This should come as a huge sigh of relief to anyone who’s shelled out a few hundred bucks for a fitness tracker – multiple studies have proven that the devices actually deliver on their promise of keeping their wearers active and fit. A recent case study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that fitness trackers and health apps are adept at bettering one’s overall fitness. The authors culled information from more than 224 different medical and health studies that examined the relationship between the usage of fitness trackers and positive changes in one’s lifestyle.
Whether it boiled down to fitness, diet or cutting out bad habits like smoking, the result was always the same: using fitness trackers and apps helped incite these changes and improvements in some manner. With diet and weight loss, health-monitoring apps drastically assisted in helping people to maintain and meet their fitness and weight goals. When it came to overall fitness, wearables and fitness trackers encouraged exercise and facilitated more active lifestyles among wearers, causing them to be less stationary and do simple things like walk around more frequently. Pedometers and wearables that track steps and distance were particularly influential in getting people moving.
There were of course some limitations to this examination of fitness trackers and overall improvements in health. The most glaring drawback to many of the studies the journal examined was that they only followed individuals around for a few months, meaning that the results they aggregated are short-term in nature. More intensive and long-lasting studies need to be conducted in order to discern the long-term effects and lifestyle changes that using fitness trackers and apps create. However, those who have been holding off on purchasing a wearable over concerns of their efficacy should feel more confident in finally making that purchase thanks to this study.