ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – Emergency and urgent care physician Dr. Sonny Saggar has the latest information on new research of the Fitbit.
Fitbit reports that it has almost 10 million paid active users, but there seems to be no evidence these devices raise activity levels enough to improve health.
There have been many marketing promises for wearable activity monitors, telling us how much we are moving and how many calories we have burned during the day, might help some people to drop pounds. Those promises were based on studies that were small scale and short term, so it was still unclear how much activity monitors actually did help with weight loss.
People seemed to abandon the devices because they didn’t glean any new information. If you’re inactive, you know it. And so the last thing you want is to see it announced on a screen.
Although the research studies seem to conclude that devices that monitor and provide feedback on physical activity may not offer an advantage over standard behavioral weight loss approaches, Dr. Saggar doesn’t think that means we should stop using them.
You don’t get more fit by just owning a treadmill or pair of running shoes, or by signing up for gym membership; you have to actually use these things.
It’s Dr. Saggar’s suspicion that the Fitbit is actually a very good idea, because it focuses our minds on the goals we want to achieve, but if we don’t use the device, or if we just quit, then it might actually be worse than not having one at all, and that’s what this research is demonstrating.