Probably the most persistent tale in the fitness area is that you have to take around 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy and fit. The Apple Watch and the suitable iPhone count steps, these can be looked up in the Health app under “Activity”, but the number was never a parameter for training or fitness, the three famous rings show more activity calories, training minutes and standing times of users per day.
As of iOS 14 and watchOS 7, the health app will still show significantly more evaluations of steps taken, but they are far from simply listing the first pedometers. With the new “Mobility” health category, Apple is providing users, app developers and researchers with a lot of new data that is intended to assess the mobility of users and to indicate their health and fitness.
In addition to the number of steps, an iPhone from iPhone 8 can measure how long the individual steps are, how fast the user can move on a flat surface, how symmetrical or asymmetrical their gait is and how long it takes to walk on both legs or on one leg located. These individual evaluations can indicate the mobility of the user, in the case of an injury, for example, how quickly the patient recovers and regenerates, in old age – how independent people can be. In the Stride length one can conclude, for example, about long-term mobility: the longer steps a person takes, the more strength and balance is required. Illnesses and increasing age can affect the stride length, making the steps shorter.
The situation is similar with that Walking pace: The faster a person walks, the healthier and fitter they should be. Your age can slow down with age. If such a slowdown suddenly occurs, this can indicate further health changes. The iPhone can automatically record the two parameters if you wear the device at about waist height and walk a constant time on a flat floor.
In addition to the obvious metrics such as pace and stride length, the iPhone can evaluate the asymmetrical gait and bipedal support duration. At the asymmetrical gear is a ratio of the respective load on a foot when walking. If one foot is loaded faster or slower than the other, the Health app presents this in a new evaluation. The lower the percentage in it, the more balanced the gait of the user. Is related to it the bipedal support period. What sounds rather bulky in itself actually describes the time in percent, during which the user supports himself on one leg instead of two when walking. This indicates a better balance and is usually in the range of 20 to 40 percent, the lower this value the better.
According to Apple, the iPhone does not evaluate every walk, only certain units when the user is moving at a constant speed on a flat surface. These even walks are monitored and evaluated over a certain period of time, and the user sees the results in the Health app. Another parameter based on these calculations is the estimate of the 6-minute walk test. How far a person can go in six minutes indicates his physical endurance, the higher the values in this test, the better the values can be with cardiac, respiratory and circulatory functions.
The only problem is that these tests are mostly done in hospitals. Doctors have no reference values for this, say, before injury, in order to put the current results of this test into context. An iPhone from iOS 14 and iPhone 8, the Health app will use the real data to create these forecasts at regular intervals.
If you still wear the Apple Watch, you can see other parameters in the mobility summary: the speed when climbing stairs and down, VO 2 max and the 6-minute walk test already described. The speed of climbing stairs is only reserved for the Apple Watch Series 5, the rest of the evaluations can be made by the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer. In a subordinate clause, Apple also mentioned that the Airpods (probably only Pro) will also be able to collect and evaluate such data. (Macworld)