Given I was nearly mown down by some lunatic jogger looking at his bloody watch and not at where he was heading, I thought this, from about a year ago, deserved another outing.

I can barely conceal my delight at a recent entry in the British Medical Journal. In it, a Dr Des Spence takes to task the current fad of health and fitness apps on various mobile devices. The apps, he says, are untested and unscientific, and have the ability to spark extreme anxiety in the ‘worried well.’

I really cannot see the point of apps that continuously monitor heart rate, or activity levels, or especially sleep patterns. If you don’t know when you’ve been asleep or been awake, I don’t think a microprocessor is going to make you any more knowledgeable, and it sure as hell won’t help you to sleep better. The good doctor also points out that natural variations may be misinterpreted, and that’s without the potential of the app going wrong and giving false readings. Then there’s the well documented stress that users feel when mobile devices start to run out of battery.

In true scientific manner, Iltifat Husain of North Carolina’s Forest School of Medicine disagrees, and says that apps that encourage more exercise could well carry benefits. He reckons that although there’s no direct evidence that the devices improve health outcomes or compliance, there’s no evidence they could do any harm. I can’t disagree more. Those bloody mobile devices are a bloody menace. Here’s why.

Runners, joggers, power walkers, cyclists, no longer look where they’re going. They glue their vision to a poxy smart device on a wrist while oblivious to any outside sounds because their ears are masked off by the earphones of an iPhone on which they are listening to ‘choons’ or carrying on a distracted conversation with somebody so boring you wouldn’t want to share a cab with them. Even if these zealots attempted to look where they’re going, the mirror shades, obligatory even on a dull day, don’t help their vision but do apparently reduce the likelihood of cataracts in later life.

Later life may not be as long as these blinkered toerags expect or hope for. I myself have nearly been moved to acts of extreme violence when some Lycra–clad numpty has run into me because they’re not looking where they’re going. Jeepers, if you don’t want to have a look at the scenery what the hell are you doing outside making my life a bloody misery? Get thee to the gym, and stop blocking the pavements and roads.

On a slightly different topic, but one causing a fair amount of irritation. Mini-scooters. These may be acceptable for teenytinies, as long as the little buggers don’t run over my feet. They are not, NOT, suitable transport for anybody over the age of 10, and this applies especially if you insist on riding them in a shop. Get a skateboard to fall off and injure yourself so you stay out of my way and give me a laugh to boot.

Advertisements