Image source: Nokia

Swimmers are more active both in and out of water, wearables data shows

Any exercise is good for your health, but it seems that those who choose swimming over other activities, benefit from better sleep and a healthier heart. Unexpectedly, they even show an increased step count!

The data comes from Nokia, the outfit that recently acquired wearable tech pioneer Withings. The retail tech giant is continuing the tradition set by the French company, of tapping into its vast user base to bring us interesting insights.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

We’re in the peak of summer, and many of us are heading to warmer shores. This is reflected in activity tracker data as well. Nokia says, in the three months to June 2017, the number of users logging swimming sessions increased by over a third. A similar trend was spotted last year.

Rather surprisingly, in addition to logging more time in the water, the data shows these users tend to be more active on dry land as well. Swim loving men walk 17% more than their non swimmer counterparts, while for women the difference is even larger at 28%. It is not entirely clear why this is so, perhaps swimmers are just more health conscious.

The benefits, however, extend further. We all know that sleep is important, and swimmers get more of it. On average they log 10 minutes more shut-eye than non swimmers, and spend 4 minutes less tossing and turning during the night. Those laps in the pool also help them fall asleep quicker, after just 4.7 minutes rather than 5.9 minutes.

Finally, the anonymized data also reveals some cardiovascular benefits as demonstrated by pulse wave velocity (PWV) and blood pressure readings. Nokia smart scales show that swimmers have an average PWV of 7.06 m/s, versus 7.11 for non-swimmers. A lower reading indicates a healthier heart. They also averaged slightly lower blood pressure, 126.3/77.9 mm Hg versus 128.8/79.7 mm Hg.

Swimming clearly has numerous benefits as demonstrated by the Nokia data. Now you have a few more reasons to dust off those swim trunks!

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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