Science Says Fitness Gadgets Don’t Work – Do This Instead

Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Exercise and Fitness, Health with 0 Comments

By Christina Sarich | Natural Society


And are these gadgets really accurate?

We’re well into the New Year and many people have turned to assorted wristbands and wearable fitness trackers to monitor their steps, sleep patterns or caloric burn in order to live a more healthful life. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that all these gadgets are likely superfluous, and your smart phone is more than sufficient for tracking fitness goals.

If you’ve purchased FitBits, FueldBands, or other wearable fitness devices (and everyone has, from housewives to lawyers, to young athletes) know that they may not be quite as accurate as your smart phone – at least according to research in JAMA. This is said to be especially true when measuring steps and calories.

Mitesh Patel, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of medicine and health care management at the University of Pennsylvania, comments:

“There is strong evidence that higher levels of physical activity are associated with weight loss. For most adults that want to track their general activity, smartphones will meet their needs.”

Penn researchers tracked 14 healthy adults as they walked on the treadmill, and compared 10 of the top-selling smartphone fitness applications and pedometers with wearable devices.

The results showed that smartphones were just as accurate and consistent as wearable devices. Furthermore, wearable devices had as much as a 22% variation in the range of step counts compared to the observed number of steps taken. There was also only a 6% difference in the range of the step counts from smartphones in comparison to observable steps.

Measuring our activity levels correctly is part of the way these apps can accurately measure the number of calories burned, and may give someone a false sense of accomplishment if they aren’t walking as far or taking as many steps as their wearable device tells them they are.

Then there’s the cost. Some of the fancier bracelets can cost $100 or more. While they may be more convenient than holding a big phone that you don’t want to drop, some individuals may still opt for the phone if they knew about this compared accuracy.

Read: Have 15 Minutes? 5 Moves for On-the-Spot Fitness

Patel, pointing to an obvious objection for people would prehpas reject smartphones as fitness trackers, said:

“Smartphones may be harder to carry with more vigorous activity such as running or biking, and that might be one reason an individual chooses to use a wearable device.”

But according to Live Science, a site that tracks scientific news, when fitness trackers first were introduced, workout enthusiasts were disappointed in the basic functions like step counters.

Wes Henderek, a market researcher at NPD Group told Live Science:

“A lot of [people] stopped using fitness trackers altogether because it wasn’t telling much more then they already knew.”

Moreover, smart phones nor wearable devices will necessarily drive someone to be more fit just because they are measuring calories or steps. Technology must engage an individual so that they will incorporate healthy behaviors and stick to them, not just observe what they are already doing. Plus, no two bodies are exactly the same, and therefore, two people doing nothing but sitting still will burn a different number of calories. Almost all calorie calculations can be off by 15-20%.

The solution? Eat healthful foods, stay active, detox, and try estimating the number of calories you are burning and consuming without holding steadfastly to what a technological device tells you. Ultimately, the way you feel and how your pants fit will let you know if you need to burn more calories through additional activity or cut back on those morning chai lattes.

Article Source: Natural Society

Tags: , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.

Send this to friend