Step counters and activity trackers like fitbit and woop are becoming more and more popular. What are the actual benefits of this new technology and is it worth your investment?
A step counter is a device, usually worn on the hip or wrist, that counts the number of steps taken by the wearer. The benefits of using a step counter are many and varied. Here’s two main pros of tracking your steps and activity:
Regular walking can also help to lower blood pressure by making the walls of your blood vessels more flexible. This reduces resistance to blood flow and lowers your overall blood pressure.
Walking helps to strengthen bones and muscles, which can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis as you age. The impact that walking has on bones also helps to prevent fractures in older adults. In addition, research suggests that postmenopausal women who walk regularly have greater bone density than those who don’t walk. All these effects combine to make walking an important part of maintaining bone health as we age.
In addition to its physical benefits, walking can also improve mental health and well-being. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking three times per week has been shown to decrease feelings of anxiety and depression while improving mood. Furthermore, regular walks in nature have been linked with increased levels of self-esteem and happiness.
While step/activity trackers can have some great benefits, there are also potential negative impacts that should be considered. One of the main concerns is that people may become too obsessed with their numbers and start to focus more on hitting their daily goals than enjoying their activities. This could lead to people feeling burned out or discouraged if they don’t meet their expectations. Instead of focusing on the numbers, pay attention to how your body feels during exercise – this is a better indicator of whether or not you’re working hard enough. It’s also important to avoid becoming too reliant on the device. If you find that you can’t go for a run or hit the gym without your fitness tracker, then it’s time to take a step back. These devices should be used as aids, not crutches – if you rely on them too much, you could find yourself in trouble if something happens to the device (e.g., batteries die, strap breaks). It’s important to remember that we were able to exercise before these devices existed – so we definitely don’t need them in order to stay active!
Another concern is that step/activity tracker data could be used to discriminate against certain groups of people. For example, insurance companies could use this information to charge higher rates for people who don’t get enough exercise or employers could use it to screen out applicants who aren’t physically active enough. There are also privacy concerns about how this data could be used and shared without users’ consent.
Overall, while step/activity trackers can have some positive effects, there are also potential negatives that should be considered before using one.As technology advances, it becomes more and more likely that we can use it for good and do harm with it. While you can definitely use fitness trackers for positive reasons, you should always remember that writing down your activity on paper or keeping track in your head is a viable option too!