Cool, flashy, and hardcore looking wristbands that promise to measure your heart rate, steps, sleep, calories burned, and even stress levels can be seen on everyone these days. And yet, obesity and cardiovascular disease remain on the rise. How can that be?

Many fitness researchers and coaches believe that there is a disconnect between the wearable "fitness tracker" market and how people are using them (or rather, not using them). In a nutshell, recording all that data doesn’t necessarily lead to behavior changes, which in the end is the real goal.

One perplexing study, among many negative studies, was released in September 2016 called Effect of Wearable Technology Combined With a Lifestyle Intervention on Long-term Weight Loss. It showed that people who didn’t use fitness trackers at all actually lost more weight (8 lbs, on average) than their smartwatch wielding friends. Despite this and other damning evidence, years later the fitness tracker industry is even bigger, with more options to choose from, and it shows no signs of slowing down. So, what the heck is going on?


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