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Then technology became something we carried around — our cellphones, our laptops. Wearable tech used to be something of sci-fi and comic books — but now it is the norm. Among the most popular form of wearable technology is the fitness tracker. The old-school pedometer seems like an obsolete dinosaur next to the Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike Fuel Band and soon-to-arrive Apple Watch, which all sync data to your computer or phone, and give real-time measurements of steps taken, miles walked and calories burned. I can count myself among one of those sales, when I strapped the Fitbit Flex onto my wrist back in June of I was intrigued by the promise that the Fitbit would monitor my sleep and motivate me to exercise more. Fitbit has tapped into our need to be constantly connected by giving you live data — on your wrist — of how much you have walked each day. When you meet your daily goal, the Fitbit lets you know with a strong vibrating buzz. Not knowing exactly when that buzz is coming is like the variable reinforcement schedule that makes gambling so powerful. From my own experience and the testimonials of many others on the internet , the Fitbit can inspire you to exercise more to meet your daily goals the default is 10, steps per day, but you can increase or decrease that amount if you choose. But is this a trend that will last? Sixteen months later, I still love my Fitbit. But are these fitness devices actually helpful for the perhaps less exercise-obsessed general public? By being aware of how much or how little you are exercising, can the Fitbit motivate you exercise more? And perhaps more importantly, how well do fitness trackers work? Is the information steps, distance, calories even accurate? First of all, are they accurate? Do Fitbits measure what they claim to? Research suggests that for some measures, yes. All models of Fitbits tested showed high accuracy when it came to the number of steps taken. One study had folks wear a Fitbit and a research-grade accelerometer, the Acti-Graph, while walking on a treadmill. The Fitbit showed high correlation with steps recorded by the ActiGraph. In general, Fitbit output did not match treadmill output, but this effect was also dependent on speed. One study found that the faster the walking speed, the greater the error for the distance measure. This may be in part due to the fact that unless you specify a stride length in your Fitbit account, Fitbit picks a default for you based on your height. For measuring overall activity level, Fitbit is also a little shaky. In order to measure calories burned, participants are typically hooked up to a metabolic analyzer, a device that has a mouthpiece and accurately determines how many calories you are burning by measuring the oxygen you are consuming. Another study found that the Fitbit underestimated EE during brisk walking, but was more accurate at slow speeds. Yet another study, of folks in their 60s, also found that the Fitbit underestimated calories burned. That said the two models of the Fitbit had a lower error rate compared to both the Jawbone Up and Nike Fuel Band when it came to measuring caloric expenditures. So when it comes to accurately measuring your activity, it appears that Fitbit is good for counting steps, might need some help when it comes to measuring distance, and is not particularly reliable for counting calories burned. You have to actually use it. Do people stick with their Fitbit? And does the Fitbit motivate them to exercise more? Personalized feedback is highly motivating. While there are plenty of online testimonials of a loving, long-term relationship between an owner and their Fitbit, there are few studies, especially longitudinal studies, to examine whether people who start using a fitness tracker stick with it. A recent study of how technology can motivate people to increase fitness suggests that some features of the Fitbit may be more motivating than others. Reasonable goal-setting was critical to engagement, including allowing primary goals such as steps per day and secondary goals steps per week. People were also hesitant to share their exercise reports via social networks due to embarrassment or fear of boring people with posts about their exercise goals. Encouraging people to maintain healthy habits is a challenge that pre-dates technology. Fitness trackers allow people to track progress in the form of short-term goals such as number of steps walked per day before they reach some longer, more difficult goals such as weight loss ; achieving short-term goals might help people stick to their exercise routines. The live-time feedback from devices like the Fitbit allows individualized feedback, which may be key to motivation. But will we become a Fitbit nation or continue down a path toward nationwide obesity? We probably need a few more years to find out. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. Is this Bit Fit? Measuring the Quality of the Fitbit Step-Counter. Exploring goal-setting, rewards, self-monitoring, and sharing to motivate physical activity. Motivating elders to initiate and maintain exercise. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation,85, Validation of the Fitbit One activity monitor device during treadmill walking. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
The Quiet Selfie. The Obamas lay in the direction of Beyonce mag the Inhabitant Song of fact next to the globe installation by the side of the U. The Capture Selfie.