Your FitBit Might Be Making You A Bit Blue

Your Fitness Tracker Might Be Making You Sad


by Grazia |

It seems like everyone either got an engagement ring or a FitBit for Christmas - or in some cases, maybe both. FitBit, and other fitness trackers have been exponentially popular lately, which is probably down to the childlike glee we as a society collectively have over telling people how much we exercise.

The pedometer-based wristwatches count your steps, measure your heart rate, track the calories you've burnt and tell the time (hopefully) among other things, and no Facebook feed is complete without someone talking about the thousands of steps they've clocked up.

The downside? According to a new study, they might be bringing their users down. A study, which will appear in the April issue of the Journal of Consumer research, showed that in the 100 subjects they surveyed, seeing how many steps they'd taken made their moods plummet.

Some of the participants had the displays taped up, whereas others could see their step count all day. A release said "... participants who could see how many steps they had taken walked farther but enjoyed it less. They also reported walking seemed more like work, and were less happy and satisfied at the end of the day."

Jordan Etkin, Duke assistant professor and the lead author gave one to her engineer dad, and told USA Today, "He seemed very focused on those quantitative outcomes and as a result he became much more stressed about how much he walked.”

So there you have it. People who brag about their fitness aren't just real-life buzzkills - being confronted with your level of activity (or lack thereof) is a quantifiably bit of a downer. Of course, this isn't true for everyone - some people would find the ever-present reminder a motivation to move more and challenge themselves to get more steps in.

Whether you choose to FitBit, Jawbone or do some Pilates, there's one thing that's for sure: getting up and moving more is definitely a good idea.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us