Do Fitness Trackers Improve Your Health?

Most of the time, innovation comes at an expensive price. This is evident in smart devices that you wear every day. From smart clothes to fitness trackers, these wearable technologies have a higher value in the market. That’s why you have to make sure that they are worth your purchase. But do fitness trackers improve your health? Or are they just additional expenses?

Do Fitness Trackers Improve Health?

If you saw an ad from Facebook or even from a high-end magazine telling how excellent a fitness tracker is, there’s a high chance that you’d buy it. Of course, ads always tell the good things about the product, but not their downsides. Fitness trackers are helpful tools, but are they worth the hype? Do fitness trackers improve health?

Here’s what studies show:

  • The researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School have compared employees who used activity trackers to those who did not. Their study found that a cash incentive increased employees’ activity levels for six months. However, the activity tracker’s positive effects were not sustained because the incentives were stopped after a year. 

With these, the researchers concluded that fitness trackers did not significantly improve health outcomes, even with incentives. They suggest that longer-term incentives should be implemented for the activity trackers to be effective.

  • In another study, the researchers have observed the accuracy of two popular wrist-worn monitors during daily activity. These were the Fitbit Charge 2 and the Garmin Vivosmart HR+. The study’s authors found that low-intensity workouts were within an acceptable error range (5%) during steady-state. But it was less accurate during higher intensity. 

With these findings, the researchers have found that the devices’ energy expenditure estimates were inaccurate during all activities, which users may find challenging when counting calories for weight loss.

How Fitness Trackers Benefit You

Since the earlier studies found out that fitness trackers are not inconsistent, you might doubt their effectiveness. It might stop you from buying one if you plan to purchase a fitness tracker. Though there might be discrepancies, it depends on the quality of the fitness tracker that you will buy. High-quality wearable devices can still help you in improving your health.

Some studies show that consistently using a fitness tracker can increase your steps per day by more than a mile. You can find this more effective if you establish a heart-smart daily goal. Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin, M.D., M.H.S., said that fitness trackers are excellent heart health tools. 

“Being more active and changing your habits is important, but it can be difficult. Tracking likely helps a lot of people when combined with a clear goal to shoot for,” he added.

Wearable technology has been helping more and more people realize the importance of monitoring their health. Among the wearable technology you can find out there are fitness trackers. Do fitness trackers improve health? Yes, but there could be inconsistencies. So if you want to ensure that you will have a reliable fitness buddy, make sure to choose the best smartwatches for women and men.

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