New study finds that fitness trackers don’t help with weight loss
Fitbits and other wearable devices that monitor activity may not help with weight loss even though they motivate people to move more.
Researchers from the University of Florida conducted an analysis of fitness wearables to see if there was any measurable benefit to patients who wear them, such as lowering blood pressure or cholesterol.
Out of 550 publications, six studies met the right criteria, and data on 1,615 people were included in the research.
Four of the studies reviewed involved Fitbits, and the other two used an app that participants downloaded onto their phones.
Only one of the studies showed a strong correlation between fitness wearables and weight loss, and Fitbits had little impact on cholesterol or blood sugar levels.
Nearly a quarter of all US adults use a fitness wearable during the month, according to eMarketer, a market research company.
All in all, even though fitness device advertisements promise to help you get active and stay healthy, the researchers found that this wasn’t the case.
Step counters can get people to move more but may not help with long-term health benefits.
“The weight loss findings are pretty surprising,” Ara Jo, the lead author of the study, told TODAY. “I thought that wearable devices would definitely help to lose weight, at some point, because they make people move, but apparently not. They can motivate people to avoid a sedentary lifestyle, but that does not change people’s lifestyle to be [adequately] active.”
Using a fitness wearable as part of a doctor recommended personalized health plan could bring significant results.
However, merely using a fitness device by itself won’t do much beyond reminding you to be a little less sedentary.
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