Your FitBit Might Not Help You Lose Weight, Just So You Know
So you can stop obsessively tracking your heart rate now.
If you've developed a bond to rival that of mother and first-born child with your FitBit, then you might need to sit down for what you're about to read next. The tracking wristband which monitors step count, calories burnt, heart rate and more might not actually help you to lose weight, according to a ruthless bunch of myth-busting scientists.
Just to piss on your parade, a group of researchers carried out a study where they assessed two groups of people aged between 18 and 35 over a two-year period; one group who wore wearable activity trackers regularly, and another group who followed a similar routine but used a website to monitor progress instead.
And depressingly, it was found that an average of 7.72 pounds was lost by the group who wore their trackers, in comparison to the non tracker-watch-wearing lot, who lost an average 13 pounds. Ouch, that's almost double.
And the lead researcher of the study, Dr. John Jakicic from the University of Pittsburgh, warned there's a danger in spreading the message that wearing one of these wristwatches will automatically lead to a noticeable difference in weight.
"We should not simply tell everyone to go and buy an activity monitor and that it will help them to lose weight," he said.
While he clarified that the activity trackers do make a difference for some people with the constant reminder of exercise output, Dr. Jakicic was keen to remind people "there is so much more that we need to learn about how these devices lead to behaviour change."
And he makes a good point - there are many factors involved in weight loss, and while a greater awareness about how much exercise you're doing can aid some people, it's not the be all and end all. So use that FitBit by all means, but don't expect it to be some kind of magic wand to transform you into the figure of a Victoria's Secret model.
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