Fitness Trackers Do Actually Help You Walk More

Study shows fitness trackers help people move.


Health, Study

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Fitness trackers have been around and popular for a while, both as separate digital devices and as apps that can be installed on your phone. Now, a new systematic review of the scientific literature on fitness trackers, conducted by the University of Southern Australia and published in The Lancet, shows that the digital devices and apps do indeed make it easier for people to get up off their feet and walk.

Mixed Results
According to Runner's World, studies have shown mixed results regarding the efficacy and health benefits of the trackers, with some showing that they do more harm than help. But the new comprehensive University of Southern Australia study, however, shows that, in fact, they help more than they harm.

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Runner’s World reports that the researchers reviewed 39 studies analyzing fitness tracker use, using the results from over 164,000 people of all ages and types. What they found surprised them.

According to Study Finds, the University of Southern Australia study shows that fitness trackers encourage people to walk up to 40 more minutes a day and on average those who use the trackers lose about 2.2 pounds over a time period of five months. 

Ty Ferguson, the lead researcher on the project, and a University of Southern Australia PhD candidate, stated in a University press release: The overall results from the studies we reviewed shows that wearable activity trackers are effective across all age groups and for long periods of time. They encourage people to exercise on a regular basis, to make it part of their routine and to set goals to lose weight.”

More than One Benefit
In terms of weight loss, 2.2 pounds is not a huge amount, however, the benefits of moving your body go beyond just losing weight. According to the press release, there is some evidence that wearing a fitness tracker may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol in people that haveType 2 diabetes and other health conditions. 

Another benefit is that fitness trackers may help relieve some mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression. 

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Often people think that changing their lives means making big changes to how they live their lives. In reality, it is often the small, consistent adjustments that people make that help them evolve. 

So if you are looking for a relatively easy way to make your life healthier and happier, consider a fitness tracker, and start walking.

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