June 20, 2018
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FITNESS APPS EFFECTIVENESS: DO THESE APPS REALLY WORK?

Technology has walked straight into every walk of our life and has scored full points on gaining our attention and penetrating in our activities. We love the way that tech has allowed us to reach our optimal levels and eased our life in more ways than one. The same can be applied to fitness apps but the question arises, do they really work? Sure, they are in the air and everyone is cool about it claiming that they have been able to walk several steps as a result of such apps. The real question, however, revolves around the fitness apps effectiveness.

To begin with, let’s see how fitness apps can help us to stay on track of our fitness. To this end, we know that these applications allow us to track our progress, encourage us to work out, and saves out time to make our exercise sessions more effective. Here is the breakdown of each pointer.

Fitness Apps Help To Track Our Progress

The first step to fitness apps effectiveness emerges from the way that the application can help us to track every single factor concerning our fitness. We get to count our calories, number our steps, track our heart rate, check on the calories burned, and the weight lifted. This ensures that we are on the track of the set goals. Without having to look into calculations and measurements, these apps provide us a prepared spreadsheet of all our activities.

Fitness Apps Boost Motivation

If you get a Grade B on your fitness regime, you would always strive for turning that B to an A grade and if and when you get an A grade, you would work hard to keep it that way. That’s how the human psychology works. And this also exactly how fitness apps help us to nail the exercise sessions. By doing the calculations and showing you the progress, the app subtly pushes you to work harder toward the set goal. Once attained, you try to maintain the same level of workout frequency. In such a mad dash toward the goal that is marked by progress records maintained by the fitness apps, you are encouraged to keep on track with your fitness.

Fitness Apps Help to Save Your Time

Firstly, with the help of these fitness applications, you are able to track your work and maintain a record automatically. This helps to save your time. Secondly, you get to save time and reach the epitome of efficiency by working out at the leisure of your home itself. If you are short on time and have to make it to a sudden meeting with no time for driving to the gym, fitness apps can help you save your time as you can workout at your home.

What Does Research Say?

There is a mixed version concerning what the research has to say about the fitness apps effectiveness. Some studies indicate that fitness apps actually help to maintain one’s fitness. On the flip side, there are studies that indicate against the curated ultra-usefulness portfolio of fitness app. Here is an in-depth look at the matter.

Studies in the favor of fitness apps effectiveness:

study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research conducted a research with 726 participants who were divided into three groups. One group used current apps for fitness, the other was non-app users, and the last group used former app users.

The study found that the group that used current apps for fitness reported greater agility in their fitness regime. They were 75% more active then former users, and non-app users. It also revealed that people who used fitness apps were more likely to work out in their spare time as compared to people who did not use apps. The study also stated that the fitness apps effectiveness lied in their ability to remove potential exercise barriers such as motivation dry spells and procrastination.

One of the study authors, Leib Litman commented, “Exercise apps can be a vehicle for behavior change in exercise in the same way that a nicotine patch can be a vehicle for behavior change in smoking,”

Another research that backs the favorable use of fitness apps usefulness found out that such applications were only helpful when they were personalized. In the study, participants were divided into groups that used personalized apps and the others were non-app users.

The results showed that people who used improved app versions were able to demonstrate better changes in their daily routine.

Research against fitness apps effectiveness

In their study researchers at the Penn State University analyzed 200 plus fitness apps both on the Android store and the iTunes store. The study concluded that the fitness apps, both free and paid, seriously lacked any behavioral change techniques.

This study found out that fitness apps were divided into two categories of motivational and educational and, on average, their descriptions showed fewer than four behavior change techniques.

A similar study took a sample of 2000 people between the age bracket of 18-34. It founds out that already healthy folks found the apps useful, whereas, the others who did not go the gym considered them useless. This equates to the fitness apps effectiveness only in the case of people who were healthy and used them. Other than that, the study concluded that there was no solid proof of their effectiveness.

The bottom line is that it is totally up to you to decide if a fitness app works for you or not, as research is divided about the question.

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