By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT

Some truth about activity trackers
By Kelly Farris,  ACSM CPT
Owner of Ladies Workout Snellville

Do you remember when you had to wait weeks to see how a photograph turned out? Today, via the internet, the entire world can see a picture you took 15 seconds ago.

We love technology. We love instant gratification. Both of these loves manifest themselves in tiny devices called activity trackers, also known as fitness wearables.

Perhaps you have never heard of a FitBit. Let me explain. Activity trackers are small electronic devices that track everything from caloric expenditure to quality of sleep. According to the American Council on Exercise, there were 19 million of these devices in use during 2014 and that number is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years. One report predicts the number to triple by 2018.

The American Council on Exercise actually commissioned a study comparing the accuracy of five popular fitness trackers. While they found all devices had strengths and weaknesses, they arrived at some basic truths. In general, activity trackers are most accurate for lower intensity activities such as walking. This means an activity tracker could be beneficial to new exercisers, giving a way to assess where they are, set goals and see improvements. (ACE, 2015)

The true benefit of using an activity tracker isn’t knowing an exact number, but being aware of overall daily activity. Having a small reminder and constant feedback can be motivating. Studies show that people are 30 to 40 percent more active when they use an activity tracker. This was the take-home message from ACE’s study: “Do whatever it takes — whatever works for you—to be more active.” (ACE, 2015)

If wearing an activity tracker helps you do that then get out there and HAVE FUN with it! All the steps add up in real life, wether they are virtually recorded or not. The important thing is to GET UP & GET MOVING!

Kelly Farris is the owner of Ladies Workout Snellville, Time4Results Personal Training and the President of KLF Fitness.

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