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Google is hard at work preparing to launch its answer to the Apple Watch. The wearable is expected to come with GPS, LTE and VoLTE support, it will have comprehensive fitness tracking and coaching, Qualcomm’s new chip the Snapdragon Wear 3100 and more. Right now, pundits have pinned October 4th as the possible launch date.
In the run-up to the big day, Google has announced a redesign of its popular fitness app. With this update, the company is looking to redefine the 10,000 steps goal many people strive for on a daily basis. This follows on from the debate that’s sprung in recent years on whether a step goal really is the best gauge of your physical activity.
Some other devices use different measurements, such as high-intensity exercise. Vancouver-based PAI, for example, has taken a novel approach with its own Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI) index. This provides you with a personalised target score which reflects your body’s response to physical activity based on heart rate.
Google has collaborated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to introduce a couple of new activity goals in its smartphone app. Available on Android and the Wear OS they are called Move Minutes and Heart Points.
Move Minutes counts the amount of time you spend doing physical activity. After all, its important to move more and sit less. You’ll get rewarded for all your effort including small acts such as opting to take the stars instead of the elevator or walking to the office water-cooler.
Similar to the above-mentioned PAI, with Heart Points you’ll receive rewards for making your heart pump harder. This could be anything from earning points for picking up pace when walking your dog, to double-the points if you opt for more intense activities such a going for a run. This metric tallies nicely with AHA’s recommendations that people should strive for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week.
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The changes certainly make sense. Although walking can improve your health, help you build stamina and burn excess calories, it certainly does not capture all your daily activity. Your laps in the pool and cycling adventures will probably not be captured in this number. Google states that the aim of the new features is to provide a more simple approach to living a healthy and balanced life.
“There’s a lot of talk out there about how to stay active and healthy: “get your steps in,” “sitting is the new smoking,” “no pain, no gain.” It can feel overwhelming,” the company’s statement reads.
“So we’ve worked with the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to understand the science behind physical activity and help you get the amount and intensity needed to improve your health.”
To learn more, head over to earn more at google.com/fit.
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