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Stay on Track of Fitness Goals in 2021, With Standards Leading the Way

1/11/2021

The beginning of every calendar year is a great time to reflect on the accomplishments of the previous year and to set goals. One very common area that many people focus their goals around is personal fitness, from committing to exercising more or cutting back on an unhealthy food. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of exercise each week, which can be broken down over the 7 days according to personal lifestyle.

Standards Support Physical Fitness

With winter’s cold weather still here for a few more months, and with gyms still closed in parts of the country, a home treadmill is a great option for getting that walk in, without enduring inclement weather. An American National Standard (ANS), ASTM F2106-18, Standard Test Methods For Evaluating Design And Performance Characteristics Of Motorized Treadmills, was developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International, and describes test methods for many aspects of a treadmill including stability, exterior design, adjustable incline systems, controls, documentation, and warning/warning labels. This standard also includes additional requirements to address the accessibility of the equipment for persons with disabilities.

The treadmill is not the only piece of equipment for exercising indoors. The ISO 20957 10-part series includes standards for stationary training equipment. Part 1 details general safety requirements and test methods. Parts 2 through 10 cover specific equipment such as strength training equipment and benches, stationary exercise bicycles, upper body crank training equipment, treadmills, rowing equipment, steppers, stair climbers, ellipticals, and exercise bikes with fixed wheels. The ISO 20957 series was developed by ISO technical committee (TC) 83. ASTM International administers the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to TC 83.

As exercise is beneficial to health, it is important that it be made accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. ANSI/RESNA IF-1, American National Standard For Inclusive Fitness – Volume 1: Inclusive Fitness Environments, is an American National Standard (ANS) developed by Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), an ANSI member and accredited standards developing organization (SDO). It specifies best practices and existing regulations, standard specifications, and test methods for determining accessibility and the existence of an inclusive fitness culture. This standard does not apply to private or home fitness environments.

Fulfilling our goals starts with keeping track of them. The introduction of wearable personal fitness trackers gives us more metrics than ever, from how many steps we take in an average day to our heart rate during active and resting periods. These personal wearable devices even communicate with our smartphones, which can compile our data into easy-to-read charts and graphs so we can track our change over time. The ANS, IEEE 11073-10441-2013, Health Informatics Personal Health Device Communication Part 10441: Device Specialization Cardiovascular Fitness And Activity Monitor, was developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an ANSI-accredited SDO. This standard establishes a normative definition of communication between personal telehealth cardiovascular fitness and activity monitor devices and compute engines (e.g., cell phones, personal computers, personal health appliances, and set top boxes) in a manner that enables plug-and-play interoperability.

There are many different ways to become more physically active, all of which support the physical well-being of your body. If physical fitness if on your list of goals for 2021, standards are here to support your journey!

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