Title:
EXERCISE CONDITION DETECTION APPARATUS, EXERCISE CONDITION DETECTION PROGRAM, AND EXERCISE CONDITION DETECTION METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided an exercise condition detection apparatus that detects a physical exercise condition. The exercise condition detection apparatus includes: an exercise intensity calculation section 3 that acquires exercise intensity; a step number measurement device 11 and step number calculation section 5 that acquire step number information representing the number of steps per a unit time; and a determination section 4 that determines the exercise condition based on the exercise intensity acquired by the exercise intensity acquisition section and the step number information acquired by the step number information acquisition section.



Inventors:
Kasama, Kouichirou (Kawasaki, JP)
Kanno, Hiroshi (Kawasaki, JP)
Yamamoto, Nobuhisa (Kawasaki, JP)
Application Number:
12/550688
Publication Date:
12/31/2009
Filing Date:
08/31/2009
Assignee:
FUJITSU LIMITED (Kawasaki, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B71/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JALALZADEH ABYAN, SHILA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STAAS & HALSEY LLP (SUITE 700 1201 NEW YORK AVENUE, N.W., WASHINGTON, DC, 20005, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An exercise condition detection apparatus that detects a physical exercise condition, comprising: an exercise intensity acquisition section that acquires exercise intensity; a step number information acquisition section that acquires step number information representing the number of steps per a unit time; and a determination section that determines the exercise condition based on the exercise intensity acquired by the exercise intensity acquisition section and the step number information acquired by the step number information acquisition section.

2. The exercise condition detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the exercise intensity acquisition section includes a pulse number acquisition section that acquires the number of pulses and acquires the exercise intensity based on the number of pulses acquired by the pulse number acquisition section.

3. The exercise condition detection apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the exercise intensity acquisition section refers to a table associating the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve and the exercise intensity and relates the number of pulses acquired by the pulse number acquisition section to the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve in the table so as to acquire the exercise intensity.

4. The exercise condition detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein when the exercise intensity falls within a predetermined range and the step number information is not less than a first threshold, the determination section determines that the exercise condition is an aerobic exercise condition.

5. The exercise condition detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein when the step number information is not more than a second threshold, the determination section determines that the exercise condition is a resting condition.

6. The exercise condition detection apparatus according to claim 1, wherein in the case where the step number information acquisition section is configured to acquire the step number information using a vibration sensor, when the exercise intensity acquired by the exercise intensity acquisition section is not more than a third threshold, the determination section determines the exercise condition with the number of steps acquired by the step number information acquisition section taken as 0.

7. The exercise condition detection apparatus according to claim 1, comprising a notification section that issues a notification about information based on the exerdse condition determined by the determination section.

8. A computer-readable medium having recorded thereon an exercise condition detection program, which when executed by a computer, causes the computer to execute a process comprising: acquiring exercise intensity; acquiring step number information representing the number of steps per a unit time; and determining the exercise condition based on the exercise intensity acquired and the step number information acquired.

9. The computer-readable medium according to claim 8, wherein the process further comprises: acquiring the number of pulses to acquire the exercise intensity based on the number of pulses acquired.

10. The computer-readable medium according to claim 9, wherein the exercise intensity is acquired by referring a table associating the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve and the exercise intensity and relating the number of pulses acquired to the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve in the table.

11. The computer-readable medium according to claim 8, wherein when the exercise intensity falls within a predetermined range and the step number information is not less than a first threshold, the exercise condition is determined as an aerobic exercise condition.

12. The computer-readable medium according to claim 8, wherein when the step number information is not more than a second threshold, the exercise condition is determined as a resting condition.

13. The computer-readable medium according to claim 8, wherein in the case where the step number information is acquired in the form of a vibration signal detected by a vibration sensor, when the exercise intensity is not more than a third threshold, the exercise condition is determined that the number of steps acquired is 0.

14. The computer-readable medium according to claim 8, wherein the process further comprises: notifying an information based on the exercise condition determined.

15. An exercise condition detection method that detects a physical exercise condition and allows a computer to execute, comprising: acquiring exercise intensity; acquiring step number information representing the number of steps per a unit time; and determining the exercise condition based on the exercise intensity acquired and the step number information acquired.

16. The exercise condition detection method according to claim 15, further comprising acquiring the number of pulses to acquire the exercise intensity based on the number of pulses acquired.

