Today I read several articles with headlines along the lines of “One in Three Dump Fitness Trackers Within a Year”, these articles went to lengths to point out that fitness trackers were a fad and that people didn’t see the benefits, the articles mainly blamed our “instant gratification” culture for people dumping their trackers. However, I don’t see it this way.
First of all, this data clearly shows that a great majority, 66% of people, actually use their fitness trackers for over a year. That’s impressive. When you think about all those people given trackers through schemes (my work gave them out recently) or for presents, I’m amazed that after a year 66% of people are still wearing them. Surely this is a big positive and shows that people are looking to grab hold of exercise.
Secondly the articles didn’t mention what the 33% who stopped using their trackers did afterwards. Perhaps they found that they had lost weight and were more active and didn’t need the tracker any more – they knew they had to walk / run more? Perhaps it’s people like me who were given a tracker for a short term project but then had no use for it because they go running regularly and measure in time / miles? Who knows. Just as getting a tracker isn’t the thing that makes you more healthy, losing a tacker doesn’t make you less healthy either.
Finally, the articles bemoaned the loss of fitness trackers as if it was a loss of fitness, it wasn’t, it was just a loss of measurement. Those who dropped the tracker probably saw no benefit from using it any more (if they ever did).