Fitness Trackers Don’t Work and Don’t Boost Health. True or False?
6 October 2016
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A lot of controversial articles about results of the research conducted in Singapore have been published lately. During the research, 800 employees were selected to wear FitBit Zip for 6 months. Moreover, half of the group were paid to participate in this experiment. The most interesting part of this story is that this research proved that fitness tackers don’t improve your blood pressure or physical shape.

These results were published on October the 4th and quickly spread out in many magazines, starting with science ones such as Lancet Diabites Endocrinology  and then picked up by Huffington Post , Time and many more.

Even though these results became viral it seems that few people actually read the results of this research themselves.You can go into detail in the original document, but we are going to give you a full picture in a few words:

  1. 800 employees of one specific corporation participated in this research by a their management order;
  2. All of them got a fitness tracker to wear it for a year;
  3. Half of the group were paid for this experiment;
  4. After 6 months the number of their steps and (attention!) VO2Max levels were analysed;
  5. VO2Max results haven’t changed and, thus, a conclusion was made that, since this parameter is responsible for cardiovascular system condition, fitness trackers don’t improve health condition;
  6. 90% of employees stopped using trackers right after the end of the program;
  7. There was almost no difference in the results of paid and unpaid participants.

Ok, let’s have a look at the results.

 

False conclusion number 1. Fitness tracker don’t affect people’s health

Brief definition of VO2Max:

“VO2Max – is the ability of human’s body to absorb and assimilate oxygen, measured in millilitres per minute per kilogram of body mass. It’s well-known that this parameter improves only as a result of regular running trainings, and by 60% genetically determined.”

So, there is no scientific proof that an increase in base level of VO2Max is possible without special intensive and – more specifically – interval aerobic training. Therefore, absence of significant changes in VO2Max level without such training is absolutely natural. You can read more here.

Thus, it’s marvellously strange that such a conclusion was drawn based on this single factor.

The results would be clearer if Kerdo or Baevsky indexes were measured in this research but obviously not aerobic fitness index. The conclusion that jogging and aerobic fitness weren’t increased from wearing fitness tracker and therefore health has not improved, is simply ridiculous. The problem is not in the research, scientist didn’t want to say that the problem is in the data interpretation.

Our conclusion is as simple as that: 800 people that didn’t exercise regularly still don’t regularly go for a run. The only thing they did was tracking steps. Is it possible that their VO2Max could improve? Absoulutely no. This conclusions, in turn, is based on scientific and data-driven approach.

False conclusion number 2. Fitness tackers are useless

People have always been searching for a silver bullet. You just need to buy something that will get you a fast, easy and yet valuable result.

Fitness tacker is just a tool. Like a laptop or a ruler.

Do we conduct research how rulers help people to become architects? Or how computers help to improve a person’s income?

Do scales help people to lose weight? No. They just help to measure objective changes.

Healthy lifestyle habits and physical activity is what helps people to lose weight.

If somebody pays you for reading books, will it help you to become more educated? We doubt that. Isn’t it obvious? Mankind will probably never stop searching for a diet that will help you lose all the body fat and become slim in one week or a gadget that will make you fit at once.

Unfortunately, the truth remains where it was.

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All the answers are in our habits, our lifestyle and motivation 

The main difficulty lies in the fact that we are all different. We need different diets and different types of activities.

However, the path itself doesn’t have to be difficult. Sometimes few changes can bring you considerable results (remember Pareto rule), but selecting these changes that are right for a specific person – that’s the challenge.

Professional athletes and lifehackers don’t train without measuring their results and performance on a daily basis because you can’t benefit from just using different tools without knowing what you want to achieve. Thus, it is useless to wear fitness trackers for the sake of just knowing your daily steps level.

We, Welltory, are ready to show how measuring one’s lifestyle and vitals together with personal care helps to achieve real goals for anyone who wants to change his or her life for the better.

We are doing this here and now. Sign up for our LifeScreening program and get real measurable results. We have a 100% guarantee of money-back since we are totally confident in the final outco

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