PITTSBURGH, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BodyMedia today announced a collaboration with the National Cancer Institute's Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch (RFMMB) that will leverage data collected by BodyMedia's wearable body monitors to study long-term patterns of physical activity and sleep to enhance assessment methods for future chronic disease research. BodyMedia's database will give RFMMB scientists access to a large sample of long-term, around-the-clock measurements of physical activity and sleep patterns that are unavailable from virtually any other source at the same scale and level of detail. BodyMedia analysts will also assist the RFMMB team in mining the data for patterns relevant to their research.
The data has been captured by BodyMedia armbands worn day and night by tens of thousands of consumers for weight management and research purposes. Full privacy protections will apply, with no personally identifiable information available to researchers.
Four sensors embedded in the armbands collect over 5,000 physiological readings per minute to measure physical activity duration and intensity level, steps taken, calorie burn, and sleep duration and efficiency. The continuous nature of armband use provides a comprehensive long-term picture of all daily activity ranging from formal exercise to work, household tasks and transportation.
Researchers will use the data to explore long-term activity patterns and the impact of features such as frequency, duration, intensity and type of physical activity and sleep on behavior maintenance and change. Findings will be used to assist in profiling long-term patterns of physical activity across age and gender groups, developing sampling methods for measuring physical activity levels in future health research and surveillance, and developing automated intervention strategies to support behavior change.Studies consistently show that increasing physical activity reduces the risk of colon, breast and possibly other cancers, but relatively little is understood about how specific patterns or variability in physical activity, or its interaction with sleep quality and duration relate to cancer risk. Most relevant databases are too small or are based on subjective questionnaires limited to a few days or weeks of data, noted Dr. James McClain, Program Director for the Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch at NCI. "For many years, the actual on-body measurements and continuous data collection have made our body monitoring device an important resource for researchers in areas ranging from obesity to COPD, diabetes and beyond," said Christine Robins, BodyMedia CEO. "This latest collaboration with the National Cancer Institute's Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch again demonstrates the value of our data in advancing the science of wellness and thereby potentially changing the course of individual lives." A bibliography of research utilizing BodyMedia data is available at http://www.bodymedia.com/Professionals/Bibliography About BodyMedia, Inc. BodyMedia pioneered the development of wearable body monitors that collect physiological data for use in improving health, wellness and fitness. Founded in 1999, the company today provides a variety of around-the-clock on-body monitors utilizing proprietary technology that has been clinically validated for accuracy. Data captured by BodyMedia devices is used by consumers as well as health and wellness professionals to guide behavioral changes to control weight and promote an active lifestyle – two factors that are routinely cited as keys to combat and manage serious medical conditions. BodyMedia has amassed one of the largest databases of information about the human body, and the technology has been used in more than 100 clinical research studies covering health issues such as obesity, COPD, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, cancer, bariatrics, sleep and intensive care. BodyMedia is privately held and based in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit www.bodymedia.com. SOURCE BodyMedia