Last year I bought a Lumo Lift, a device that tracks calories and buzzes whenever its wearer slouches. I wore it for about two weeks, wrote an article about it, and put it in a drawer. There it has sat, forlorn and uncharged, ever since.
My experience is apparently not unusual. The authors of a new editorial in theJournal of the American Medical Association point out that fitness trackers, like the FitBit and Jawbone, only work if they’re worn consistently, in the right way, and by people who actually need to become more healthy. And despite the gadgets’ proliferation in recent years, each one of those factors is kind of a long shot.
The authors, Mitesh Patel, David Asch, and Kevin Volpp of the University of Pennsylvania, point to a survey showing that only about one or two percent of Americans use wearables. (Depending on the definition of “wearable,” other surveys have found a much higher number—about 20 percent.)
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