Over the past couple of years, there have been some great developments when it comes to fitness tracking technology. But do devices, such as Fitbit, Kardia Band, and Apple Watch, actually help us to become fitter?
There are have some studies that have looked into whether or not wearing a fitness tracker actually makes people healthier. In 2016, the results of a study called the IDEA trial were published which looked into whether having wearable technology made you lose weight.
The trial took place between 2010 and 2012 at the University of Pittsburgh, with more than 470 adults between the ages of 18-35. All of them had group counseling sessions, were put on a low-carb diet and were instructed to increase their physical activity. After six months, half of them were given wearable technologies.
The participants were then followed for another 18 months. After the two years, those without the wearable technologies lost an average of 13 pounds, 5.8 kg. Those with the wearable tech lost an average of 7.7 pounds, 3.4 kg. While the main purpose of these devices isn’t to lose weight but to become more active, the study shows that it didn’t actually work that well in this respect.
What this means is that those who used the technologies were no more physically active than those who didn’t have the wearable tech. The study also showed that they weren’t more fit after the two years.
There have been many new technologies that have been released over the years, but there is very little research that has been done into their effectiveness. While having devices that monitor your physical activity and remind you to regularly stand up is a good thing at first.
After a while, this kind of behaviour becomes a part of your routine and you find yourself doing regular exercises without the daily reminders from your tech. Or what happens is that you don’t respond to it at all, ignoring the reminders and finally putting it aside after you’ve gotten over the novelty of it.
In the end, it comes down to you and your willingness to put in the effort to get physically fit. While the reminders may be great at first, you will have to push yourself to become fitter in the long run.