Simplicity is better. Affordable is also better. So is motivation and social support in groups. Ditto the ability to configure things to your liking. We at DE already know this, which is why we do all of the above and have thus far treaded lightly on the fitness device integration front (although we will offer it at some point this year). Here is a great article that appeared recently in the New York Times that really encapsulates why we have hesitated to go down this path up until this point. Some of the key excerpts are as follows:
After asking participants to engage in activities like exercise, playing games and housework, the researchers found that the trackers were able to record some but not all of the subjects’ movements. The devices reliably tracked forward motion; they counted how many steps volunteers took while walking or jogging, and accurately determined corresponding energy consumption.
But the trackers were inept at measuring volunteers’ more subtle movements, such as when they stood, played Scrabble, gently pedaled a stationary bicycle, or used a broom to sweep up around the physiology lab. Over all, the results suggest that consumer activity monitors “do not detect light-intensity activities very well,” said Glenn Gaesser, a professor and the director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University, who oversaw one of the studies.
But the money excerpt for us at DE was at the end:
As it turns out, tech nudies — those of us who don’t wear any electronic devices — can gauge our workouts effectively without technology. Dr. Gaesser has shown that simply asking someone how hard they are exercising produces estimates nearly as accurate as measuring it. This low-tech approach “isn’t sexy,” Dr. Gaesser said, “but it’s just as good, if not better” than relying too heavily on a tracker to guide exercise.
That’s because humans, unlike digital devices, are able to detect a unique mix of factors, including heart rate, oxygen consumption, muscular effort and mental fatigue “that technology cannot yet measure.” Yet.
So instead of purchasing costly (and often inaccurate) devices that often get lost or break (or aren’t used consistently), why not go with the simple, affordable approach leveraging the group dynamic? Check out our menu of cost effective, configurable “DIY” group fitness & wellness challenges today!