42 percent of Users Lose Interest in Fitness Trackers After 6 Months

Fitness wearables do have the ability to facilitate change. But not if 42 percent of people stop using them after the first six months.

42 percent of Users Lose Interest in Fitness Trackers After 6 Months

Fitness wearables do have the ability to facilitate change, according to a paper published in The Journal of the American Medicine Association. But Melissa Dahl from NYMag reports that 42 percent of people stop using them after the first six months.

Battery life is a major con for most fitness trackers. Most of these fitness watches require attention every seven days to plug-in and charge—it's a hassle. Then a day eventually comes when users become tired of plugging the thing into and outlet that it remains dead on a shelf. Though, we deal with our smartphone's constant need for daily plug-ins, consumers may feel that another device to baby is one too many. Researchers suggest that off-loading the fitness tracking to smartphones would be a better, all-in-one solution.

But these strategies are hardly incorporated into modern fitness devices. Yes, we may see we may have only walked 5,000 steps today, but what does that mean in context of our health? Why should we change our behavior? The authors write that if fitness trackers are to have a long-term life with consumers, companies will need to put in better systems to facilitate a change in our behavior.

“Anticipated regret, an individual's concern or anxiety over the reward he or she might not win, can have a significant effect on decision making."

People can only care about knowing their daily steps and sleep patterns for so long if it's not laid out in a risk/reward motivational system.

The researchers write what could drive behavioral change and continued use:

“Ultimately, it is the engagement strategies—the combinations of individual encouragement, social competition and collaboration, and effective feedback loops—that connect with human behavior.”

Dahl notes that the authors don't quite elaborate on how this would work, but the point is clear: people can only take-in pie charts for so long. Though, some trackers are making modifications to signal us to walk around when we've been sitting too long--trying to create healthy habits. There's still a ways to go before the real  matches with the desired result.

Read more at NYMag

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Massive 'Darth Vader' isopod found lurking in the Indian Ocean

The father of all giant sea bugs was recently discovered off the coast of Java.

A close up of Bathynomus raksasa

SJADE 2018
Surprising Science
  • A new species of isopod with a resemblance to a certain Sith lord was just discovered.
  • It is the first known giant isopod from the Indian Ocean.
  • The finding extends the list of giant isopods even further.
Keep reading Show less

Will AI replace mathematicians?

If computers can beat us at chess, maybe they could beat us at math, too.

Credit: Patrick Lux via Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • Most everyone fears that they will be replaced by robots or AI someday.
  • A field like mathematics, which is governed solely by rules that computers thrive on, seems to be ripe for a robot revolution.
  • AI may not replace mathematicians but will instead help us ask better questions.
Keep reading Show less

"Laughing gas" may offer quick, long-lasting relief from depression

Laughing gas may be far more effective for some than antidepressants.

Credit: fotodiya83 / Adobe Stock
Surprising Science
  • Standard antidepressant medications don't work for many people who need them.
  • With ketamine showing potential as an antidepressant, researchers investigate another anesthetic: nitrous oxide, commonly called "laughing gas."
  • Researchers observe that just a light mixture of nitrous oxide for an hour alleviates depression symptoms for two weeks.
Keep reading Show less