Fitness Trackers Could Get You Stepping More — Even If You Don't Look at Them – HealthDay News

HealthDay operates under the strictest editorial standards. Our syndicated news content is completely independent of any financial interests, is based solely on industry-respected sources and the latest scientific research, and is carefully fact-checked by a team of industry experts to ensure accuracy.
Please see our Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy for more detail.
HeathDay is committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of impartial editorial standards in the content that we present on our website. All of our articles are chosen independent of any financial interests. Editors and writers make all efforts to clarify any financial ties behind the studies on which we report.
FRIDAY, Sept. 30, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Wearing a fitness tracker may help you get more steps in — even if you never give it a glance.
A new study found that folks who wore a pedometer averaged 318 more steps a day than those who didn't, even without specific fitness goals or incentives and even if they couldn't see the step count.
"Humans are hardwired to respond to what is being measured because if it's being measured, it feels like it matters," said study co-author William Tayler, a professor of business at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
"When people go get an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, of course it's going to affect their behavior; they obtained the device with the goal of walking more," he said in a university news release. "But it's helpful for individuals to know that even without trying, just being aware that something is tracking your steps increases your activity."
To learn how much people walk with and without a pedometer, researchers needed a way to measure step counts.
So they asked the 90 participants for permission to pull information generally from their phones because the iPhone has a default step-tracking feature that few participants were aware of. They didn't tell participants they were gathering their step counts from the weeks prior to the study.
"It was a bit of a sneaky way to get the data we needed," Tayler said.
Then, researchers gave some participants a pedometer without a display. Other participants, without the pedometers, did not know the study's purpose.
Two weeks later, the team gathered step counts from participants' iPhones again. The finding: Wearing a pedometer was associated with higher step counts.
"Measurement and tracking precede improvement," said study co-author Christian Tadje, a BYU graduate who spearheaded the research as a student working with the Healthcare Industry Research Collaborative.
"If you want something to improve — for example, a key performance indicator in the workplace or a personal health goal — our study shows that you should consider tracking your progress," Tadje said in the release.
Modest increases in physical activity have cumulative benefits, according to the study, so the findings could be useful to those who promote public health.
"If I were an insurance executive, I'd be interested to know that you can hand out basic fitness trackers to people, and as long as they put them on, they're going to walk more," Tayler said.
The findings were recently published in the American Journal of Health Behavior.
More information
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests fitness activity guidelines.
SOURCE: Brigham Young University, news release, Sept. 22, 2022
This story may be outdated. We suggest some alternatives.
The content contained in this article is over two years old. As such our recommendation is that you reference the articles below for the latest updates on this topic. This article has been left on our site as a matter of historic record. Please contact us at with any questions.
By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
Published on September 30, 2022
Copyright © 2020 HealthDay.
All rights reserved.
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *