Usability Assessment of a Bluetooth-Enabled Resistance Exercise Band Among Young Adults
[seo:theraband]Lillian M. Seo, Curtis L. Petersen, Ryan J. Halter, David Kotz, Karen L. Fortuna, and John A. Batsis. Usability Assessment of a Bluetooth-Enabled Resistance Exercise Band Among Young Adults. Journal of Health and Technology. January 2021. doi:10.21037/ht-20-22. ©Copyright Health Technology. Accepted for publication.
Background: Resistance-based exercises effectively enhance muscle strength, which is especially important in older populations as it reduces the risk of disability. Our group developed a Bluetooth-enabled handle for resistance exercise bands that wirelessly transmits relative force data through low-energy Bluetooth to a local smartphone or similar device. We present a usability assessment that evaluates an exercise system featuring a novel Bluetooth-enabled resistance exercise band, ultimately intended to expand the accessibility of resistance training through technology-enhanced home-based exercise programs for older adults. Although our target population is older adults, we assess the user experience among younger adults as a convenient and meaningful starting point in the testing and development of our device.
Methods: There were 32 young adults participating in three exercise sessions with the exercise band, after which each completed an adapted version of the Usefulness, Satisfaction, and Ease (USE) questionnaire to characterize the exercise system’s strengths and weaknesses in usability.
Results: Questionnaire data reflected a positive and consistent user experience, with all 20 items receiving mean scores greater than 5.0 on a seven-point Likert scale. There were no specific areas of significant weakness in the device’s user experience.
Conclusions: The positive reception among young adults is a promising indication that the device can be successfully incorporated into exercise interventions and that the system can be further developed and tested for the target population of older adults.
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