Increasing physical activity through continuous monitoring?
With costs decreasing, availability increasing, constant enhancements in the technology and increases in validity of the data being recorded wearables are fast becoming an necessity for the every day athlete of the 21st Century. In fact, I’ve read in two different articles suggestions that the market for wearable tech will surpass $52.5 billion USD by 2024, whilst another forum expects the value to reach $64 billion USD by 2023!
There are several factors that contribute to engagement with a device. These factors include the accuracy of tracking, social functionality and the physical form/appearance of the device.
A study on adolescents suggested that having friends who also using the technology lead to greater adherence, across a 6 week period. 83% of users in a study with a population of 18-24 year olds found the most helpful features were those which provided them with motivational cues.
One study shows that users over the age of 60 decreased their waist circumference and increased daily step count in a 12 week period.
A meta-analysis by Brickwood et al (2019) use of wearables resulted in a significant increase in daily step count, moderate and vigorous activity, and overall energy expenditure.
Despite these things, 1 in 3 users across all age groups student stop using the trackers within 6 months. A particular research group found that "former" users of trackers were “fuelled by curiosity on quantifying data, rather than a desire to increase their physical activity, whilst another article suggests that shorter term users were focused on the “competition” aspect of the technology.
So as with the majority of things in life, if you are intrinsically motivation, striving to achieve from an internal source, then you are likely to sustain the new behaviour!
With that said...would you wear a wearable?