Fitness trackers self-perception

Top 5 fitness trackers to get you in shape & keep you motivated

We live in a culture obsessed with physical appearance and paradoxically a growing epidemic of obesity (a recent report by the National Obesity Forum says a 50% obese population by 2050 could be an underestimate). Some would argue (and have) that technology has played its part (along with the prevalence of fast food chains and a plentiful supply of cheap unhealthy foods) in fostering an inactive generation glued to television screens, laptops, PC’s, Tablets, and Smartphones for entertainment.

However, with the growing popularity of fitness trackers, it would appear that the generation of Smartphone users are learning to use their attachment to gadgets for self-improvement:

The barrier of self-perception

We are all of us liars. Whether intentionally or not, it is engrained in our psyche to protect ourselves from uncomfortable truths (read about the Self-serving bias or Cognitive dissonance for just two well known examples) by distorting it; changing our beliefs; altering our values; and yes – even lying to ourselves. Understandably, this can be a major barrier to self-improvement by overestimating how much exercise we think we’ve done, and underestimating our total calorie intake. If you’re just starting out trying to keep fit, it can be hard. In order to be successful it can encompass a radical change to your lifestyle; from eating & sleeping habits, to physical activity and exercise. A lot of us are motivated to make these changes because we like the idea of being healthy – we want to look trimmer, we want to feel fitter, to live longer, attract a partner. But often we want results fast and noticeable change can be gradual when done healthily.
[alert style=”grey”]When exercising or trying to lose weight with the use of fitness tracker, you are given accurate measurements of your activity and can set yourself goals so that you can actually see whether or not you’ve accomplished what you set out to, and watch your progress over time.
[/alert] Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that simply being more self-aware can have benefits on your health. In one psychological study, by Harvard researcher Ellen Langer, eighty-four female room attendants from several hotels were split into two groups.
Fitness trackers
The first were informed that their work constituted an active lifestyle and was a good source of exercise; additionally they were given detailed information on calories burnt by various performed tasks (eg. changing linens, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom etc) that was pinned to their bulletin board. The second ‘control’ group were given no information at all. After a period of 4 weeks (and no change in actual behaviour), the informed group perceived themselves to be getting significantly more exercise and showed a decrease in weight, blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio, and BMI.

Top 5 Fitness trackers

Here’s our list of the top 5 fitness trackers to get you moving and your body healthy:

  1. Nike+ FuelBand
  2. Withings Pulse
  3. FitBit Force
  4. Jawbone Up24
  5. Polar Loop

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