Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Do Fitness Bracelets Get a Clean Bill of Health?

Dear Dr. Walt,

How effective are the fitness-type bracelets? What benefit do they actually provide?

—Training in Tennessee

Dear Exercise Enthusiast,

Fitness trackers in the form of bracelets are becoming increasingly popular, but quantifying every step and every breath you take isn’t cheap, costing from $50 to hundreds of dollars.

Meanwhile, a fitness app for your smartphone might be $5, or totally free, and recent research says they’re just as good as or even better in some ways than pricey fitness bands. In other words, money doesn’t buy precision with these instruments.

But you know what? To me the accuracy doesn’t matter. These devices are succeeding not because of their scientific qualities but because of their motivational ones. We all know we should move more and sleep better — but with slow decline, most of us don’t bother.

What the fitness bands and apps do is to keep these issues front-of-mind.

The point is that these devices and apps can keep us aware of improving our health. In that way, these bands and aps really work. You wind up parking farther away, getting off the bus a stop earlier, or going for a walk down the block to bring your daily step count up to your 10,000-step goal.

And these are all good things.

Dr. Walt

This Q&A will be published in the September 2016 edition of Today’s Christian Living.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2016. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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