Is it possible to exercise your way to a longer life? Researchers on Saturday unveiled a new activity tracker, Personal Activity Intelligence (PAI), at the European Society of Cardiology Congress, which uses heart rate data to calculate the amount of exercise that a person needs to reduce their risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

According to a new study, PAI is the first activity tracking score that uses heart rate to help people achieve optimal health.To develop the science, researchers used data on 4,637 individuals from the HUNT Fitness Study. From there, an algorithm was derived based on questions relating to frequency, duration and intensity of exercise and its relation to heart rate. Keeping your PAI score above 100 could be enough to prevent premature death.

"PAI is for everyone, young and old, fit and unfit, and it's an easy-to-understand number. Regardless of the physical activity, every time you raise your heart rate, you contribute to your PAI score, which can be calculated with the PAI app,” said Dr Javaid Nauman, a researcher in the Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG), Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. “The more elevated your heart rate is during exercise, the more quickly you accumulate PAI points, but you can also work out at lower intensities for longer durations to earn PAI. Our research shows that keeping your PAI score at 100 or above could prevent premature death."

A personal PAI score is calculated from walking, swimming, dancing, cycling or any physical activity combined with personal information — like age, gender, and resting and maximum heart rate. According to the study, heart rate is the most accurate reflection of the body's response to activity.

"The goal is to keep your PAI score above 100 over a seven-day rolling window to protect yourself from premature death related to heart disease," Dr. Nauman said.

Wearable technology is a burgeoning market that spans the fields of health, exercise, fashion and technology.

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