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Survey shows overall habits, stressors of wearing a fitness tracker

While putting on your fitness tracker has become part of your daily morning routine, how much is it really impacting your overall health?

By Pam JannesPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Watches and bracelets aren’t the only accessories people are wearing on their wrists these days. Whether it’s to make a statement or achieve a goal, fitness trackers have become a common staple for many to put on each day.

A common goal to achieve when wearing one has been to reach the 10,000 step mark. But as technology has progressed, so have the abilities on these wearable trainers. Users are able to measure heart rate, oxygen levels, and even count the number of calories burned during specific activities. But technology isn’t the only thing ever-changing, so are our everyday lives. The Coronavirus pandemic changed our usual methods of exercise so, with indoor orders and curfews in 2020, we too found new ways to adjust.

The team at Joybird conducted a study of over 1,800 people where they analyzed data about the usage of fitness trackers, habits, and stressors. Confirming how prevalent fitness trackers are today, 91% of respondents own and use a fitness tracker of some kind. Some of the most popular fitness trackers out there include Apple Watches, Fitbits, and Garmin watches. There has been an increase in more budget-friendly tracker options, which could play a role in the high percentage of users. However, only 38% of those surveyed say they wore them daily. Researchers say they were surprised to see that statistic given the amount of pressure for wearers to hit their daily milestones. Some trends the survey found were that 23% used their tracker daily to track exercise progress such as running, yoga sessions, etc. 13% of people completed their daily fitness goals, while 58% completed them between one and four days a week.

While some may feel pressure to hit a daily milestone, the survey also asked to see how many people became motivated to participate in an unplanned activity due to a notification from their tracker. They found this was the case for 70% of people in the survey. When it comes to how often this happened, 6% said daily while a whopping 50% said between once or twice a week. A big selling point for most fitness trackers is the promise to remind you to partake in some sort of activity each day.

Though the unplanned activity statistic appears to be positive, the pressure from fitness trackers has taken a toll on many. 47% of people say they’ve felt pressure, stress, or anxiety to work out due to their fitness tracker. Looking deeper at the aspects of the trackers that cause stress, 51% say they feel guilty about not wearing their tracker, while 24% say their stress comes from hitting the goals within the tracker but not seeing the physical results they would like to see. From a scale of 1-10, the average stress level was ranked at a 6.3. The amount of pressure caused 45% to wear their tracker less often.

Common for tracking your daily movement, fitness trackers can also be used to measure your quality of sleep. The trackers can help adjust sleep schedules and measure how heavy or light you’re sleeping. The survey found that 60% of people track their sleep quality twice a week or less. This could be due to many users wanting to give their wrists a break from wearing their tracker throughout the day.

In terms of overall health impacts, 92% of respondents say they feel more in tune with their overall health from wearing a fitness tracker with 58% saying their physical fitness levels have slightly increased due to using a tracker. 17% say their levels have stayed the same and only 2% say their fitness levels have decreased.


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