Another potential problem with fitness trackers is that they can encourage users to ignore their body signals and keep exercising when they shouldn't. Here are the top 10 reasons why you shouldn't buy a fitness tracker. You scream joyfully when you have that buzz on your wrist saying yes, today you have reached 10,000 steps. Wear it in the same place.
You can wear it on your lapel, hip, wrist or ankle as long as you always wear it there. The more consistent you are, the more accurate the device will be. There have been several different studies that show that fitness trackers and smartwatches measure heart rate better accurately while at rest or in recovery, but become less accurate as exercise intensity increases. The reason for this is that, as you sweat during exercise, the sensor may not record your heart rate due to poor conductivity.
And if your fitness tracker is languishing on your nightstand with a dead battery and a lock that hasn't closed in weeks, you're probably nodding your head with all the items on this list. Most studies on the effectiveness of fitness trackers have produced weak or inconclusive findings (blame short research windows and small, homogeneous sample sizes). All of which is, frankly, quite embarrassing for companies that make fitness devices, not to mention disturbing to the people who use them. About a third of people who buy fitness trackers stop using them within six months, and more than half completely abandon them.
Silver is a psychotherapist in New York City who specializes in treating eating disorders and body image problems, and she spoke to HelloGiggles on the phone about the dangers of relying too heavily on fitness trackers. If you think a fitness tracker sounds useful, but you're not sure you'll get your money out of it, there's a way to try it before you take the plunge. Or, if you use a fitness tracker for sleep tracking features, try an app like Sleep Cycle for iOS or Sleep Bot for Android, which is free. When you wear a fitness tracker, taking 10,000 steps doesn't just make you healthier, it makes you happier.
Fitness trackers can become an obstacle when you rely on the data they provide to determine the success of a workout or the state of your health. They recommend that if you want a fitness tracker to measure your heart rate, you'll be better off with one that syncs with a chest-mounted heart monitor, rather than one that does it all by itself. On the one hand, the success or failure of each day begins to be determined by the success or failure of fitness goals, says Silver, which begins a pace of ups and downs. Most of these fitness devices have a “sedentary warning”, which sounds when you've been sitting on your butt for too long.
They always share the screenshots of their fitness apps on social media, asking passive-aggressively for virtual pats on the back. Before you put on that portable device, consider some of the unwanted mental and physical consequences of fitness trackers so you can avoid them.