Tick tick boomer: watch the over-65s go

2 minute read

A huge exercise dataset collected by tech giant Apple shows older Watch-wearers kicking more fitness goals.

Apple Watch-wearing baby boomers were more likely to clock 150 minutes of activity a week than their younger counterparts during 2021, according to new data from the Apple Heart and Movement study. 

Is it because during 2021, over-65s had more time than stressed-out working parents also trying to home-school?  

Sadly we’re still in the dark on why boomers are best at closing the “activity ring” – but there’s plenty more revealed in the study, which is a collaboration between the American Heart Association and Brigham and Women’s Hospital exploring the link between physical activity and heart health. 

The study analysed 18 million workouts logged during 2021 by Apple Watch users who opted-in to the study via the Apple Research iPhone app, sharing health app, medical history and watch sensor data, completing surveys about fitness, mental health, and day-to-day habits, wearing their watch daily and using the Workout app while exercising. 

Principal investigator and Harvard cardiology professor Calum MacRae said the huge dataset allowed research that was not previously possible, analysing the links between activity and cardio fitness and following trends. 

“Much of what we know about activity and cardiovascular fitness is based on small studies with limited metrics and few data on trends over time,” he said.  

Many of these smaller studies involved VO2 max and cardiopulmonary exercise testing with athletes, he said, while this study looked more broadly across the population. 

“We anticipate that exploring physiology at this scale with such a rich research dataset will shed light on wellness and maintaining health.” 

During 2021, the most popular activities logged on the watches by participants were walking, then cycling and then running.  

The research showed that participants with above-average cardio fitness levels averaged more than 200 minutes of activity per week, while those with high cardio fitness averaged more than 300 minutes of activity per week. 

Professor MacRae said the study was still recruiting internationally.

End of content

No more pages to load

Log In Register ×