17. The exercise condition detection method according to claim 16, wherein the exercise intensity is acquired by referring a table associating the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve and the exercise intensity and relating the number of pulses acquired to the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve in the table.

18. The exercise condition detection method according to claim 15, wherein when the exercise intensity falls within a predetermined range and the step number information is not less than a first threshold, the exercise condition is determined as an aerobic exercise condition.

19. The exercise condition detection method according to claim 15, wherein when the step number information is not more than a second threshold, the exercise condition is determined as a resting condition.

20. The exercise condition detection method according to claim 15, wherein in the case where the step number information is acquired in the form of a vibration signal detected by a vibration sensor, when the exercise intensity is not more than a third threshold, the exercise condition is determined that the number of steps acquired is 0.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation application, filed under 35 U.S.C. §111(a), of PCT Application No. PCT/JP2007/055499, filed Mar. 19, 2007, the disclosure of which is herein incorporated in its entirety by reference.

FILED

The present invention relates to an exercise condition detection apparatus, an exercise condition detection program, and an exercise condition detection method that determine a physical exercise condition based on the number of steps per a unit time and exercise intensity.

BACKGROUND

For the purpose of preventing lifestyle-related diseases, a portable pedometer or pulse meter is used to measure the number of steps or confirm the number of pulses during exercise.

An ongoing aerobic exercise, which is an exercise during which one continually breathes, is considered to be effective for prevention of the life-style diseases. However, it is impossible to correctly determine the current exercise condition (aerobic exercise condition, resting condition) based on only the number of steps or based on only the number of pulses. In order to correctly determine the current exercise condition, it is preferable to combine the number of steps and exercise intensity based on the number of pulses. However, there has not existed a portable exercise condition detection apparatus that detects the exercise condition based on the combination of the number of steps and exercise intensity.

For example, a user is generally in a resting condition in a train. However, in a circumstance where a vibration is generated when the train is running, a conventional pedometer erroneously counts the vibration as the number of steps.

As a prior art relating to the present invention, there is known a continuous blood pressure measuring method. In this method, a patient wears a portable sphygmomanometer, pedometer, and heart rate meter all day long and periodically transfers measurements to an information management server by use of a data communicating function of a mobile phone so as to determine the health of the patient from a correlation between fluctuation of blood pressure, the count of the pedometer, and heart rate.

[Patent Document 1: Japanese Laid-open Patent Publication No. 2000-333918]

SUMMARY

Accordingly, it is an object in one aspect of the embodiment to provide an exercise condition detection apparatus that detects a physical exercise condition, including: an exercise intensity acquisition section that acquires exercise intensity; a step number information acquisition section that acquires step number information representing the number of steps per a unit time; and a determination section that determines the exercise condition based on the exercise intensity acquired by the exercise intensity acquisition section and step number information acquired by the step number information acquisition section.

The object and advantages of the invention will be realized and attained by means of the elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the claims.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating an example of a configuration of an exercise condition detection apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a flowchart illustrating an example of a processing flow (initialization processing) in the exercise condition detection apparatus according to the present embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a view illustrating an example of a configuration of a table according to the present embodiment, which depicts a correspondence relation between the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve and exercise intensity.

FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating an example of a processing flow (determination processing) in the exercise condition detection apparatus according to the present embodiment.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENT

As described previously, Since the method disclosed in a prior art aims to manage the health, it may not determine the current exercise condition (aerobic exercise condition, resting condition). Further, the method disclosed in a prior art does not consider at all the above mentioned problem of the erroneous counting of the number of steps in a resting condition of the body of the user.

This embodiment has been made to solve the above problems and an object thereof is to provide an exercise condition detection apparatus, an exercise condition detection program, and an exercise condition detection method that determine a physical exercise condition.

First, with reference to a block diagram of FIG. 1, a configuration of an exercise condition detection apparatus of the present embodiment will be described. Although an exercise condition detection apparatus 1 according to the present embodiment is a mobile terminal typified by a mobile phone, any apparatus may be used as the exercise condition detection apparatus 1 as long as it can include a configuration according to the present embodiment.

The exercise condition detection apparatus 1 includes a pulse number calculation section 2, an exercise intensity calculation section 3, a determination section 4, a step number calculation section 5, a storage section 6, a notification section 7, a pulse number measurement device 10, and a step number measurement device 11.

