Fitness trackers

Marion Foreman

Fitness Trackers – worth the money?

feet runningYou must have noticed that there are loads of different ‘wearables’ out there. Gadgets to help you get fit and stay fit. They can monitor your activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep. As the Fitbit marketing says

Every moment matters … fitness is the sum of your life.

I have a simple pedometer which monitors how many steps I take. I’m aiming at 10,000 a day. Most days it encourages me to keep moving, but today I’m not wearing it. How crooked is that? I know I’m not going to do enough steps so I won’t even bother trying!

The big question around these gadgets is do they incentivise you and positively reinforce, or do they make you feel like a loser for not doing enough? The Guardian tells me that 25 million of these bits of kit will be sold this year. So, will 25 million people grow fitter and be saved from disease or will there be 25 million expensive gizmos losing their battery in a drawer somewhere?

A study showed that for the first month after acquiring one of these gadgets, the wearers increased their activity. But we don’t know yet for certain what happens after that.

My thoughts on these gadgets? Well, if you are already motivated to exercise and live a healthy life then these gadgets are great for affirming you and encouraging you to keep going. If you fall into the ‘just can’t be bothered’ category, then you probably wouldn’t get one anyway and certainly wouldn’t care if you’d reached your 10,000 steps for the day.

See also  Diet research funding

These gadgets are probably most beneficial for those of us who are just starting to think it’s time to do something about our fitness and our weight. They really do help you set goals and keep on track.

So with that in mind, I’m just off for a walk. Where did I put my tracker?

About Marion Foreman

I fall neatly into the ‘women who weren’t born yesterday’ category. I grew up in a turmoil of Guardian fuelled feminism. I went from ‘little woman’ to independent person in a decade. I began my nurse training in the early 70s in the midst of a male dominated university town. I convinced myself that my views must be wrong as the ultra clever men didn’t agree with me. It wasn’t until I did my degree with the OU that I realised that I had a voice – and a legitimate voice at that. Four children and three husbands later I have found my place in the world. A place that simply says that I am who I am, that I can choose my own path in life and choose those who walk with me. I have learnt that equality means making and taking opportunities, not feeling compelled to ‘do it all’.