There are so many gadgets these days that we can take anywhere to monitor our health. From forks that tell you when you are eating too fast to ones that vibrate, they give us a guarantee that we will live healthier lifestyles by giving us better knowledge about our habits. There is a lot of hype surrounding them but they might not be all that they promise to be. Yes, these gadgets may give us a better look at the things we do daily but the data might not do anything to get to the root of what really affects our physical wellbeing. This cannot be done with gadgets along; we must still use the old-fashioned method of being self-aware and to make changes.
For example, pedometers let you know how many steps you take each day but there are very few who will do something about it if their steps are too little. Americans no longer walk as much as they used and the only thing a pedometer does is alert the person who is already making lifestyle changes that they need to walk a bit more. These people are conscientious and are taking steps to become healthier. The truth is that most people find that they cannot or will not take the time to be healthier. A lot of people get motivated when they hear good news, such as losing a certain amount of weight, but they will not want to get off their couch when they realize they gained some. When faced with unpleasant realities about our body, we often look for miracle cures or magic pills that will help with the problem. A lot of people start to exercise and vow to stick to it, only to hang their trainers up a week or so later. However, even the most avid exerciser will not see results when relying on exercise alone.
Now, people are going to be saying “I already exercise and now I have to diet too?” This goes for the people who diet incessantly as well without making an effort to get any exercise. Only one method will not produce the results you want. You must eat less and move more. If you find a gadget that can measure the calories in everything you want to eat, you are going to be famous. Gadgets can help, this is true, but people still have to take the initiative to do others things that will supplement those gadgets.
Here are some studies that have found some proof that mobile health gadgets work, at least to an extent:
“Using a mobile app that tracks eating and activity helped people lose an average of 15 pounds and keep it off for at least a year, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.
But the technology only aided weight loss when its users also attended regular classes about nutrition and exercise. The app alone didn’t help.
“The app is important because it helps people regulate their behavior, which is really hard to do,” said Bonnie Spring, lead investigator of the study and a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Most of us have no idea how many calories we consume and how much physical activity we get. The app gives you feedback on this and helps you make smart decisions in the moment.”
“The ‘widget’ is critical but it is not magical by itself,” Spring added. “People need all the tools at their disposal.” (Marla Paul, 2012)
“A challenge in intensive obesity treatment is making care scalable. Little is known about whether the outcome of physician-directed weight loss treatment can be improved by adding mobile technology.” (Duncan et al, 2010)