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The Apple Watch will soon track fitness for wheelchair users

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Jim Evans
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AP Photo/Tony Avelar

NEW YORK AP — Fitness trackers routinely measure physical activity such as running and cycling and encourage people to stand up and walk around throughout the day.

Apple will also start tracking distance, speed and calories burned during wheelchair use, just as it does for walking or running.

Apple partnered with two groups that promote physical fitness in disability populations, the Lakeshore Foundation of Birmingham, Alabama, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation of San Diego.

Jeff Underwood, Lakeshore's president and CEO, said wheelchair users tend to be more sedentary than the general population because they face more barriers to physical activity.

Apple also had to factor in different seat and wheel heights and different surfaces, like carpeting or asphalt.

And some formulas change depending on whether the disability is from a spinal-cord injury or muscular dystrophy.

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