The wearble tech phenomenon took off in 2015, now it’s in full swing with Fitbit, Apple, Garmin and Samsung taking up a majority of the market place. For thew more fashion forward among you, these devices now come in a diverse range to suit business and sports attire.
So what do these watches do?
There are two main types of watches:
These devices often tell the time, count steps, calories, distance and monitor sleep. They generally allow you to and hten monitor your performance against set daily fitness goals based on the average amount of steps you take. They also give you a reminder when you have been inactive for too long.
Smart watches in most cases do everything an activity tracker does plus more. They generally come with an inbuilt heart rate monitor and GPS. They also link with your phone with some brands allowing you to receive calls, emails and messages.
Do they work?
If you were to wear three different watches for a day they would all give you slightly different readings. However if you ask me this is beside the point. What these devices are great for is the fact they keep your fitness in the front of your mind. Every time you look at your wrist or phone you are bombarded with your latest achievements, stats and progression. You can even compare these against your friends with the same brands. Many people find they start to take the stairs instead of the escalators, park further away from work or even go for a walk around the block so they can reach their daily goal which is usually about 10 000 steps.
Why 10 000 steps?
In the 1960’s Japanese researcher Dr Yoshiro Hatano recommended 10,000 will help improve the health of people. Further research today shows that walking this amount can help improve health and reduce the risk of disease such as heart disease, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Taking 10 000 steps a day is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), US Centre for Disease Control, American Heart Foundation and the National Heart Foundation of Australia.
For the vast majority of people 10 000 steps is a realistic goal that is achievable. It is important to note that for some people it takes time building to this level, on the flip side some people may even need more than this and at higher intensities to reach their goals. It is also crucial to consider diet in conjunction with physical activity when it comes to both fitness goals and being healthy.
Tom Hamilton is a physiotherapist who works from our Penrith practice. He is a pretty decent soccer player, and currently plays for Nepean FC.