Fitness trackers may not be the most elegant accessory choice out there, but as it turns out, they just might be the smartest – and the most beneficial.
Yep, the University of Sydney has found that fitness trackers and apps are helping us exercise more. People who track the number of steps they walk actually take around 2,000 more steps a day than their track-free counterparts.
Fitness trackers and apps aren’t exactly a new phenomenon in the fitness world. 396 million ‘wearable devices’ were shipped worldwide last year, and My Fitness Pal and Fitbit are two of the highest-grossing apps in the GooglePlay store, each making over USD$1.4 million last year in revenue.
But, this is the first study to actually prove the effectiveness of fitness trackers and apps in improving activity levels. Lead author of the study, Dr Liliana Laranjo, says that alongside trackers and apps, prompts and interventions are also particularly effective at encouraging more activity. Specifically, things like personalisation and text messaging.
At The Latch, we all have our favourite fitness trackers and apps. Here are just a few of our team’s favourites:
Kate Evans, wellness producer
5K Runner isn’t great at tracking steps, as I run on a treadmill – it’ll tell me I’ve done 460 metres after 18 minutes of running… The voice on the app sounds a bit like Meghan Markle though!”
Katie Skelly, lifestyle editor
“It’s not a fitness tracker, but I love the Nike Run Club app. It tracks your run and has guided running from a coach. Genuinely helped me start running.”
Anita Anabel, entertainment editor
“Fitbit is my favourite fitness tracker! More specifically, the Versa. But I do like the health activity tracker on Apple Watch.”