Active research

Scientists at the University of Bath are running a new study into how wearable technology impacts our day-to-day energy expenditure and want volunteers to take part. 

The research team from the University’s Department for Health are running a six-week study to determine the energy used by middle-aged men and women (aged 40-70) each day. Participants will be asked to wear a monitor for 24 hours for a total of 42 days (the device can be sent in the post with all input carried out remotely in a covid-secure way). 

For people taking part, the researchers will provide a personalised copy of their own data and feedback on the study findings so they can see how their daily calorie expenditure compares to other similar people.

Lead researcher, Liam Beasley highlights: “We know surprisingly little about how people use energy, and this is especially the case in middle-aged adults. This is a major knowledge gap given how important this period of life is to health and wellbeing.

“This is a simple study to be involved in for people which only requires them to wear an armband which will automatically record and calculate daily calorie expenditure. Once complete we can provide detailed and personalised analysis for each participant.” 

Professor Dylan Thompson from the Department for Health added: “This research will help to understand the similarities and differences between people in terms of how they use energy on a day-to-day basis. It will ultimately enable us to improve the way in which technology can be used to help people manage their health”.

In terms of what researchers are asking people to do – quite simply, participants must wear an armband with a small but sophisticated device that records 50+ pieces of information needed to accurately calculate daily calorie expenditure. Additionally, they will be asked to keep a daily log of time spent exercising or sleeping – this should take no more than 3-5 minutes a day. Finally, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the research team are asking all participants to measure and report body weight on the first and final day of the 6-week period. This will be done by sending the research team a photograph of their personal floor scales – those without access to floor scales will be asked to delay their trial until guidelines allow them to visit the University of Bath campus.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact the lead researcher Liam Beasley at for more information.