Wearable fitness monitors don’t influence physical activity

In a study carried out at Oklahoma State University, which has been accepted for publication in the PHEnex Journal, it was found that wearable fitness monitors do not necessarily motivate exercise. The study consisted of only a small cohort (36 participants) of Physical Education students. In the study, participants were given a monitor which they were told would capture the amount of sunlight that they receive each day. They were then later given a monitor which they were told would track the number of steps that they took each day. Both monitors were actually measuring how active each of the study participants were.

Interestingly, it was found that the students’ activity levels didn’t change with the monitoring. Clarkson University Associate Professor of Physical Therapy & Physician Assistant Studies Ali Boolani who was conducting the study, with Oklahoma State University Associate Professor of Physical Education Timothy Baghurst, said that as physical education students “they should be modeling good health. This shows you, don’t rely on an exercise monitor as your motivation.” Boolani and Baghurst are keen to develop the study further and explore the activity levels among different professions and university disciplines, in multiple sites.


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