Do Wearable Fitness Trackers Motivate Us To Move More? Here’s The Research. 

September 16, 2020

It’s no secret that many of us don’t get as much physical activity as we should. Global health statistics report that 31% of the overall adult population has insufficient physical activity levels, and that number is even higher in the Americas, with 43% of adults coming up short. These statistics pose an inevitable question—how do we change our behavior? Human motivation is a tricky subject, but many researchers point to wearable fitness trackers as one possible site of intervention.

So, what does the research say? Could wearable fitness trackers be the catalyst to jumpstart your #NewBeginning? 

A recently published meta-analysis reviewed the studies conducted on fitness trackers over the last ten years. Their goal was to determine if fitness trackers increase physical activity among adults. A whopping total of 3605 adult participants were included in their analysis, across the twenty-one most relevant studies included in the final review. They looked at a whole lot of data. 

This massive pile of research revealed that fitness trackers did have a significant and positive impact on the number of steps participants took each day. On average, people who used a fitness tracker took approximately 500 more steps per day than those without one. Those steps add up. The research also shows that self-monitoring is a behavioral change technique that positively affects the amount of physical activity we get each day. This is important, because self-monitoring is exactly what a fitness tracker enables us to do. 

What are “behavioral change techniques” and how do they work? 

Fitness trackers inspire physical activity because they are designed to do just that. Every fitness tracker has behavioral change techniques (referred to as BCTs in the research world) built into the design. These are tools to help you stay motivated, like self-monitoring, goal-setting, social support and comparison, prompts, and rewards. Utilizing these tools in combination with each other is how you get the most motivation out of your wearable device.

For example, the Fitbit Charge 3 tracks your total daily movement (self-monitoring), but also gives you a notification to get up and move every hour (a helpful prompt). The Fitbit will celebrate when you reach your daily targets (a reward) and you can customize those checkpoints in the app (goal-setting). 

Want a free Fitbit Charge 3? Enter our FitKit giveaway. (No purchase necessary!)

That’s right! If you want to try a wearable fitness tracker for yourself, enter our #NewBeginnings FitKit giveaway. In addition to a Fitbit Charge 3, the winner will also receive a Fitbit Aria 2 scale and a Nutribullet Pro. It’s literally everything you need to jumpstart your healthy habits this fall. 

All you have to do to win is follow Zeamo on social media and fill out the short (super short—15 seconds or less) form at this link. 

Fall is here and so is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a transitional season, so maybe you’re intensifying your existing workout routine, or maybe you’re starting brand new—either way, now is the time to embrace change. Here’s to #NewBeginnings. 

© Zeamo 2020