New wearable technology can help older women stay active and healthy

The project is called Maximizing Inclusion in Sports Through Women-Centered Technology and Innovation (MISFIT).

The University of Exeter and sportswear manufacturer KYMIRA Sport will develop clothing such as leggings that track movement during exercise. The CPI project partner will develop footwear soles to monitor the force.


Researchers from VOICE, the National Innovation Center on Aging, at the University of Newcastle will run user groups to understand user needs and requirements.

Using “smart textiles” designed by KYMIRA, Sensors embedded in clothing, combined with shoe soles developed by CPI, will provide injury risk data to assist older women (over 50 years of age) to continue participating in physical exercise. sports.

In collaboration with Ida Sports, a company specializing in women’s sports shoes, New technologies will be applied to develop footwear tailored to the requirements of active older women to participate in many sports.

Information on factors such as stiffness, the impact of different shoe types and the effects of treatments can be passed on to medical professionals to help them provide the best advice.

The two-year project is supported by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) grant as part of the Healthy Aging Challenge.

The new technology will be co-created with the target population and validated through laboratory tests and motion capture systems, and feedback from participants on requirements and comfort. roof of wearable technology in different phases of the project.

“The MISFIT project aims to empower women and give them the confidence to continue exercising as they age,” said Dr Sharon Dixon, University of Exeter.

“There is a lot of evidence of low levels of physical activity in older women.

“Many factors play a role in this, but problems like knee pain can be a major barrier.

“Despite the well-documented benefits of regular participation in physical activity, including improved physical and mental health, women are not well supported in continuing to play sport.” and exercise as they get older.

“In particular, a lack of understanding of active behaviors and the absence of footwear by gender and age, hindered integration.

“This project will provide a wearable activity monitoring system customized to the needs of older women, contributing to maintaining physical activity in a population that has not been studied in this field. .”

Benefits of wearable technology

It aims to provide four key benefits:

  • Enabling affordable self-care/self-monitoring women to safely participate in sport, exercise and sustainable physical activity, while minimizing pain, discomfort or injury.
  • Provides information on the design of a new range of multi-activity footwear that support the specific foot shape and biomechanical function of older women.
  • Provides data-driven activity monitoring for physiotherapists, physicians, community fitness professionals, and similar stakeholders.
  • Enables large-scale data collection and analysis to better understand women’s biomechanics, injury mechanisms, and risks. This will include the development of new injury risk algorithms specifically for older women to enable sport and exercise self-management.

“Overall, MISFIT should encourage women to participate in sport and stay active as they age without fear of pain or injury, providing the known benefits of strenuous physical activity,” says Dr. and sustainability for health, happiness and well-being.”

Source: Eurekalert

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