Fitness trackers have become all the rage over the past few years, but do they really help us improve fitness or lose weight?
Yes, says a new paper published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The report looked at 224 different studies that examined how different apps and wearables affected people’s lifestyle decisions. Statistics show that in most cases, apps and fitness trackers really do help us make positive changes.
The link was particularly strong for studies in which participants were looking to lose weight via mobile and web-based interventions, especially when combined with in-person consultations with a doctor. This was also the case for those looking to exercise more with the help of fitness trackers and pedometers.
On the other hand, evidence between apps, wearables and quitting smoking or cutting back alcohol was not as strong.
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It should be noted, the studies looked at a period of up to six months, so it’s difficult to say if the patients experienced lasting changes. The report’s authors, however, state that they expect that studies that followed patients for longer would probably see these effects in greater magnitude.
This sentiment was echoed by Martha Daviglus, a spokesperson for the American Heart Association who was not involved in the research.
“…there is a large part of the population who cannot afford to go see their physicians for whatever reason—time, money, transportation,” Daviglus told Daily Dot.
“for those patients, this study proves that turning to the web or their phones for help is better than going it alone.”
So, if you were wondering if investing in that activity tracker is really worth it, it looks like there is no need to worry.
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