Do FitBits and Apple watches really work?

Wearable technology has taken the world by storm 거만어 다운로드. Fitness trackers that monitor the state of your health, and promise to help you become healthier are especially popular. Even former USA President Barack Obama is a fan! With its appeal going far beyond hardcore health and fitness junkies, this begs the question: are wearables really making you fitter?

The hype makes it attractive, but experts aren’t convinced – yet. Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that fitness trackers don’t really offer an advantage over usual weight loss practices. This particular weight loss clinical trial monitored over 400 young adults for two years and the results didn’t make for the best marketing pitch for wearables.

Six months into the trial, half the group received fitness trackers to monitor and spur on their weight loss. At the end of the experiment, the group that were without wearables had still lost more weight.

Researchers also point out the inconsistency in technology. Different brands of trackers will probably offer different readings. Wear your friend’s walking app today and you’ll probably get a different measurement than with your own. Research into sleep trackers points out the inconsistencies here too; brain waves tell us what stage of sleep we’re in – so how can this be “read” by an app that’s attached to wrist movement?

In another trial in Singapore, 800 people were split into four groups; some were given a Fitbit, others were given cash to exercise, and others had zero incentives. In the last few months, all the incentives were taken away and the participants could choose to keep going on their fitness trackers. By the end, only 10 percent still used their trackers.

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Fit for you?
If you’re using wearable tech as a motivational tool, go for it! Remember, the app or tracker isn’t going do the work of weight loss or getting fit for you. It’s there to track your health – and give you invaluable clues and information as to how you can improve your overall wellbeing. Tech that helps you manage your chronic condition is also worth a look-in. There are some apps for instance that collect blood pressure results or monitor your glucose level. Now that’s something worth tracking.

Remember, your app can’t make you run faster – but it can urge you to run faster!

As author, Natasha Schull writes in her book, Keeping Track (which looks at the phenomenon of tracking devices): “There is this dumbing-down, which assumes people do not want the data, they just want the devices to help them. It is not really about self-knowledge anymore. It’s the nurselike application of technology.”

Good to know:

  • Some wearable technology may not be completely accurate. This is especially dangerous if you have a heart condition and use your wearable to measure your heart rate. A false reading may lead to overexertion and health issues down the line.
  • Wearable technology tends to have a short battery life. Some devices last for a few days, and others only a couple of hours or so. Removing your device and remembering to charge it can also become a hassle.
  • Tracking technologies can help you stay on the fitness bandwagon, but may lead to compulsive checking. This can cause anxiety and an unhealthy obsession with your health numbers.