Fitness apps are ideal for people who want to get a workout in on their own time and in their own space. A new study suggests that fitness apps on mobile can help cancer survivors to improve their exercise performance. Fitness apps could be prescribed by clinicians to help patients recovering from cancer increase their physical activity levels, new research in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship reports. In the first-ever study of its kind researchers from the University of Surrey and Universidad de Oviedo in Spain evaluated fitness apps and their suitability for helping cancer survivors increase their physical activity. ‘Can fitness apps improve health in cancer survivors? Yes, smartphone fitness apps can significantly boost exercise performance and quality of life in cancer survivors.’Read More.. Clinical guidance recommends physical activity and exercise for those recovering from cancer to improve quality of life, reduce fatigue, and lessen on-going symptoms. However, limited information is available on how this can be achieved in a real-world setting. Smartphone fitness apps could provide a form of 'virtual' exercise supervision to patients, but cancer clinicians often lack confidence in what to recommend, as evidence on their quality and content is limited. During this unique study, researchers examined 67 fitness apps on iOS and Android to assess their suitability for improving physical activity for those recovering from cancer. Apps which required payment, the use of wearable technologies or those with inappropriate content for people with cancer (due to negative body images/unfounded claims of effectiveness) were excluded. Over half the apps were available on both iOS and Android, with content in 46 percent of them focussing on a combination of aerobic/strength training or stretching and 39 percent providing solely aerobic content. A team of researchers screened apps using the Mobile App Rating Scale (MARS) which examines engagement, functionality, aesthetics, and information within the apps and for the first time included additional considerations such as awareness and knowledge. Behavior change techniques such as goal setting and monitoring were also examined, and all were rated on a five-point scale (one being inadequate with five being excellent). One-fifth of fitness apps examined contained content suitable for people affected by cancer, showing that they could be an effective tool in helping to improve physical activity. These focussed on aerobic-based activities and tended to include goal setting, monitoring, and feedback which provides reassurance to health professionals as both have been found to be successful in changing health-related behaviors. The research team found that apps available on iOS were more likely to target attitudes and help-seeking, compared to those on Android, and performed slightly better in terms of content and quality. This information paves the way for providing clinicians the confidence and knowledge to prescribe fitness apps to their patients. Jo Armes, Reader in Cancer Care and Lead for Digital Health at the University of Surrey, said: "Fewer than 25 percent of cancer survivors meet physical activity guidelines which is concerning. Not only will physical activity help improve the quality of life of survivors, it lessens their risk of developing new conditions such as osteoporosis or diabetes. "However, there is currently little in place to help those recovering from cancer to increase physical activity levels. With over 80 percent of the adult population owning a smartphone, fitness apps could potentially fill this void by providing easily accessible instructions, helping them to monitor their progress and set goals for themselves." Jenny Harris, Research Fellow at the School of Health Sciences at the University of Surrey, said: "Clinicians are often hesitant to recommend fitness apps to help cancer survivors increase physical activity levels, as they are unsure of the quality and suitability of the information provided. Our ongoing research in this area has found that there are suitable fitness apps to help increase activity levels and this will help equip clinicians with the knowledge and confidence in prescribing them, helping patients to benefit from the positive impact of physical activity."Source: Eurekalert << Twitter Image Colors, Content can Help Identify Users with D... Is Chronic Insomnia Tied to Memory Problems? >> Recommended Reading Tweaks Made To The Fitness App Can Add Real Muscle To Workout Commitment Tweaks made to the fitness app can inspire a deeper commitment to a fitness routine, finds a new study. READ MORE Exercises Improve Cardio Function During Adjuvant Breast Cancer Therapy During adjuvant breast cancer treatments, patients who followed cardiovascular exercise program had improved cardiovascular function. READ MORE What If You Could Keep a Literal Watch On Cancer Treatment Fitness watches go all the way to treat cancer in older patients; It can now be used to measure subtle differences in functional status which can sharpen oncologist's assessments of their patients, finds a new study READ MORE Being Fit Can Trim Your Cancer Risk Exercise regularly and stay fit to cut down your cancer risk. A new study suggests that being fit can ultimately reduce the risk of developing lung and colorectal cancer. READ MORE Exercise and Fitness Exercise is about revamping your lifestyle, not just weight loss. Exercise to get healthy – that way, you’ll last longer at it and get better results. READ MORE Introduction To Physiotherapy Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general information about Physiotherapy READ MORE Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal! Simple and practically possible lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in improving our health status without actually putting much effort. READ MORE Tattoos A Body Art Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look READ MORE Tips to Live Longer Though life is temporary and short, it is possible to maximize the span of our existence by living healthy and savoring every moment of life, read our tips to live longer READ MORE Types of Physiotherapy Physiotherapy is a branch of healthcare science, that mainly concentrates on the physical aspects of an individual's healthcare, by treating their physical ailments. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia The Essence of Yoga Vent Forte (Theophylline) A-Z Drug Brands in India More News on: Introduction To PhysiotherapyTypes of PhysiotherapyCancer and HomeopathyDiet Lifestyle and Heart DiseaseCancer FactsTips to Live LongerCancerTattoos A Body ArtExercise and FitnessLifestyle Modification: No Big Deal!