Sunday, March 20, 2016

Data Fatigue
There are signs some Americans are growing tired of data  and the gizmos to gather and measure it.
You see this fatigue  among those who employ wearable  devices to measure fitness.
An article in the Journal of American Medical Association found among those who bought fitness trackers that more than half eventually stopped using trackers,  and one third quit within 6 months. (1)
The use of these wondrous devices to track and accumulate data on  steps per day,  pulse,  heart rhythms and blood pressure even has its comic movements. At a recent sports conference , Doctor Michael  Joyner, a Mayo physiology expert, showed up what he deemed as the latest and best in fitness devices – a jump rope
It’s not that fitness trackers don’t receive benefits form their devices.   A survey of 4.2 million MyFitnessPal users found that weight watchers using the device lost more weight than non-users.  Users are  more motivated to become fit than non-users.    
I suppose users just get bored with seeing if they meet their goal of 10,000 steps per day.   Still, bored or not,  data indicates there are 13 million fitness users who bought trackers to the tune of $1.5 million in 2014, and projected to be $18 billion in 2018. 
There’s nothing fitness addicts won’t buy when left to their own devices.  It’s apparent tracker devices are fit to be tried, even if the fit become tired of the devices.
1.        M. Patel, “Wearable Devics as Facilitators, Not Drivers, of Human Behavior Changes,” JAMA. February 3, 2015. 

2.      Alex Hutchison, “ A Fitbit May Make You Fit, “ NYT, March 30. 2016.




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