Digital health devices: what’s the fuss all about?

Digital health devices are designed to improve health outcomes and according to the get the world moving website, it is designed to “fundamentally improve employees’ relationship with their health and have them bouncing out of bed every day feeling ready to take on the world.” Really?! Hmmm. My question is does it really do what it is designed to do? I am going to share my experience with you (please share yours by leaving a comment or particpating in the poll at the end of this post).

Where is my step counter? Have you asked yourself that question recently? I have been asking myself for over a week now. My sister gave me a pedometer about 6weeks ago. A step counter also known as a pedometer counts your steps. I wore it on my person religiously for a week but let’s start by going back to the beginning – 6weeks ago.

Week 1: My sister returns from work and asks me if I would like a pedometer. She was given 2 of it at work. Oh yes please, me feeling so excited. I wore it everyday and checked how many steps I had taken by the end of each day and then slept with it. No way was I going to miss counting a step. Some days I did close to 5000, some days less than 2000.

Week 2: I wore it off and on. Sometimes forgetting it on my dressing table and on other days forgetting it on the dress I wore the day before. Honestly by week 2 I lost interest in how many steps I was taking. What good is the knowledge of that to me anyway? I asked myself.

Week 3 and 4: The excitement was back. I wore it one day and realised I took over 8000 steps that day. I was super excited. 8000? Wow! How did I achieve this? We were doing major renovations at my mum’s school. We put new ceilings, tiled and retiled 80% of the school, broke down the old balcony and put a modern one,…. The list goes on. Me in my usual manner of making sure things get done my way, couldn’t stay put and let the engineers and supervisors do their job. I just had to keep going round, checking what was being done and giving my seal of approval 😉 That is how I achieved over 8000 steps. I did forget my pedometer at home a few times but 80% of the time I had it on me.

Week 5, 6 and today: Pretty much worse than week 2. I can’t locate the pedometer to start with. The thrill is gone – makes me wonder what the fuss is all about! For how long can one really depend on digital devices to help them stay healthy and/or fit. Not long unless your life depends on it. I asked my sister and my sister-in-law where theirs was. Their response? No idea!

It has really got me thinking that there must be a better way. The good thing is when I started using it, it wasn’t for research purposes if not it would have caused some bias and produced untrue results. I used it only because it felt good joining the band wagon and looking like a health and fitness fanatic. But a few days ago I remembered it and started to look for it. Still looking for it. Then a thought hit me – what really have you gained from using a pedometer? For many they use it religiously either for competitions and set targets they must meet – so yes, it really does some good to some people as walking is a good way to shed some calories. For me, I really had no targets to meet, no fat to burn and I definitely wasn’t looking to shed any weight. My question now is how effective are wearable digital health devices e.g. a step counter/pedometer? The answer really is a personal one. The get the world moving website has many testimonials of how this device has not only improved the health of their employees but has also motivated them to perform better. Can you give the same testimony? Help answer this question by participating in the poll below.

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