Wearable electronic monitoring devices are amazingly popular these days. In the “old days” pedometers would mostly (inaccurately) monitor how many steps you took to provide some feedback regarding your levels of physical activity. Today, there are more fitness monitoring devices than you can imagine. Cell phones now even┬áhave the capability of providing activity feedback. But is all of this technology worth it?

According to researchers at the University of Texas Branch at Galveston, the answer is a profound YES!

Not only do these devices measure steps, they also measure calories burned, heart rate, skin, sweat and body temperature, sleep quality and type of exercise performed. Some of these monitors can even count your repetitions for you!

Overall, these devices are effective self-monitoring tools and assist with goal setting and feedback. However, the researchers pointed out that these devices fall short when it comes to action planning, instruction on how to perform the behavior or exercise, commitment and problem solving strategies. Also, little is known at this point whether or not these devices have contributed to improvements in health globally.

Take Home Point

If it’s in your budget or you can find a cheap app to help you track your fitness progress, by all means, make the investment. These products can be fun to use, and make exercising more exciting. You may also be able to print out your statistics to bring to your doctor for further discussion and review.

Just remember… In the end, it’s all about doing the first set of exercises or getting through that first 1/2 mile. No electronic device can make that decision for you.