Wearable fitness tracking devices aren’t enough to change habits

wearable fitness devices

Are you one of the 1 to 2% of the people in the U.S. wearing a fitness tracking device? If so, you are on the leading edge of one of the fastest growing industries. But, the bigger question is if that fitness device is really changing your habit?

In a recent article in the Journal of American Medical Association, three doctors affiliated with the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania, suggest that there is little evidence of people wearing fitness tracking devices actually changing their habits.

The doctors state that all of these devices are good at recording and reporting information about behaviors such as physical activity or sleep patterns and these can educate and motivate individuals toward better habits and better health. However, they are not really doing that.

The doctors believe that there are four major challenges that need to be addressed for any of these fitness devices to effectively help you adopt a healthier lifestyle.

  1. You must be motivated enough to want a device and be able to afford it.
  2. You must remember to wear it and occasionally recharge it.
  3. The device must be able to accurately track your targeted behavior.
  4. You must be able to access and understand the information the device gathers so that it keeps motivating you on an ongoing basis towards improved health.

Now you have to ask yourself:

  • How much do you want to change your habits to be lead a healthier lifestyle?
  • Do you have a specific goal in mind? (If you do, remember to set milestones.)
  • What are you doing to motivate yourself?

Once you can answer these questions you can begin to make the necessary changes to a healthier lifestyle, anywhere from becoming more active to eating healthier. And, once you start making these changes, you probably won’t even need that wearable fitness device.

[1] JAMA (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2089651)