HOUSTON — Whether it is a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, it makes sense that tracking your movement could help you reach fitness goals.
But the reality of the situation is a little different, according to the research, and the problem isn’t really with the fitness trackers, but with human nature.
A study in the Lancet found that people who wore a fitness tracker did a little bit better job of increasing physical activity than people who didn’t wear them, but it wasn’t enough to lose weight or lower blood pressure.
Another study out of the University of Pittsburgh found that people on diets who wore trackers actually lost less weight than dieters that didn’t. According to the Washington Post, that’s because measuring something can actually change how we approach it. So instead of just taking a walk to get some fresh air, tracking the activity makes it feel like work and makes us less enthusiastic to do it.
Of course, not all humans are alike, and finding out how your brain works could make your fitness tracker work better for you.
Some people have responded to competitions between family and friends. Meanwhile, others find it works best to attach rewards to reaching certain milestones. Whatever tactic you choose experts say having a good support system makes it easier to reach your goals.