Fitness devices tracking more than steps, according to new study

6 months 2 weeks 2 days ago September 05, 2016 Sep 5, 2016 Monday, September 05 2016 Monday, September 05, 2016 5:24:00 PM CDT in News
By: Emma Rechenberg, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Downloading a health-monitoring mobile app or investing in a fitness tracker may be in your best interest.

The Journal of the American Heart Association (JAHA) looked at 224 different studies, and concluded people using fitness tracking devices or health apps made more positive lifestyle changes, compared to those who did not use the devices.  

The study looked at different lifestyle categories including diet, exercise, reducing excessive alcohol intake and quitting smoking. Some of the 6-month studies were unable to determine mobile apps and trackers’ effects on reducing alcohol intake and smoking. However, it did show that relying on a phone or device is a more effective way to increase physical activity than taking these actions alone.

Gold’s Gym employee Mason Jones said he’s seen firsthand how fitness wearables are worth the investment.

“I think it’s easy for people to set goals for themselves and see what they can accomplish day by day,” he said.

He noted that while fitness trackers are trendy accessories at the moment, longterm use of these devices result in lasting changes in clients’ lifestyles and activity goals.

“When people accomplish those goals, it pushes them farther to set more goals for themselves and keep going through the weeks and months,” Jones said.

With apps sending push notifications or wrist trackers vibrating, Jones said tracking daily fitness is easier than ever.

“People want to be fit, people want to be active, people want to be healthy and it’s super easy to use,” he said.

Jones said he uses a nutrition app on his phone, but a variety of health apps are available to download. MKT Trail runner Justin Schilb said he uses the mobile app “Runkeeper” during his runs.

“This app allows me to track my mileage and pace per mile,” he said.

Schilb said he noticed a difference in his running regimen after using the app, stating the app helped him “run more efficiently.”

Schilb said the app is helping him train for the Roots N Blues N BBQ 10K on October 1.   

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