Do Fitbits and other tracking wearables actually make you fitter?Created by:
Fitbits and other wearables that track activity, heartrate etc. are relatively new on the market, but seem to be going places in terms of adoption rates (i dont know any figures about the prevalence of wearables in my country, but many friends my age seem to be wearing a fitbit of some kind).
The research so far seems quite preliminary. Here are some articles I could find online: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-digital-fitness-trackers-get-you-moving-201508278214 and http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/are-fitbits-and-other-wearables-really-keeping-us-fit/
The issues raised so far seem
1. The accuracy of monitoring.
I find my own wearable quite reliably accurate in predicting which movements of mine are steps and which are not.
However, proponents of wearables usually say that the actual accuracy isn't what matters, but it is the trending of information, and how someone uses that to improve their health that matters. For example, it is not about accurately documenting how many steps someone takes, but rather, it is letting the wearer know that they are doing better or worse than before, to motivate them to improve.
2. The sustainability of health improvement
Most detractors seem to say that wearables may not improve health in the long run, while proponents say that it really depends on your personality and how you use the technology.
I am Fitbit wearer and I find it helpful in getting more steps in my day. Do you use wearables? Would you recommend your patients to get them?