Wearable fitness trackers are the newest trend in weight loss fitness programs. The device keeps track of what an individual has been doing to help achieve the fitness goal. However, according to recent findings of American Medical Association, the technology devices are less effective than traditional and non-technological weight loss programs. Results from the two-year study revealed that young adults who did not wear the fitness trackers lost an average of five pounds more than the participants who wore the tracking device.
The objective of the AMA study was to determine whether the wearable device will help an individual lose weight over a long term period of time because other studies have shown that the wearable tracking device was effective for short term use. The authors of the AMA study concluded that the devices used to monitor and provide feedback on an individual’s physical activities are less effective than standard behavioral weight strategies.
Are the wearable fitness trackers useless? Not necessarily because people who wore the device lost weight although not as much as standard fitness programs. There were certainly improvements in terms of body fat loss. Participants in the research belong to the 18-35 age groups who were overweight or within the obesity range. Instead of using BMI as the indicator of fitness, the research used body fat percentage, lean mass, bone density and cardiovascular fitness.
Participants were asked to undergo a new set of diet and exercise program that was designed to gradually increase the exercise activity from moderate to vigorous. After 6 months, the participants were divided into two groups with one group continuing with the diet and exercise regimen while the other group was given an exercise tracker. Both groups lost significant weight but the standard non-wearable intervention group lost more weight than those using the fitness tracker.
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