The pulse number measurement device 10 acquires the pulse in the form of a signal so as to measure the pulse number. The pulse number measurement device 10 according to the present embodiment measures the pulse at an earlobe of a user. More specifically, an ear clip is attached to the use's earlobe. The ear clip irradiates the earlobe with an infrared ray, and the pulse number measurement device 10 acquires a pulse signal corresponding to a transmitted light of the infrared ray to thereby measure the pulse. The communication between the pulse number measurement device 10 and the ear clip may be made over a wired link or wireless link.

In place of the pulse number measurement device using the ear clip, it is possible to employ a pulse number measurement device that uses a camera incorporated in the exercise condition detection apparatus 1 and samples images picked up by the camera to measure the pulse or a pulse number measurement device that uses a clip to be attached to a finger so as to irradiate the finger with an infrared ray to acquire the pulse from the finger.

The step number measurement device 11 is a vibration sensor and measures the number of vibrations as the number of steps. There is known a mobile phone that incorporates the vibration sensor to measure the number of vibrations as the number of steps. Also in the step number measurement device 11 according to the present embodiment, the vibration sensor is incorporated in the exercise condition detection apparatus 1.

The pulse number calculation section 2 calculates the number of pulse signals (the number of pulses) per one minute (=pulse rate) based on the pulse signal measured by the pulse number measurement device 10.

The exercise intensity calculation section 3 calculates the exercise intensity (METs) based on the number of pulses calculated by the pulse number calculation section 2.

The exercise intensity (METs) is a scale representing the oxygen consumption in the body during or immediately after an exercise caused by training or the like. More specifically, the exercise intensity (METs) represents how much larger is the current oxygen consumption is compared to oxygen consumption measured in a resting condition (METs=1) (condition in which a user is kept quiet on a chair for several minutes, condition in which the user is in good physical health, and condition in which the user feels relaxed). For example, in the case where the current oxygen consumption is double the oxygen consumption measured in a resting condition, 2 is obtained as the exercise intensity (METs).

The step number calculation section 5 calculates the number of steps (step number information) per one minute based on the number of steps acquired from the step number measurement device 11.

The determination section 4 determines the current exercise condition based on the exercise intensity calculated by the exercise intensity calculation section 3 and step number information calculated by the step number calculation section 5.

The storage section 6 acquires, as an initial value, the number of pulses at rest and age of the user. Further, the storage section 6 calculates the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to user's maximum heart rate reserve based on the acquired number of pulses at rest and age and creates and retains a table associating the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to user's maximum heart rate reserve with exercise intensity.

The notification section 7 notifies the user of information based on the exercise condition determined by the determination section 4 together with the number of pulses and step number information.

A processing flow in the exercise condition detection apparatus 1 according to the present embodiment will next be described.

First, initialization processing performed in the exercise condition detection apparatus 1 will be described with reference to a flowchart of FIG. 2. The initialization processing refers to processing up to the point where the storage section 6 creates and retains the table associating the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to user's maximum heart rate reserve with exercise intensity.

The storage section 6 acquires the age of the user and the number of pulses at rest that has previously been measured by the user (step S1). The number of pulses at rest is the number of pulses per one minute in a resting condition.

The storage section 6 then uses the acquired age and number of pulses at rest to calculate the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve (step S2).

Here, the maximum heart rate reserve will be described. It is said that the upper limit of the heart beats per one minute (maximum heart rate) is (220−age). By referring to a value obtained by subtracting the number of pulses at rest from the maximum heart rate, it is possible to grasp the reserve (remaining) beating capacity of the heart. This reserve beating capacity of the heart is referred to as the maximum heart rate reserve.

The storage section 6 calculates the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve using the following equation.


Number of pulses corresponding to percentage with respect to maximum heart rate reserve=number of pulses at rest+((220−age)−number of pulses at rest)×(X/100)

(where X is percentage (%) to be calculated)

Then, based on a correspondence relation between the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve and exercise intensity, the storage section 6 creates and retains a table associating the number of pulses corresponding to the percentage with respect to user's maximum heart rate reserve obtained in step S2 with exercise intensity (step S3). The correspondence relation between the percentage (%) with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve and exercise intensity (METs) has previously been defined according to an empirical rule. For example, in the case where the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve is not more than 14%, the exercise intensity is 1 (METs), and in the case where the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve is the 50% level, the exercise intensity is 3.0 (METs).

