Fitness apps are all the rage. A raft of new companies and products want to track your steps and count your calories with the aim of melting that excess blubber. There’s just one problem — most of these apps don’t work. In fact, there is good reason to believe they make us fatter.
One study called out “the dirty secret of wearables,” citing that “these devices fail to drive long-term sustained engagement for a majority of users.” Endeavour Partners’ research found “more than half of U.S. consumers who have owned a modern activity tracker no longer use it. A third of U.S. consumers who have owned one stopped using the device within six months of receiving it.”
While the report mentioned several reasons why people don’t stick with these tracking devices, my own theory is simple: They backfire. Here are three surprising reasons why fitness apps may be making us less happy and more flabby.
The first reason fitness apps make us fat is that almost all of them are based on a pervasive myth. Most of these gadgets and apps attempt to push people to eat less and exercise more. They ask users to track what they eat and record their physical activity in order to quantify whether dieters intake a surplus of calories for the day. Eat too much or move too little, the thinking goes, and you’ll get fat, right? Not exactly. Read more…