripps Research Translational Institute researchers examined the data of close Fitbit 47,000 users. They monitored the group from March 2016 till March 2018. The team made note of each user's change in heart rate and sleep pattern. They did this so they could identify when they may catch the flu. The study's findings suggest it is possible to predict when you can get the flu.
Another study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, revealed obesity could have an impact on how flu spreads. "This is the first real evidence that obesity might impact more than just disease severity,"Aubree Gordon, senior study author from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, told a news portal. Adding, "It might directly impact transmission as well."
Tackling the flu is important for a host of reasons. One study warns pregnant women have a very high risk of flu complications. "Influenza can be serious, especially for the sizable group of people at high risk," Timothy M. Uyeki, co-chair of the guidelines committee and chief medical officer of the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told a news portal. Adding,"Annual influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza, but it is not 100 per cent effective. Those at high risk need to be encouraged to seekmedical care right away if they develop influenza symptoms during influenza."
Exercise is one way you could tackle the flu, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Guelph and the University of Copenhagen. "In this study, we show that exercise training helps build limb muscle and in turn offers better protection against cold conditions. We would now like to determine if the responses that we saw in males also occurred in females. It would also be interesting to determine if obesity impacts the effects that we saw," David C. Wright, corresponding author on the study, told a news portal.
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