Move More App Review

Move More App
Move More App. Screen Shot by Wendy Bumgardner

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You may have heard that "sitting is the new smoking." Studies are showing that sitting increases your health risks even if you get in the recommended 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise each day. While many apps measure exercise workouts, and several track sleep quality, very few are designed to help you reduce the time you spend sitting.

The Move More! app aims to make you more aware of how long you spend sitting, moving, standing, exercising and sleeping.

You can set alerts to remind you that it is time to get moving. You can review and compare past days.

This app is available for iOS and there isn't a free version. You can use it with the iPad or iPhone.

Tracking Activity and Inactivity

Move More doesn't automatically detect whether you are sitting, running, or sleeping. All of the data is recorded by you tapping on one of the five types of activity: Exercising, Moving, Standing, Sitting/Inactive or Sleeping. This makes it completely dependent on you faithfully recording these. You can go back and edit the start and finish time for any period.

It's up to you to decide what the difference is between Moving and Exercising. I'd suggest that an easy stroll down the hallway is moving, while a brisk walk during lunch is exercising.

Although self-reporting may seem less accurate than using the device's accelerometer or connection to a device such as the Jawbone UP, I've found many limitations with the accelerometer as well.

For one, my Jawbone UP doesn't distinguish between standing and sitting, while standing is regarded as the better option.

Self-reporting also gives you the choice of what you track. Maybe you only want to track sitting time, or just sitting time vs. exercise time.

Whatever the choice, it will make you more mindful of how you spend your day if you do the self-recording.

This is an advantage over wearing an accelerometer that you never check.

Inactivity Tracking and Alerts

For each activity type, you can set reminders. I set my Sitting reminder for 30 minutes. Whenever I tap on Sitting, it asks if I want to enable the reminder. I do so, and 30 minutes later it sends me a reminder, unless I have changed my activity type in that 30 minutes.

If you want to use it as an exercise timer or sleep timer, you can set reminders for those.

I found it very easy to use Move More to set up reminders. During the workday when I have my cell phone handy, they were unobtrusive yet effective. Certainly, this is a very low-cost option to get inactivity reminders compared to wearing a costly accelerometer like the Jawbone UP.

Reviewing and Comparing Time Periods

Going to the Graph icon, you can review your data. This is important to help you see what you reported doing and to see improvement.

The One Day chart shows either hours or percentage of time in each activity. It also gives you totals for Exercising + Moving and for Exercising + Moving + Standing.

Using Compare Two Days, you can see the data from any two days side by side.

Similarly, you can look at the total for a time period (such as a week) and then you can compare two different time periods side by side.

Export: you can export the data as a .csv file, email it, and open it in spreadsheet programs.

The hours and percentages are enlightening. However, they don't have any indicator if you are meeting physical activity or sleep recommendations or your own goals. For example, it would be nice if it color coded Exercise and showed green if you logged at least 30 minutes that day.

Bottom Line on Move More!

I applaud the authors for developing an app that can help people be more aware of their inactive and active time. However, this app relies completely on self-reporting. Unless you make it a habit and ritual to log your change of activity level consistently, the data won't be reality-based.

One big plus is that it seems to take almost no power and won't drain your phone battery.

That said, the whole point is to make you more aware of the time you spend inactive so you will look for ways to reduce your sitting time. The simple act of remembering to log it in your app is a big step towards becoming more active. You can use it on your iPad during your usual long stretches of sitting time to keep you mindful of your inactivity level. You aren't chained to wearing it.

I think this app could be further developed.The MotionX Sleep app has inactivity alerts, but in addition it automatically detects physical activity, functions as an all-day pedometer, and has very sophisticated sleep quality tracking. But Move More uses far less battery power and can help you build new habits to reduce inactivity.

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