Wearable Devices Aren't Always Reliable for Health Tracking

Wearable devices used to count calories, add steps or track fitness progress may not be the most reliable way to get healthy, a new study reports.

While the market for digital wearables like the Apple watch or the FitBit is growing exponentially, consumers should check their enthusiasm, say researchers from Lancaster University.

"Devices are marketed under the premise that they will help improve general health and fitness, but the majority of manufacturers provide no empirical evidence to support the effectiveness of their products," the team wrote in PLOS Medicine.

Evidence is anecdotal

According to the study, about one-third of users stop wearing these types of devices after six months, and half have abandoned them after one year.

One area where wearable technology might be more effective is for patients with chronic conditions, like diabetes or heart problems.

"Wearables could effortlessly provide detailed longitudinal data that monitors patients' progress without the need to involve more sophisticated, uncomfortable and expensive alternatives," said Dr. David Ellis, study author.

The other problem is that accuracy between different types of wearable devices isn't consistent.

"Recent comparisons between various wearables for tracking physical activity showed large variations in accuracy between different devices - with error margins of up to 25 percent," the team wrote.

Source: Lancaster University
Image courtesy of nenetus/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to BattleDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

More Articles

Scientists have discovered that a single gene forms a common link between type 2 diabetes and...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Natural supplements like cinnamon extract and apple cider vinegar could hold the key to lowering blood sugar levels, according to a recent...

Could a person's risk for type 2 diabetes be written in their genes?

According to a study recently published in ...

Women who frequently shift around their sleeping hours could have worse metabolic health outcomes than their peers who stick with a...

The presence of the hormone leptin may hinder prenatal development, which could explain the origin of type 2 diabetes, according to...

An analysis of fossilized Native American feces shows that our ancestors ate up to sixteen times the fiber that we do today, but our...

Managing diabetes is hugely challenging for people of any age, but a new study suggests that young people may suffer all the more....

Disruptions to the gut’s ecosystem could be a future symptom facing young children who take antibiotics, which makes them more susceptible...

Breastfeeding a newborn holds many benefits for mommy and baby; it reduces the baby's risk for colds and viruses, it helps his bones (and yours)...

Fans of the Dexcom G5 Mobile have something to smile about.

At yesterday's hearing with the U.S. Food and Drug...

If you start your day with a cup of tea and end it with a glass of red wine, your blood sugar may thank you.

At least that...

As medical experts continue to debate whether or not "healthy obesity" can even exist, one new study suggests that risk for heart disease...

For years, type 1 diabetics have been anxiously waiting for that medical marvel that can stop the constant injections: the artificial...

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌...