24 May It’s Time for Fitness Trackers to Step Up
I recently worked as an intern in an office that was part of a large-scale corporation. At the end of my internship, corporate HR came around to our branch and gave out free health assessments to all of the employees on their insurance plan. After talking with the nurses, the head honchos determined that one of their greatest liabilities was—you guessed it—employee obesity.
Now, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The office relied mainly on desk work, and as the intern, I was more active than most because I frequently walked around town with the sales team. Many of the full-time employees remained at their desks for hours at a time except for occasional trips to the vending machines in the break room.
The corporate solution to this heavyweight problem was to get everyone in the company Fitbit Fitness Trackers. On paper, it sounded like a great idea! Help the people keep track of how much they move, set company-wide goals for step counts or active minutes, and watch the pounds melt away, right?
The employees got behind the idea and the step count went up, but so did the pounds! Turns out, many of the workers got the majority of their steps in by making more frequent trips to those break room vending machines, effectively undoing all their efforts.
I was reminded of this experience after reading an article called “10,000 Steps to the Refrigerator—Why the Promise of Virtual Health Needs More Advice and Less Tracking.” To be honest, the article opened my eyes to a real issue within the wearable tech industry. Fitbit and other fitness trackers have convinced us that the hallmark of true health is reaching 10,000 steps a day, or some other arbitrary goal. They don’t take into account personal dietary requirements or diagnose other factors that could be impeding weight loss.
I can’t tell you the number of overweight, hardworking people who come into our office each day, frustrated because the devices on their arms say they should be healthy, yet the numbers on the scale never budge.
We live in an age of extremely impressive technology, and we can do better than impersonal robots. The article I mentioned before emphasizes the need for both the accountability of a tracking system AND the personalized touch of a physician or nutritionist.
In order to see real results in the fitness industry, people need to adhere to a wellness plan that takes into account their food choices, types of exercises, and daily supplements. They need to be able to reach out and contact a doctor or nutritionist with questions or advice on what to do with the info they get from their wearable devices.
This is why we’ve decided to work hand-in-hand with Bodysite, a platform that allows our clients to do just that. The program integrates seamlessly with major health tracking devices, so you can still use your Fitbit if you’d like. However, the app also gives you access to your own personalized meal plan based on your protein requirements and created specifically by a certified nutritionist. You log supplements as prescribed by our doctor, and the messaging capability allows you to ask questions and get answers in real time.
Forget the little fireworks that pop up when you take that final step of the day. By combining technology with real people, we can guarantee results that are MUCH more satisfying!