Fitness trackers have a number of benefits with some compromises in the way…
Well, everyone is more health-conscious these days after experiencing the dreadful impact of the covid pandemic in the last couple of years.
Not to forget, we already had a long list of diseases and disorders to cope up with even before the pandemic. So, in order to live a long and healthy life, it’s crucial to have a fit body and a strong immune system.
And this is where a fitness tracker comes into use.
A fitness tracker or band is a device that helps you to keep a check on your daily physical activities and, consequently, acts as a mental reminder of what you should rather do to stay fit.
Fitness trackers show a series of data, such as the number of calories burned, heart/pulse rate, steps completed, blood pressure level, and even oxygen level.
Naturally, the benefits of using a fitness tracker can bring along some required changes in your daily routine.
Therefore, today, we will talk about the effects of fitness trackers on your body and how do fitness trackers play a role in fitness motivation.
How Does a Fitness Tracker Work?
The simple mechanism of fitness trackers works all day long to detect and measure key physiological parameters.
A 3 axis accelerometer in a wearable tracker continually detects the body’s motions.
The data is captured while the tracker is on and powered up, allowing the tracker to determine if the person is walking forward, sprinting quickly, or simply standing motionless.
All of this information is then saved in the tracker to be processed later. When data is sent to the software connected with the fitness tracker on the smartphone or laptop with which it is synced, processing takes place.
The data obtained is passed via a customized algorithm because the individual has previously supplied personal information within the programme.
This allows the programme to figure out what the various motions captured truly mean.
It divides the movements into several activities and then creates additional data based on these specifics.
Most fitness tracker apps organize these under several sections.
When the user clicks the app, a wealth of information from the processed data becomes available, ready to read.
The software tells the user how many steps they’ve walked, at what speed, their pace, and even how many calories they’ve burned.
Essentially, the software allows the user to interact with the information in a simple and intuitive manner.
On a side note, enabling all these features requires the user to supply some of their personal information. These apps collect users’ personal data and upload it on their servers for analysis.
Therefore, data privacy, data theft, and hacking could become a problem in the future. And these are often the major disadvantages of fitness apps.
Now that we know how these apps work, it’s time to compare fitness tracker advantages and disadvantages.
Benefits of Using a Fitness Tracker
After comparing the advantage and disadvantage of fitness trackers, the onus of deciding to use them or not ultimately lies with the user.
Let’s first look at the advantages of a fitness tracker.
The benefits of fitness band include:
#1. A Consistent Record of Your Progress
When you wear a fitness tracker, you want to stay on track with the goals it projects. This is due to the fact that repeated reminders increase your motivation levels.
A fitness tracker allows you to keep track of your exercise statistics. It provides thorough infographics and reports.
So, you can see how far you’ve progressed and how far you still have to go.
#2. A Free Exercise Trainer
One of the main benefits of using a fitness tracker is the ability to use it to measure your exercise statistics.
When you are a busy person, it is difficult to plan a decent workout regimen and stick to it faithfully.
Fortunately, a fitness tracker provides a variety of training options that are tailored to your current fitness level.
#3. Assists in the Establishment of Attainable Goals
To get the best outcome, you must set a realistic objective that can be met. You will not be able to lose weight if you live a sedentary lifestyle and do not exercise.
However, using a fitness tracker will assist you in setting and achieving realistic goals within the prescribed time range.
Moreover, it also ensures that you do not lose motivation and give up halfway through.
#4. You Keep an Eye on Your Health
Engage in self-care and keep track of your fitness level. A fitness tracker allows you to monitor and record your heart rate, daily calorie burn, and step count.
Self-tracking enables you to maintain a healthy diet, exercise more frequently, and sleep better.
#5. Easy User Interface to Monitor Daily Progress
The usage of a fitness tracker on a regular basis increases the effectiveness of your everyday workouts and makes them more manageable.
The majority of trackers include screens, statistics, vibrating alarms, and history tracking.
These tools allow users to rapidly assess their progress without disrupting their workout sessions.
#6. Assists You in Remaining Motivated
Working out and staying in shape entails both good and bad weeks. You should notice them as your sleep and activity habits change over the course of a day, week, and month.
A fitness tracker allows you to identify such behaviors that are easily maintained so that you can meet your long-term activity goals.
Furthermore, most monitoring gadgets allow you to share your progress on social media with your friends and build personal training groups with competitive goals.
#7. It’s All in Good Measure
Why the sudden necessity to keep track of your exercise activities? Why use a fitness tracker?
According to research, keeping track of your daily activities might greatly enhance your health.
Self-tracking can help you sleep better, eat healthier, and exercise more simply by highlighting the areas in which you need to improve.
Everything is happening in real-time!
So, the benefits of using a fitness tracker inherently include the ability to improve your health and get in shape by recording your everyday activities.
As we have now talked about the benefits of using a fitness tracker, it’s time to also weigh the disadvantages.
Negative Impacts of Fitness Trackers
Along with so many benefits, there are also some unavoidable downsides to using a fitness tracker.
#1. They are Not Always Accurate
These fitness trackers are not always accurate with their data.
It implies you might be taking substantially more or fewer steps than the device indicates. You might be getting a lot more or a lot less quality sleep than it suggests.
#2. You Must Wear Them at All Times
To be completely accurate or as near to precise as possible, a fitness tracker must be worn all of the time.
