Wearables are all the rage these days, and their ripple of influence is evolving the fitness world. Boosted by technological advances in accelerometers, which are sensors that detect motion, speed and direction, these fitness-tracking devices have become catalysts for understanding how we expend energy, and how we communicate that understanding with other technology.
Here are three ways wearables are changing the fitness world as we know it.
Stopping Sedentary Activity
Recent studies have shown that exercising regularly still won’t mitigate the potentially lethal effects of a sedentary lifestyle. It turns out that wearables – which reward users for non-exercise activity and the recommended 10,000 steps per day – are fostering competition across workplaces, social groups and homes. More importantly, they’re getting people out of their seats and helping to shatter the culture of the sedentary workplace. Even humorist David Sedaris, writing for the New Yorker, weighed in on how step-counting, and Fitbit’s 10,000-step victory alarm, is motivating across the course of an entire day. Instead of sitting hunched in front of our computers, these wearables are getting us out of our seats for good.
Making Us Aware of NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
One of the reasons fitness trackers are important is that they monitor the activities we engage in when we aren’t working out, eating or sleeping. This expenditure of non-exercise activity is called NEAT, and the more active you are in activities such as walking or standing, the more calories you burn and the higher your metabolic rate. It even turns out that adults of similar weight have NEATs that vary up to 2,000 calories burned per day. With the help of wearable fitness trackers, we’ve found a way to increase awareness for all of our activities – NEAT included.
Connecting Us to New Technology
Wearables aren’t just stat-crunching calculators that we activate and forget about – they are interactive, connected tools that change the way we exercise. With the Life Fitness LFopen platform, for instance, it’s possible for wearables like Fitbit and Jawbone to interact with LFopen Platform Products like the Discover Tablet Consoles and the Track+ Consoles. Connecting is easy, and doing so allows users to access their data, track progress, save workouts and utilize preferences, all with the click of a touchscreen button. Put simply, wearables are not only connecting us to technology while exercising, they’re fostering an environment in which a variety of technologies can communicate and interact with each other – for the benefit of the user.
*Image of “woman” via Shutterstock