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Fitness Watches, Apps & The Future of Health

Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.

Smart watches and other wearables (a catchall term for fitness-tech-apparel hybrids) are taking Houston by storm. But are they really making our city any healthier? Many users complain their Fitbit (or other device) is causing them to gain weight rather than lose it. Are these devices really improving our lives and encouraging us to incorporate quality exercise habits into our lives?

An infographic from NetImperative pulls some important data about wearables and how they’re impacting our health and fitness in the United States and abroad.

9 Things to Know About Wearable Tech in Health & Fitness

  1. In 2015, 16% of the U.S. adult population used some kind of wearable technology. It’s estimated that more than 33% of the population will use such a device by 2019.
  2. From 2013 to 2015, health wearable technology has grown from 13 million to 34 million.
  3. The American College of Sports Medicine, which surveyed 2,800 health and fitness professionals, believes wearable technologies will be the #1 fitness trend in 2016.
  4. Smartwatch shipments are projected to reach 50.4 million units this year.
  5. New wearables currently exist to reduce the likelihood of being infected with Zika and other mosquito-transmitted viruses.
  6. New Wearable is a technology that can monitor real-time information about the user’s health, picking up on issues like dehydration and muscle fatigue by monitoring sweat.
  7. Many companies use wearables to boost morale, improve health awareness and reduce medical expenses.
  8. By 2018, 70% of healthcare organizations worldwide will invest in consumer-facing mobile applications, wearables, remote health monitoring and virtual care.
  9. One in seven people in the UK use a fitness wearable on a daily basis.

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While wearables offer many exciting opportunities for individuals, businesses, and healthcare systems, they are not the final solution to our nation’s growing obesity problem. Diet, in addition to exercise, remains very important. Many people who exercise regularly overestimate the number of calories they burn, which leads to overeating. In some cases, the amount of overeating done to “compensate” for the increased activity levels may even negate the weight loss that was achieved through exercise.

Develop a Fitness Plan With Your Houston Sports Medicine Doctor

Whether you use a wearable or not, it’s important to have a diet and exercise plan that works for you. At Houston Institute for Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, we help athletes and non-athletes develop fitness plans that are effective in achieving the patients’ goals. For more information, schedule an appointment online or call (713) 756-5546. Find out how a Houston sports medicine doctor can help you.

Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.