The Health Breakthroughs that Mattered in 2016

Fitness Trackers Work — Just Not for Everyone
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Fitness Trackers Work — Just Not for Everyone

Two large 2016 studies showed that wearable fitness trackers didn’t get people moving more or improve their health. In fact, one found that participants who self-monitored their exercise lost almost twice as much weight after two years as those who used fitness trackers. Still, wearable tech is not worthless — we’re just looking at them all wrong. “Fitness trackers are equivalent to a bathroom scale,” says Eric Finkelstein, a health professor at Duke Global Health Institute. “They’re a measurement tool, not an intervention tool.” He says the data that trackers provide isn’t enough to motivate most people — unless you’re already jazzed on exercise and you geek out on numbers. Folks with both characteristics are coined “quantified selfers.” If this is you, experts believe a fitness tracker could be big boon to your training.