Apple marks Heart Month with new resources and lifestyle studies

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To coincide with Heart Month in February 2022, Apple has announced a series of new health information resources, plus "custom compilations" across Apple Fitness+, the App Store, and more.

Apple is launching a new Heart Month Activity Challenge for Apple Watch users, and will also offer trade-in incentives for Watch trade-ins. Apple has not specified what savings it will offer, but has said that the incentives will be offered in the US, Canada, the UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, and the UAE.

For all Apple Watch users, Apple is also encouraging people to close their 30-minute activity ring on February 14. On the same date, Apple Fitness+ will launch a special section of new 30-minute energizing workouts.

"We're strong believers at Apple that if you can empower people with information about their health, you can change the trajectory of their well-being," Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, said in a statement. "Keeping your heart healthy requires a holistic approach — something we've focused on since the first generation of Apple Watch with the inclusion of activity and workout apps, in addition to heart rate."

"Today, people of all ages can use our products and services to learn more about staying healthy, work toward their personal goals," he continued, "and have a lot of fun along the way."

Apple is also promoting a collection of apps that are designed to help people "take care of their cardiovascular health," by recording heart rate and activity levels.

Alongside workouts and monitoring, Apple Books is curating a collection of heart-related health books, while the Apple TV app is showcasing movies and shows about heart disease, heart science, and healthy living.

Then Apple Podcasts will also include a curated playlist, this time on the Browse tab with shows featuring medical experts.

Heart and Movement Study

As each of these Heart Month moves aim to get people more active, Apple is also sharing news of an existing study of Apple Watch users. In collaboration with the American Heart Association, Apple has analyzed over 18 million workouts logged by Apple Watch users during the pandemic.

"Much of what we know about activity and cardiovascular fitness is based on small studies with limited metrics and few data on trends over time," Calum MacRae, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the Apple Heart and Movement Study, cardiologist, and professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, said.

"Through this study, we're able to analyze the interaction between activity and Cardio Fitness and follow trends in ways that were not previously possible," he continued. "We anticipate that exploring physiology at this scale with such a rich research data set will shed light on wellness and maintaining health."

Preliminary data from the study shows that participants aged 65 or older were more likely to meet their goal of 150 minutes of activity per week.

Then regardless of age and gender, those participants having above-average Cardio Fitness levels reportedly averaged over 200 minutes of activity weekly. Those with high Cardio Fitness levels averaged over 300 activity minutes per week.