FIG. 3 is a table illustrating an example of the correspondence relation among the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve, the number of pulses corresponding to the maximum heart rate reserve (which is written merely as “number of pulses” in FIG. 3), and exercise intensity. In the table illustrated in FIG. 3, the number of pulses at rest is set to 80 and user's age is set to 34. For example, in the case where the number of pulses is not more than 95, the exercise intensity is 1.0 (METs), and in the case where the number of pulses is in the range of 133 to 142, the exercise intensity is 3.0 (METs).

The table (hereinafter, referred to as “correspondence table”) associating the percentage with respect to the maximum heart rate reserve and exercise intensity is stored in the storage section 6. The exercise intensity calculation section 3 calculates the exercise intensity by relating the current number of pulses to the number of pulses in the correspondence table.

After the creation of the correspondence table by the storage section 6 and thus initialization processing has been completed, the exercise condition detection apparatus 1 measures the actual number of steps and actual number of pulses so as to determine the exercise condition. FIG. 4 is a flowchart illustrating the determination processing of the exercise condition. In the case where the number of pulses and step number information have properly been acquired, the exercise condition detection apparatus 1 performs the exercise condition determination processing (processing from step S10 to step S23) at intervals of one second.

Upon receiving the number of pulses in the form of a signal from the pulse number measurement device 10, the pulse number calculation section 2 calculates the pulse rate as the number of pulses per one minute (step S10). The step number calculation section 5 acquires the number of steps from the step number measurement device and calculates the step number information as the number of steps per one minute (step S11). The pulse number calculation section 2 may adopt the number of pulses counted for one minute as the number of pulses per one minute. Alternatively, the pulse number calculation section 2 may measure the number of pulses for predetermined seconds (e.g., 6 seconds) and multiply the number of pulses measured for the predetermined seconds by a value (10, in the case of 6 seconds). The predetermined second is multiplied by which in order to obtain one minute to calculate the number of pulses per one minute. The step number calculation section 5 may calculate the step number information in the same manner.

Then, the exercise intensity calculation section 3 uses the correspondence table stored in the storage section 6 to calculate the exercise intensity corresponding to the number of pulses actually measured.

Based on the step number information and exercise intensity, the determination section 4 performs determination processing. It is only necessary for the step number information and exercise intensity to be prepared as data before the determination section 4 starts the determination processing. Thus, the calculation order of the step number information and exercise intensity does not matter. The determination section 4 acquires the number of pulses as additional information of the exercise intensity from the exercise intensity calculation section 3 for notification to the user.

The determination section 4 determines whether the step number information is not less than 60 (steps/minute) (step S13). When the step number information is not less than 60 (steps/minute) (Yes in step S13), the determination section 4 determines whether the exercise intensity is not less than 2.5 (METs) (step S14). When the exercise intensity is not less than 2.5 (METs) (Yes in step S14), the determination section 4 determines whether the exercise intensity is not more than 3.0 (METs) (step S15). When the exercise intensity is not more than 3.0 (METs) (Yes in step S15), i.e., since the step number information is not less than 60 (steps/minute) (first threshold) and exercise intensity is in the range (predetermined range) of 2.5 (METs) to 3.0 (METs), the determination section 4 determines that the user is performing moderate aerobic exercise (step S17).

It is said that the exercise intensity is 2.0 (METs) when one takes 60 steps for one minute with a 50 cm-stride. Based on this information, the determination section 4 performs the processing of step S13 with the step number information of 60 (steps/minute) set as a criterion. However, this value is an example but is not obligatory. For example, the determination section 4 may set the criterion as to the step number Information of step S13 to a numerical value, such as average walking or running speed of an adult person, at which it can empirically be determined whether one is performing moderate exercise. Further, the exercise intensity based on which it is determined that the user is performing moderate aerobic exercise is not limited to the above range (from 2.5 (METs) to 3.0 (METs)) but may fall within a range where it can empirically be determined that one is performing moderate exercise.

When the exercise intensity is more than 3.0 (METs) (No in step S15), i.e., since the step number information is not less than 60 (steps/minute) and exercise intensity is more than 3.0 (METs), the determination section 4 determines that the user is in an exercise condition (anaerobic exercise) where he is not breathing appropriately due to an excessive exercise load on his body (step S16).

