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Talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk: The Problem with Fitness Trackers

Updated: Jul 17


Problem with Fitness Trackers

Every year, there are new devices marketed as being able to boost your health and well-being.

Do you want to improve your health? There’s a wide array of fitness wearables promoted as helping you do just that. However, these devices, such as the popular FitBit, have their share of problems.

Wristbands designed to monitor things such as your heart rate, sleep cycles, exercise, and burned calories have become all the rage. These devices will even vibrate when you have been inactive for a predetermined period of time and compare you with others, as a way to encourage you to keep up with your fitness.

How Fitness Trackers Become Ineffective

There are many reasons why wearable fitness trackers become ineffective. Here are the most important points to consider:

They Are Inaccurate

When it comes to counting things like calories, fitness trackers are notoriously inaccurate. Although these devices are supposed to track the number of calories you burn per day, they are off by significant margins. In one study, the PulseOn was off by 93% when it came to counting calorie expenditure. Even the most accurate fitness tracker, the Fitbit Surge, was off by 27%.

They Become Ignored

There are users of wearable fitness trackers that simply lose interest after a short while of using them. Roughly half of the people who get these devices stop using them after half a year. Many of the reasons given by these former users are on our list.

They Become Irrelevant

In most cases, fitness trackers lose their usefulness after about half a year of being used. The reason for this shift is because the person using the device has been able to move onto a more advanced level of fitness. They will need more specialized tools in order to continue advancing further with their goals.

They Become Rubber Jewelry

Some people buy these fitness trackers because they look futuristic and cool. However, over the following weeks and months, since they bought them, they become little more than rubber jewelry. These consumers may have fallen for flashy marketing buzzwords that hooked them into spending a good amount of money on something they won’t get much use out of.

They Are Ineffective

A few notable studies have been done which showed that people who went on a simple diet and exercise routine lost more weight than those who used a FitBit. The difference seems to be that the users of the fitness tracker were willing to eat more once they achieved their activity goals.

In Conclusion, “Don’t Believe the Hype”

Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it is effective or works the way it is said to. This is true for fitness trackers like FitBit. Sure, these devices may promote their “cool” and “transformative” features, but the reality is different. Just because a new gadget is marketed as being “innovative” does not immediately equate it with being effective.

Before you jump onto the latest fad or trend, compare it with tried and true technologies and methods of accomplishing a goal. A proven track record is always a safer bet.

The Silver Lining: Although fitness trackers are hyped up, they can still be effective under a few conditions. You need to stay determined to improve your health and follow the recommendations it provides. You also don’t need to log your workouts anymore, since these devices can do that for you. Finally, they help your day go by faster by breaking it up into moments where you perform brief exercise activities. If you can take away these benefits from owning a wearable fitness tracker, you may be able to still get some good use out of it.

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