When it comes to maintaining your health, there are a lot of factors to take note of — from watching your heart rate to tracking your daily steps. That is partly why fitness apps and wearables have become so popular in recent years. But if you have ever wondered whether investing in those trackers is actually worth it, it looks like there is no need to worry. According to a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, health apps and wearables really do improve fitness.
Researchers examined data from 224 previous studies, all of which investigated whether different apps and wearables actually help people make positive changes to their lifestyle. It turns out the items really live up to their promise. The study discovered that using fitness trackers (whether in app or wearable form) seemed to help people reach their health goals across the board, from diet to exercise to quitting cigarettes and alcohol.
How? Pedometers and other wearables seemed to effectively motivate people to abandon their couches and walk around more. Meanwhile, those who used mobile and web-based health apps for fitness goals also saw more success, especially when combined with in-person consultations with a doctor.
Most of the included studies only examined individuals for a few months at a time, so more research needs to be done to conclude whether these apps and fitness wearables work for individuals over the long term. Still, it's nice to know that these products are doing exactly what they're designed to do: making it a little easier for you to become healthier, and happier.