When the exercise intensity is less than 2.5 (METs) (No in step S14), the processing advances to step S18.

When the step number information is less than 60 (steps/minute) (No in step S13), the determination section 4 determines whether the step number information is not less than 1 (step/minute) (step S18). When the step number information is not less than 1 (step/minute) (second threshold) (No in step S18), the determination section 4 determines that the user is in a resting condition (step S19). The criterion used in step S18 is not limited to the above value of 1 (step/minute) but may be a value at which it can empirically be determined that one is not in an exercising condition. For example, a criterion may be set based on the average walking speed of an adult person. In this case, the determination section 4 determines that the user is in a resting condition when the step number information is not more than the set criterion.

On the other hand, when the step number information is not less than 1 (step/minute) (Yes in step S18), the determination section 4 determines that the exercise intensity is not more than 1.0 (METs) (step S20). When the exercise intensity is not more than 1.0 (METS) (third threshold) (Yes in step S20), which means an occurrence of an error count where the number of steps of the user is counted although he is actually in a resting condition, the determination section 4 does not count the number of steps (step S21) and determines that the current condition is a resting condition (step S19). Although the criterion used in step S20 is set based on the fact that one is in a resting condition when the exercise intensity is 1.0 (METs), the value of the criterion is not limited to 1.0 (METs), but the determination section 4 may use for the determination in step S20 any other criterion, if exists, based on which it can empirically be determined that one is in a resting condition.

When the exercise intensity is more than 1.0 (METs) (No in step S20), i.e., since the step number information is not less than 1 (step/minute) but less than 60 (steps/minute) and the exercise intensity is not less than 1.0 (METs), which means that the user is not in a resting condition although he is not in an exercising state, the determination section 4 determines that he is in a bad health condition (or condition immediately after exercise) (step S22).

The notification section 7 notifies the user of current step number information, number of pulses, and information based on a result of the determination (determination made based on step S16, step S17, step S19, step S21, and step S22) made by the determination section 4.

While the notification section 7 may notify the user of the determination result using the above expressions (e.g., “aerobic exercise condition”, “anaerobic exercise condition”, and the like), the notification section 7 according to the present embodiment notifies the user of the information based on the determination result as guidance. For example, in the case of the anaerobic exercise condition, the notification section 7 issues a notification saying “Slow down your pace”. In the case of the aerobic exercise condition, the notification section 7 issues a notification saying “Keep your pace”. In the case of the resting condition, the notification section 7 issues a notification saying “Rest and relax”. In the case of the bad health condition (or condition immediately after exercise), the notification section 7 issues a notification saying “Rest up”. The notification may be made by outputting a sound or by displaying a character string.

Although the determination section 4 determines as “not less than the criterion” and “not more than the criterion”, it may determine as “more than the criterion” and “less than the criterion”.

An exercise intensity acquisition section corresponds to the exercise intensity calculation section 3 in the embodiment. A step number information acquisition section corresponds to the step number measurement device 11 and step number calculation section 5 in the embodiment. A pulse number acquisition section corresponds to the pulse number measurement device 10 and pulse number calculation section 2 in the embodiment.

A given functional block in the embodiment may include another functional block or another device. For example, the exercise intensity calculation section 3 may include the pulse number measurement device 10 and pulse number calculation section 2.

Further, it is possible to provide a program that allows a computer constituting the exercise condition detection apparatus to execute the above steps as an exercise condition detection program. By storing the above program in a computer-readable storage medium, it is possible to allow the computer constituting the exercise condition detection apparatus to execute the program. The computer-readable storage medium mentioned here includes: an internal storage device mounted in a computer, such as ROM or RAM, a portable storage medium such as a CD-ROM, a flexible disk, a DVD disk, a magneto-optical disk, or an IC card; a database that holds computer program; another computer and database thereof; and a transmission medium on a network line.

As described above, it is possible to determine the exercise condition of a body based on the exercise intensity and number of steps per a unit time.

All examples and conditional language recited herein are intended for pedagogical purposes to aid the reader in understanding the invention and the concepts contributed by the inventor to furthering the art, and are to be construed as being without limitation to such specifically recited examples and conditions, nor does the organization of such examples in the specification relate to a showing of the superiority and inferiority of the invention. Although the embodiment(s) of the present inventions have been described in detail, it should be understood that the various changes, substitutions, and alterations could be made hereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.