Wearable Fitness Devices Don’t Seem to Make You More Fit

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In 2015, another study, the PACE-Lift trial, was also inconclusive. Researchers randomly assigned 250 people ages 60 to 75 to one of two groups. The first group received four physical activity consultations from primary care nurses over three months; a pedometer; and a physical activity diary. The other received “usual care.” All patients were given accelerometers to measure their activity, although only the control group saw the results. One year later, those in the pedometer group were taking an average of about 600 more steps per day, and had about 40 more minutes of activity a week… More at NYT.

I guess that conclusion makes perfect sense. Just like weighing scales do not make you lighter, it is actually doing something that makes the difference. What fitness devices are good at, however, is making you think about your health in the first place and giving you small bits of encouragement as you see improvements being made.



Categories: Wareable

1 reply

  1. “as you see improvements being made.”
    I think this is always a sticking point for me and any exercise program – (or programme, trying to judge my audience here). Like for a while (almost a decade ago, sheesh) I was kind of enjoying this “virtual trainer” called “Yourself!fitness”, bringing me through a daily series of basic exercises. But there was no way to turn off this weekly-or-so evaluation session, where rather than just run me through my usual routine it insisted on doing pushups or whatever against the clock, so they could chart my progress. i really hated that, because I can never tell if I’m actually doing more pushups, or just using poorer form, or trying harder, etc… really, for almost any kind of physical improvement, I don’t trust myself to make qualitative judgements because the daily or weekly fluctuation, or even just how hard I try or how i feel that day, swamps the more subtle effect of the routine over time. The only reason I’ve been able to keep my weight down is because there’s an easy way to quantify it, and I can learn to ignore the day to day to fluctuations that are there.

    Of course maybe it all come down to a way where i really don’t have a feel for “personal growth”, I think my inner child always resents thinking it wasn’t already ideal, and so dismisses and trivializes the idea of qualitative changes in the core capabilities…

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