Did you get a Fitbit or other health tracker over the holidays?
Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to walk more, or get healthier?
Getting fit and healthy can be a full time job in itself, but it doesn’t have to be a chore.
Wearable technology is a booming growth market in health and fitness, and the most popular gadgets are designed to get you motivated while transforming fitness from a chore into a lifestyle.
So what is wearable technology?
According to Webopedia:
“Wearable technology (also called wearable gadgets) is a category of technology devices that can be worn by a consumer and often include tracking information related to health and fitness. Other wearable tech gadgets include devices that have small motion sensors to take photos and sync with your mobile devices. Examples of wearable tech include:
One of the most popular wearables on the market right now is the FitBit, and CKNW’s Tim Dickert decided to take a closer look at what all the fuss is about.
What’s the Fit Bit Flex?
Okay, so what does the gadget actually do?
The device will track everything; from the numbers of calories you burn in the day, to the distance you travel and the number of steps you take.
Tracking your sleep
The Fit Bit can count how many times you wake up at night so you can teach yourself to sleep more soundly.
So it’s no wonder that Fit Bits are extremely popular.
According to an RBC Capital Markets report from November, Fitbit sold 4.8 million wearables in the third quarter of 2015, up 106% from the same period a year ago.
But hold on. It can’t all be good, right?
Surely there must be some drawbacks to these devices? According to Jordan Etkin, an Assistant Professor at Duke University, that FitBit you’re wearing may defeat your whole purpose of using it in the first place.
“My research shows that there is sort of more going on when people start quantifying their behavior than they anticipate ahead of time. So you might get a FitBit or some sort of other wearable technology because you are curious about how much you walk. At the same time this quantification has some pernicious effects as well, some harmful effects for people. In that, tracking your behavior, tracking your output, leads you to enjoy doing the activity less. And as a result from not liking it as much, if you ever stop tracking your behaviour, so for example if you take the fit bit off, then you are more likely do less of the activity as you were in the first place.”
So Etkin’s research seems to go against Fitbit’s messaging that device turns exercising from a chore into a lifestyle.
So, what’s the takeaway?
If you’re a weekend warrior or the competitive type, keep right on counting and trying to outwalk your friends.
If tracking feels like work, stop doing it.
For more information on the latest inn wearables technology, check out Wareable.com