The Limitations Of Activity Trackers
If you have a goal to take a certain number of steps or more accurately track the calories you burn during a workout, activity trackers can be useful tools. But a study published in JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association suggests they don’t typically match the impact of health counseling when the goal is weight loss.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education's Department of Health and Physical Activity tracked the weight losss success of 470 subjects between the ages of 18 and 35. For the first 6 months, all were coached on diet and exercise.
Then some participants were given a wearable device while the rest continued with behavioral weight loss counseling. After the 24-month program was completed, subjects wearing activity trackers lost 7.7 pounds compared to the 13 pounds lost by subjects who continued with counseling.