Can Fitness Trackers Help You Get Fit?

Fitness trackers, such as Fitbit, are popular at the moment, but how accurate are they when it comes to exercise metrics? Fitbit, for instance, comes with a default of 10,000 steps per day (about five miles), so it might feel as if you’ve ‘done your bit’ when you hit your daily target, but how do you know how much exercise you actually need to benefit. 

The 10,000-steps-a-day goal does have some scientific basis. Medical guidelines indicate that we should be doing 150 minutes a week of moderate activity – about 8,000 steps a day, so 10,000 sounds like a handy round number, as well as being fairly realistic target for most. But then again, not all steps are equal. A lot will depend on the person, their gait and how long their legs are. People who are already fit from other activities won’t see much benefit from those 10,000 steps, as pace and intensity will make a big difference too.

That said, wearable devices do offer people an attainable goal that’s is roughly equivalent to the minimum amount of exercise needed. What’s more, it encourages users to put some thought into their routine, as it might involve walking a longer route that you wouldn’t normally take when leaving the office for lunch, for example.

Just don’t scoff a chocolate cake at the end of the day to celebrate, as that might just undo any benefit.

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