The market for fitness trackers seems to be booming, but are these gadgets actually effective?
Last year the University of Pittsburgh concluded that fitness trackers were “ineffective at sustaining weight loss”.
The two-year study, conducted by the university’s School of Education Department of Health and Physical Activity, involved 500 overweight volunteers. All were asked to diet and engage in more exercise, but only half were given a fitness tracker to help them.
The study found that the group wearing trackers lost 8lb (3.6kg), but the ones who didn’t lost 13lb (5.9kg).
“Trackers are a reliable measurement of our activity, but we can’t rely on them completely,” says Andrew Lane, professor of sport psychology at the University of Wolverhampton.
“We can’t expect just to buy one and that’s it – some of the responsibility sits with us too. We still have to get off that sofa and complete those 10,000 steps a day.”
Prof Lane believes that, if used inappropriately, they may even start to have a negative psychological effect.
“What if we start consistently not reaching goals set for us by them? Ultimately it would lead to us feeling demotivated – the opposite effect they are supposed to have.”
Companies such as DNAFit, FitnessGenes, Genetrainer and AnabolicGenes provide genetics and nutrition advise on how we should be training and what we should be eating after testing our genes and applying their algorithm to the analysis.
Body scanners and tech built into sports clothes are also giving us more detailed results. You can now get your heart rate, breathing and distance between steps shared with an app on your smartphone phone.
Our interest at FGS Health lies in how our existing highly reliable biometric authentication systems based on palm vein pattern recognition technology can be used for a multiple of different uses.
PalmSecure® features industry-leading authentication accuracy with extremely low false rates, and the non-intrusive and contactless reader device provides ease of use with virtually no physiological restriction for all users. Another interest we have is in tech tattoo’s – a skin-mounted monitor that connects to your smartphone to monitor heart rate, blood pressure and even track movement via GPS.
Innovation is a the heart of FGS Health and we’re always looking for new ways to use existing technology.
You’ve probably guessed we’re not your typical IT specialists. The world has changed… it’s not enough to be ‘just an IT company’ anymore.