It hasn’t been long since wearable devices became all the rage. Solidifying their place in the technology world only a few years ago, they’re becoming more and more useful and integrative with every lifestyle.
Technology enterprises have jumped on board and created apps that are more and more accessible on a watch-sized screen. Check your email, send text messages, and even get updates from your favorite sports teams delivered to the tiny screen on your wrist. Everything is available at the touch of a button.
But how are these devices changing the way we behave? How are they changing the way we workout? Have wearable devices fully infiltrated our daily lives?
Let’s take a look at the ways these fitness trackers are having positive effects on the overall health of users and how they will will keep being used in the future.
How Do Wearable Devices Affect Our Daily Lives?
Fitness trackers, while they aren’t always used to their full capability, are a good way to keep yourself accountable for your daily activity. They are the perfect catalyst for understanding the correlation between our bodies and the energy we expend.
Recent studies have shown that fitness trackers help minimize sedentary lifestyles. Exercise only won’t necessarily mitigate the dangerous effects of a sedentary lifestyle, but the trackers make their users more aware of their daily activity. Wearable devices are being utilized to harbor competition among coworkers, social groups, and even households.
More important than their competitive use, they are encouraging wearers to get up from their seats and get moving. Moving for just 5 minutes a day can help your overall health. People who sit at their desks all day with occasional trips to the water cooler or the copy machine benefit from having the personal motivation that a fitness tracker provides.
Trackers won’t automatically make you healthier, but they make the user aware of how much, or how little, they are truly moving around each day. It can be an eye-opener when you look at your total steps for the day and only see 500 steps. That alone has proven to be enough motivation for a lot of users to get up and get moving.
Wearable Devices Are Changing the Way We Workout
Personalized Progress & Goals
When you go to a gym or sign up for a generic workout program, it’s not always going to be tailored to your own personal fitness goals. The beauty of a wearable device is that workout plans can be created to fit your lifestyle and your own goals.
Most fitness trackers or wearable devices come pre-programmed with daily activity goals, but don’t fall into the trap of making those goals your own. Change the daily steps, calories burned, and even your target heart rate by changing the settings on your fitness device. That way, you will be using your device to its full extent, and you’ll see more progress!
Trainer Tip: Within each goal you set, create mini-challenges for yourself. Make it a goal to get up and walk around for 5-10 minutes each hour, or to walk for 30 minutes during your lunch break. Mini-challenges make it easy to meet your daily goals!
It’s Pretty NEAT!
Yes, wearable devices are very cool. But that’s not all: they are making us aware of NEAT: Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. In other words, fitness trackers keep track of our activity that isn’t related to exercise or working out. We burn calories just standing and sitting up with good posture, and those non-exercise activities can burn up to 2,000 calories a day!
The more active you are in your non-exercise activities, the more you’re burning calories and the lower your metabolic rate is. All of these activities are tracked on your wearable device.
That is pretty neat. Smartwatches and wearable devices are able to track this information. Use that data as a motivator for you to sit up a little straighter, take the stairs, or just get up and move around more instead of sitting at your desk all day.
Wearable devices make it even easier to stay connected to social sites and online communities. Fitness trackers have teamed up with apps and fitness companies to integrate personalized fitness with social accountability.
It’s no secret that social acceptance has affected us in one way or another. We look for that stamp of approval that social sites give us through likes and shares. Fitness tracker communities work the same way. Other people in your network can see your fitness goals and see your progress.
Some online groups set personal and group goals that are met each week or month, so apart from your own goals, you have a deadline that others can help keep you accountable. When other people know your goals and can track your progress, it can encourage you to meet your daily, weekly, and monthly goals because that sense of approval is needed from outside sources.
Healthcare + Technology
The billion dollar marriage between technology and healthcare has introduced a low-cost, integrative, and cost effective way to monitor calories, steps, and sleep cycles. Studies have shown that while the results are not immediate, people who regularly wear these fitness trackers have better overall health than those who may not wear these devices regularly or at all.
While the calorie counters aren’t always 100% accurate, they give a pretty good idea of how many calories you are consuming and how many you are expending. Having an accountability tracker is enough to make you rethink dessert…
Having the ability to monitor your heart rate and calories can make the user acutely aware of health and shed light to areas where they may need improvement. If they consistently have a high heart rate, it could be because of a number of variables in their life like work, home life, or any other stressors. Knowing about how many calories the user is intaking and expending everyday can help reduce weight-related issues.
Overall, the general health of those who use wearable devices and fitness trackers is improved over time than those who do not participate in some kind of fitness monitor or have a progress tracker in place.
Taking the Next Step
There is a lot of room for growth and potential for wearable devices in the health and fitness world that are being tested and explored to make a seamless integration in the lives of people who regularly use fitness trackers.
- Pharmaceutical companies are starting to use technology to integrate medicine more easily into everyday lives, without customers feeling like they have to change their lifestyles to suit their medical needs.
- Watches and wearable devices are already tracking our body movements and pulse, but there is progress in the works that will allow our devices to send us health alerts like if the user has low blood sugar or an irregular heartbeat.
- Fitness companies teaming up with smartwatches and wearable devices would give the user a sense of exclusivity and involvement with their gym membership if they were able to schedule training sessions or reserve spots in group fitness classes from their device.
Companies like GymGO have already started to team up with personal trainers and have built compatible apps for Apple and Android that allow the wearer to access all their personal health and fitness goals on their smartwatches and fitness trackers. This gives the wearer and the trainer access to the same information and data in order to monitor progress and set goals for themselves.
A personal trainer that has access to this information not only allows them to track their client’s progress and but helps motivate and encourage their clients to their own specific goals and accomplishments. Personalized programs are becoming more and more feasible because of wearable technology and the ease of integration into the lives of clients and trainers alike!