Every fitness fanatic worth her salt has a fitness tracker these days – we bet you had a FitBit or something similar on your Christmas list right? FitBit’s, Jawbone’s and Apple Watches have become as integral to working out as a killer pair of trainers. Admit it, we all get a little kick out of being able to share on Facebook/Insta/Twitter how many steps we’ve clocked and calories we’ve burned as the gadgets track our every movement.
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But it turns out these trackers aren’t necessarily the welcome addition to achieving our fitness goals we thought they were. In fact, a new study reveals they may actually be bringing us down. A survey of 100 subjects revealed that those who could see how many steps they’d taken that day saw their moods plummet.
Yep, the participants that tracked their step count all day found walking much more of a chore than those who had their displays taped up. A release revealed, “participants who could see how many steps they had taken walked farther but enjoyed it less. They also reported that walking seemed more like work, and were less happy and satisfied at the end of the day.”
It’s not an entirely surprising result. A step or calorie counter inevitably places pressure on the user to hit a certain target or goal, which makes the whole experience of working out or walking that bit more stressful. So spare a thought for those social media fitness fanatics who’s posts make you feel guilty about your own activity levels – they might not be feeling quite as good about clocking 10,000 steps as they want you to believe.
It’s not all bad news though. If you look at your fitness gadget as the ultimate motivator, it may just give you the inspiration to set yourself some new challenges – just don’t be too hard on yourself about it all.