Do you know how many steps you take each day?
Do you own a fitness tracker or a smartwatch?
Are you making an active attempt to hit the “recommended” 10,000 steps you should be taking daily?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you are not the only one and are part of an ever growing fitness trend.
According to the ACSM’s (American College of Sports Medicine) Health and Fitness Journal, fitness trackers, smart watches and other wearable devices are considered by fitness professionals to be the number one fitness trend of 2019.
Most Americans at some time or another have owned a wearable fitness device (such as a Fitbit) or smart watch.
In fact, statistics show that in 2018, consumers purchased over 172 million wearable devices.
Most fitness trackers available in the market, have a preset recommended 10,000 steps that you should aim for each day.
10,000 steps may seem like a significant number of steps, but do device consumers know why that’s the standard recommended amount?
Based off of an average stride of 2.5 feet/stride, 10,000 steps equals roughly 5 miles. Devices such as the Fitbit are implying that if you accomplish your 10,000 steps, your fitness is at a good base foundation.
Walking 10,000 steps (or 5 miles) may seem like a fast and simple solution to losing that extra padding that you may have gained over the years, but there are so many more factors at play.
The number of consecutive steps you take and your heart rate during your steps are factors that determine if the 10,000 steps actually make a difference.
But are these steps really a helpful solution?
Are the trending fitness trackers actually making a difference with weight loss, or are they only giving people a false sense of accomplishment instead of measurable success?
What if, by wearing your fitness tracker it actually stalled your weight loss progress instead of speeding up and improving the process?
Read on below to hear about a study that debunks the fitness tracker trend.
A 24 month long study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, researched the popular theory that an overweight adult has increased odds of successful weight loss when they wear a fitness tracker.
The study included 491 overweight adult participants split into two different groups and ran over the course of two years.
Participants in Group A were put on a low calorie diet and given fitness trackers to monitor their daily activity. While participants in Group B were also put on a low calorie diet, but were not given fitness trackers.
All participants, regardless of the assigned group, were given access to training materials and counseling on successful weight loss.
Participants in both groups were monitored in 6 month intervals to track their progress and results.
Much to our surprise, the results at the end of the study were shocking and unexpected.
According to the author of the study, while each group successfully lost weight during the study…
“…the addition of a wearable technology device to a standard behavioral intervention resulted in less weight loss over 24 months.”
In other words, participants wearing fitness trackers lost LESS weight than those who were not wearing a tracker during the study.
So what does this mean?
This study demonstrates that by wearing a fitness tracker, most people are given a false sense of accomplishment and tend to let other important healthy habits slide because they hit their daily 10,000 steps.
The study may have dashed your hopes and dreams of losing weight quickly and effortlessly, but there was one key point to take away.
Both groups still successfully lost weight while on a low calorie diet, with or without the tracker.
It may not sound like the quick and easy weight loss solution that most people hope for, but results and progress will happen.
If you want to lose weight, your fitbit is not your answer.
For healthy weight loss, focus less on your steps and more on:
Now, don’t go throwing away your Fitbit just yet. Your fitness tracker can be used for other purposes aside from weight loss
Fitness trackers are a great tool for those who:
NOW, we want to know what your thoughts are.
Do you think fitness trackers can help towards weight loss or do you think that they give users a false sense of complacency.
We’d love to know!