Fitness trackers

Fitness trackers help you move more, research shows

  • A complete solution research review Posted in Digital Health The Lancet suggests that there are far more pros than cons to wearing a fitness tracker.
  • On average, people who wore a fitness tracker took 1,800 more steps and walked 40 minutes longer per day compared to groups without a tracker.

    Since hitting the market, fitness trackers have garnered differing opinions about their effectiveness. Some studies suggest that these garments may have a negative psychological impact or that they have limited usefulness, because many people end up abandoning them within a few months. On the other hand, studies suggest that checking your watch stats during a run can keep your performance up, especially if you’re feeling mentally stressed.

    Now a new and complete research review Posted in Digital Health The Lancet suggests that there are far more pros than cons to wearing a fitness tracker.

    Researchers reviewed 39 studies analyzing activity trackers, with results from nearly 164,000 participants, spanning all age groups and including both healthy people and people with chronic conditions. They found that, overall, tracker use resulted in higher levels of physical activity. On average, people took 1,800 extra steps and walked 40 minutes longer per day compared to non-following groups. The trackers also helped improve body composition. The researchers typically measured these changes over about three to six months, sometimes longer.

    These results run counter to widespread skepticism about the effectiveness of wearable activity trackers within the scientific, medical and general community, according to the study’s lead author, Caroline MaherPh.D., Research Professor at the Alliance for Exercise, Nutrition and Activity Research at the University of South Australia.

    She said The runner’s world there is a perception of wearables as expensive toys that make no difference after an initial wave of enthusiasm. Worse, multiple news stories have highlighted how some people feel guilty for not achieving their goals, which means trackers are actually causing emotional health issues.

    “These reports tend to be based on testimonials from individuals, rather than solid science,” Maher said. “I hope our study can help dispel some of the myths surrounding wearable activity trackers, as there is now a tremendous volume of evidence supporting their significant benefits.”

    The take-home message from the research review, she added, is that wearables are a convenient and relatively inexpensive tool to boost your daily activity and can also lead to a small weight loss. The average amount lost for each participant was about 2 pounds, which may not seem like a lot, but it’s an indicator that activity can help prevent the kind of “weight flow” that’s becoming more common as people age. people are getting older, Maher said. Also, the finding that higher activity levels are maintained over time is important, but still requires more research.

    “There have been hundreds of studies on the effects of wearables, but most of them have been reasonably short-term in nature,” Maher said. “We know that many people have made the long-term move to using a wearable activity tracker, so the next step in research is to look at the effects of wearables over three to five years, which hasn’t been done yet. .”

    When these results arrive, Maher thinks they will be similar to what this research found: trackers may not be for everyone, but for the majority of users they could be a simple and meaningful way to get moving. more every day. This is important for everyone, including runners who might think running miles negates the effects of being sedentary for the rest of the day. But making sure you’re moving more, more regularly is still essential to staying healthy.