Author(s):

  • Sarah Jakowski

Abstract:

Self-tracking technologies are possible approaches to support recovery self-management activities for athletes. These may have become even more appealing due to stay-at-home restrictions as part of the 2020 pandemic regulations. This study examined user behaviour of smartphone and wearable technologies among 217 athletes (29% women, M age = 26.9 ± 7 years). The online survey comprised demographic questions and standardised questionnaires to assess usage of technologies, sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), daytime sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale), attitudes about sleep (Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep Scale), bedtime procrastination (Bedtime Procrastination Scale), and self-control (Brief Self-Control Scale). Fitness apps (46.5%) were more popular than sleep apps (15.7%) followed by nutrition apps (12%). The correlation between sleep apps and the other two apps indicate that non-users of sleep apps are probably also non-users of fitness or nutrition apps. Wearables were more frequently used to track fitness activities (36.9%) than sleep (17.5%). Considering sex, type of sport, competition participation, and training volume, no remarkable characteristics among users versus non-users of sleep apps were identified. There were also no significant differences among sleep indices between sleep app users and non-users. However, self-control was highest among sleep app users compared to non-users (d = 0.58). Despite 34.1% being identified as poor sleepers, behavioural sleeping patterns were within normal range. The results imply that athletes are not as attracted to self-tracking technologies as expected, which makes them less vulnerable to unsubstantiated feedback and inappropriate interventions by those tools. This serves as a starting point to explore the potential of self-tracking ambulatory assessment for physical activity and sleep behaviour of athletes in the post-pandemic era.

Documentation:

https://doi.org/10.1007/s12662-022-00812-3

References:

The SELF Institute