Activity Trackers: Can They Improve Your Health?

Posted on April 20, 2016 by Jenna Ahlschlager, ACE-CHC

Activity Trackers

Everyone has Activity Trackers

Everywhere you look, everyone is wearing some kind of activity tracker. Whether it’s Jawbone, Fitbit, Garmin or another brand, these devices are flying off the shelves. What makes activity trackers so popular is the idea they help users improve their health by tracking and boosting activity levels.

Most devices also have a corresponding smartphone app where you can manually input your daily food and water intake, and when paired with the digital device, can help keep you accountable no matter where you are. You can also connect with others to create challenges for some friendly competition with friends, family members or coworkers.

While each tracker offers different features, they all encourage you to make better, healthier choices. Tracking daily food and water intake, as well as physical activity makes you aware of the kind and amount of foods you are putting in your body and how active you are on a daily and weekly basis. Being able to actually see this can be a serious reality check, especially for those who may think they are getting enough physical activity or eating healthy enough.

Activity TrackersFor some, however, activity trackers are not a substitute for long-term motivation. While they do work for some people, for others it may be better to focus on addressing the barriers to exercise and figure out why you’re not getting enough exercise in the first place. What works for one person may not be the best method for another. Also, choosing which tracker to buy depends on your individual needs, whether it’s heart rate monitoring, counting your steps, tracking sleep, calorie intake and even swimming, there is definitely one for you!

Here is a list of some of the most popular activity trackers, as well as their main features.

  • The Fitbit Blaze: $249.99
    Features: Step tracking, sleep monitoring, 24/7 heart rate monitoring
  • Fitbit Charge HR: $149.99
    Features: Step tracking, sleep monitoring, 24/7 heart rate monitoring, exercise tracking, stopwatch, SmartTrack
  • Garmin Vivosmart HR: $149.99
    Features: Step tracking, sleep tracking, 24/7 heart rate, smart notifications
  • Jawbone UP2: $99.99
    Features: Step tracking, sleep monitoring, smart alarm
  • Misfit Shine 2: $99.99
    Features: Step tracking, sleep monitoring, smartphone notifications, waterproof for swim tracking
  • Under Armour Band: $180
    Features: 24/7 heart rate monitoring, step tracking, activity tracking, sleep monitoring

While this list only includes a few options, you can see the variety of different features available on activity trackers, depending on your need. So whether you use them for motivation to lose weight, count calories or solely for increasing awareness of your physical activity, activity trackers can be a good aid in reaching your fitness goals and improving your physical well being!

We Can Help

Physical well being is one of the dimensions of overall, holistic health. For help in learning more about how to be motivated to be physically healthy, including good eating and sleeping habits, call VITAL WorkLife anytime, day or night for the support you and your loved ones need.

  • EAP members call 800.383.1908 or access through your VITAL WorkLife App
  • Physicians Wellness Resources members call 877.731.3949 or access through your VITAL WorkLife App


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