Today’s New York Times article by Aaron Carroll, “Wearable Fitness Devices Don’t Seem to Make You More Fit,” elicits a big “Duh!” to quote cartoon obesity spokesperson Homer Simpson. Perhaps the novelty of the wristwatches, the chest and biceps sensors, and the elaborate computer analyses are in and of themselves worth having, for status and ego orientations. But the point appears to be: wearing a $100-$500 piece of neoprene/brushed aluminum/LED doesn’t replace what is required to lose weight, or to improve fitness: human resolve, and perhaps a really good scare!
To summarize the results of the first large scale (450 participants) comprehensive (weight loss and fitness) longitudinal (18 months) study, participants with technology lost half of what those without access to the technology. All had initial and telephone counseling, weight-loss plans, and target weights along the way. And fitness? The technology group was no more fit at the end of the study than the non-technology group.
As a gift, or a “shiny new thing,” technology is great. For results, one perhaps must look a little deeper within!