4 Reasons Why Fitness Trackers Are Useless
In the UK, about 40% of fitness band users lose interest in them after about 6 months, according to CS Insight. Endeavour Partners, a US-based research firm, reports that about 1 in 10 Americans owned a fitness band of some sort at the time of the study. However, the same study concluded that about 50% of the fitness bulge enthusiasts no longer put on theirs. Some became worn out by their fitness tracker demands. Others just got bored after attaining their set milestone—even social, group competitions no longer make them bulge. Even more, others didn’t really feel that kick to get up and get moving after the new gadget’s novelty wore off. A few others found that the thing on the wrist either never helped make any difference or, in contrast, made them less fit. Still, others sport theirs religiously. Here’s the case for “why fitness trackers are useless”.
Why Fitness Trackers are Useless
1. More Stress and Self-Loathing
Take the case of one Duke University study which showed a number of people were becoming so obsessed with attaining their fitness band goals that when they didn’t, they became stressed. Stress is not fit. Plus they ended up feeling awful about themselves and stopped giving a crap about fitness partly or altogether.
Then there’s the case of Abbey Sharp, and probably more others. She is a Registered Dietician and health blogger at Abbeys Kitchen. Abbey complained earlier in May 2016 that her Fitbit was actually ruining her fitness and fitness plan—making her unfit. She complained that with most fitness bands steps are over-rated. You have to get your steps in first before doing anything more impactful, like lifting heavy.
By the time you clock past the 10,000 steps daily quota, which is also recommended by the American Heart Association, your conditioning is less oriented to weights than to taking a nap. Abbey complained that as a result, she was losing muscle and gaining more fat. She was becoming more and more unfit—and her Fitbit Flex was to blame.
2. Accuracy Matters
This issue is legendary. From overestimating to underestimating anything from heart rate to steps, fitness bands are smart idiots. They work, but not really. Though comparatively on point than a smart phone and web based fitness trackers, fitness bands are yet to become as practical as they should.
So when the Nike+ FuelBand over-estimates how much calories you burned from that party’s munch the other night, it inadvertently encourages you to eat more to gain sufficient energy to clock past the 7K steps you counted the last time you cuffed it on. So you add on more weight and far quicker than if you didn’t have the band on or with you.
Moreover, it is becoming apparent that the true fuel for the fitness band drive has been the motivation kick most people get out of the devices’ maverick-ism. At least, for a while. This is why.
Like any new tech toy (your pricey smartphone included), fitness bands are more looks than substance. Right about the moment the cool and fashionable looks get used to, that glorified band is no longer chic to flaunt around. It becomes ever so awkward to try and match it to your dress or tan shoes and coat, or that stainless steel necklace—to make it worth the time off the jogging path.
Worse, fitness band companies have decided that any firmware or algorithm update has to come with a brand new model—a complete, new device that requires you ditch your previous model and buy the new model. No updates required, apparently. Wrong.
4. Money Down The Drain
These things aren’t the cheapest motivational aural or visual bunnies you’ll ever buy. Some are affordable alright, but then those are the ones missing the important features such as heart rate monitoring, stopwatch, time and date, and GPS.
Go for the ones featuring those specs and you have to part with an average of $280 (GBP 211.95), it’ll go way up if you like them in shining armor—more like the Tag Heuer Connected (GBP 1,100).
Are Fitness Bands Worth It?
Here’s what one reader had to say (we bet some will agree, and others won’t):
“(You) may not find interest in these devices. But they are powerful tools for health if used properly and with the proper mindset. The data is only as good as what you do with it. If you lose interest by reaching a step goal then these things aren’t for you.” She says.
“For me, they motivate me to take that extra step and take the stairs over the elevator. For that reason alone, they are worth every penny. “ She concludes. That is probably how to leave the discussion for now.
See recommended fitness trackers on Amazon
Fitbit Charge 2
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Misfit Shine 2
Xiaomi Mi Band 2