February is Heart Health month, the perfect time to remind ourselves how important it is to show some love to the hard-working organ that is associated with love. But actually taking care of your ticker can be a difficult undertaking—where do you even start? Read on to find out how easy it is for anyone to take their health to heart.
You might be surprised to learn that heart disease is still the leading cause of death, both in the US and globally, with about 17.5 million people dying of heart disease every year–that’s almost 1 in every 3 deaths. Those are some disconcerting statistics, but there is an upside: heart disease is largely caused by lifestyle factors, such as an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, which means heart disease is largely preventable. So even if your heart isn’t in tip-top shape at the moment, there are steps you can take to reverse this trend. It’s never too late to get healthy!
To gain insight into how we can best take care of our hearts, we took a look at the latest data from our Body Cardio scales, which measure pulse wave velocity, also known as PWV. This metric is a medically-accepted indicator of arterial stiffness that helps you assess the overall health of your cardiovascular system. Our Body Cardio scales measure this during every weigh-in—and deliver PWV readings on the scale and in the Health Mate app. As we examined the data, we identified a subset of users who were able to greatly improve their heart health in less than 5 months.
We identified almost 1,000 users who managed to reduce their pulse wave velocity by more than 10% between August and December 2016. We did a deep dive into the data to see how PWV reducers differed from other Body Cardio users.
Successful PWV reducers:
Weighed in more often
PWV Reducers measured their pulse wave velocity 25 times per month on average, while other Body Cardio users logged only 13 measurements on average.
PWV Reducers walked 6% more daily than other users, or about 350 extra steps per day.
PWV Reducers lost an average of 1.4% of their body weight between August and December, while other users gained 2.5% of their body weight. This is particularly impressive, as it can be very difficult to maintain, let alone lose weight as the weather gets cold and the food-filled holiday season occurs, but these users prove that it is indeed possible!
PWV reducers also:
Went to sleep earlier
PWV Reducers switched to an earlier bedtime, turning in for the night almost 15 minutes earlier in December than when starting out in August. Additionally, while they started out in August sleeping 2% less than other Body Cardio users, by December they closed that gap and logged the same amount of sleep as other users.
Of course, opting for a salad over steak will give your heart health a boost, but these simple tips will help your step it up even more. So hit the sheets earlier, weigh in each morning, and take a quick lunchtime walk each day—the data shows your heart will love you back.
This study was conducted by Withings based on anonymous data from a pool of almost 100,000 users of Withings Body Cardio scales, 60,000 of which track their activity and 13,000 of which track their sleep. Withings guarantees the confidentiality of personal data and protects the privacy of all its users. Therefore, all data used in this study is anonymized and aggregated. Data analysis by Eva Roitmann.