hero image

According to a new Australian study, buying a smartwatch, pedometer, or fitness tracker could be worthwhile if you’ve struggled to muster the motivation to work out. Researchers from the University of Southern Australia find a link between decreasing weight, increasing exercise, and fitness tracker monitors.

Fitness trackers motivate individuals to walk 1,800 extra steps

The study reveals that fitness tracking gadgets encourage individuals to walk for around 40 minutes daily (approximately 1,800 additional steps). As a result, this can help an individual lose about 2.2 pounds on average.  

The researcher evaluated almost 400 studies comprising 164,000 individuals living across the globe who have been using fitness trackers to monitor physical activity. The study team demonstrated the potential of low-cost interventions such as fitness trackers to fight public health issues such as heart disease, obesity, cancer, type II diabetes, stokers, and mental disorders. 

UniSA Ph.D. candidate and lead researcher Ty Ferguson explained that although fitness gadgets are popular, there is still skepticism regarding their accuracy and efficacy and if they lead to unhealthy eating disorders and obsessive behaviors. However, based on evidence, researchers indicate that tracking devices are beneficial in helping people stay fit. 

Ferguson said the reviewed studies indicate that wearable fitness monitors are effective across age groups if used for long periods. Notably, they are instrumental in encouraging individuals to exercise regularly, making it routine, and setting weight loss goals.

Individuals who used fitness trackers lost 2.2 pounds in five months 

Although losing 2.2 pounds in five months might look insignificant, the study authors point out that it’s notable when considering the public health impact across the whole population. 

Co-study author Prof Carol Maher said that considering the studies weren’t on weight loss, they wouldn’t expect significant weight loss. However, an average person will gain around 0.5 kg in a year, so losing 1kg in five months is quite substantial. 

Besides weight loss, fitness activity monitors show a link between cholesterol and low blood pressure in Type II diabetes.