Wear them to work in the morning, to your evening workout, to your children’s soccer practice, and even when you snuggle into bed at night.
#3. A False Sense of Achievement
Fitness trackers are meant to show you how many steps you took in a particular day, week, month, and so on.
And that’s wonderful because it encourages you to go for a walk or run when you’d rather sit at home on the sofa all night.
But here’s the catch! They could also make you feel like you’ve accomplished something noteworthy, making you feel more comfortable indulging in foods and beverages that aren’t so good, such as high-fat, greasy fried meals, and sugary alcoholic beverages.
This doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that certain fitness trackers are more accurate than others.
#4. The Calorie Burn Count is Controversial
Many of today’s newest fitness trackers can really measure how many calories you’ve burnt in a day.
That’s excellent because by telling you how many calories you’ve burnt, you can obtain a more realistic image of how much food you should be eating throughout the day.
However, because these calories burn numbers are estimations, they only give a hazy image of how many calories you’ve truly burned off in a day.
They can’t possibly account for elements that impact each person differently, such as heredity, metabolism, and so on. Keep this in mind while you check the calories burnt on your fitness tracker.
#5. No Alteration in the Fundamental Rule of Weight Loss
A fitness tracker may help you keep track of how many calories you burn, how many steps you take, and even how much sleep you get each night.
In an ideal case, this can assist you in making modifications to your food and exercise habits to optimize the amount of weight you can lose in a given period.
But, at the end of the day, a fitness tracker cannot change one crucial fact: in order to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight, you must be physically active and eat healthily.
A fitness tracker will not change this norm; therefore, if you are unwilling to follow the rules (which have not changed as a result of the advent of such monitoring technology), a fitness tracker may not be the greatest use of your money.
#6. Difficulty Tracking Sleep with Accuracy
Sleep is one of life’s greatest mysteries. Even in today’s age of incredible health advancements and technologies, we still don’t understand why some people have trouble sleeping in comparison to others.
At the same time, we have a limited understanding of what makes a restful night’s sleep.
Overall, this is why there are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of items claiming to help us sleep better, ranging from special masks to beverages to medicines.
While fitness trackers won’t help you fall asleep, some claim to be able to track your sleep.
They accomplish this by monitoring your heart rate, which tends to drop significantly when you fall asleep.
The issue is that heart rate varies from person to person; therefore, it can’t be used to determine whether or not someone has had a decent night’s sleep.
As a result, many fitness trackers may raise warnings about your sleep while everything is OK or vice versa.
These are the fundamental reasons that might make you think why fitness trackers are bad.
Apart from looking into the main disadvantages and advantages of fitness trackers, in theory, it’s also important to look at the practical and scientific results of fitness trackers.
Fitness Tracker Results
According to studies, using a fitness tracker—a device that measures your movement, such as a classic pedometer or other wearable gadgets, or a smartphone app—enables you to boost your steps by more than a mile, especially if you set a heart-healthy daily target.
“Fitness trackers are an excellent tool for heart health,”
says Seth Martin, M.D., M.H.S., a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins.
“It’s vital to be more active and change your habits, but it may be challenging. When paired with a clear objective to aim towards, tracking is likely to assist a lot of people.”
A survey conducted by BMC on people who wear fitness trackers has revealed a lot about its effects.
With a mean age of 33.1 years, the participants included 200 current and 37 past activity tracker users. The most often reported devices were Fitbit (67.5%) and Garmin (16.5%).
The majority of the participants were expected to keep using their trackers for a long time (5–7 months).
Participants said they had improved their physical activity more frequently (51–81%) than their nutrition (14–40%) or sleep (11–24%), and they valued real-time feedback somewhat more (89%) than long-term monitoring (78 percent).
The majority of customers (70%) said their devices had malfunctioned with the most prevalent concerns being battery life and technical difficulties.
Overall, activity trackers encouraged users to keep track of their activity habits, increase their fitness, and improve their overall health.
A number of questions were posed to participants on the use of the activity data obtained by their tracker.
The majority of existing users thought that different aspects of their trackers were beneficial as in steps (95 percent), active minutes (76 percent), sleep (66 percent), heart rate (63 percent), stairs climbed (58 percent), and energy burned (57 percent).
Moreover, users found activity trackers appealing and valuable tools for raising perceived physical activity levels over time, according to the findings, despite encountering a number of issues with the devices.
Now, we’ve covered all the details about fitness trackers, so it’s time to wind up.
A fitness tracker is a popular device currently used by people to keep a check on their physical activities. It works with the help of a 3 axis accelerometer.
Fitness trackers always come with fitness apps that process and analyze the data collected by the tracker to give you a conclusive result about your health.
As mentioned, there are a lot of benefits of using a fitness tracker, such as acting as a mental motivation, enabling a record of your progress, helping you achieve your goals, and monitoring your health and other daily activities.
All in all, it helps you stay healthy.
It also has its fair share of disadvantages, though, with respect to accuracy about which you need to be careful before investing.
Overall, fitness trackers have been found to provide benefits to people, and researchers have also proven this.
So, there’s no harm in wearing a fitness band but don’t depend on the data entirely for making your health-related decisions.
Use other devices like BP machine, sugar machine, and go for a timely medical check-up to the hospital for more accurate results. Also, keep following your workout and diet plan to stay healthy.