Benefits of personal activity trackers

Photo by Kira

Photo by Kira Gelbard

A healthy lifestyle is one that can be hard to maintain as a student, but with the help of new technologies, you can now be better informed about your well-being.

Physical activity trackers have become an increasingly popular product which help people stay on top of their health. These products, such as the Fitbit, are able to monitor your heart rate, track your sleeping patterns and count the steps you take each day, all while improving your overall health.

Student life can be challenging, especially when trying to keep up with physical activity and maintain a healthy diet. Fitness trackers are versatile in the sense that, while they not only track your steps and minutes of high-intensity workouts, they allow you to record your food and water consumption to ensure you are on the right track.   

Fourth-year health sciences student, Emily Butler, who uses a fitness tracker believes that there are many benefits to reap. “I find that the Fitbit has challenged me to make sure I always get 10,000 steps per day,” said Butler.

According to the American Heart Association, linked with the Fitbit device, 10,000 steps a day is a practical goal for all people to obtain to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

“It’s like a little competition with myself while I set new goals for more improvement.”

There are many stresses associated with being a student, which can make it hard to get the proper amount of sleep that everyone needs. When a fitness tracker is worn at night, it is able to track how much time you spend completely asleep—the time that you are restless and the time in which you are awake. People may think they are getting a full eight hours of rest, but these devices often have shocking results.

“It has definitely opened my eyes to how much stress and anxiety affect my sleeping patterns,” said Butler.

People can often be restless during the night for many different reasons, so the actual time you spend sleeping could be a few hours less than you assumed.

“Since I started using the Fitbit, I have made an attempt to lower all stressors by reading before bed instead of watching Netflix to increase my deep sleep throughout the night,” Butler continued. “So far it’s working!”

The amount of water that a person should be consuming often goes unnoticed. The average adult should be drinking around two litres of water each day to promote a healthy body and Butler said that using an activity tracker has helped her remember to drink more water, as she usually forgets.

Fitness trackers require the user to input their physical background such as height, weight and age so that the device can personalize goals that fit your body type. This information is compiled into daily charts. “It’s nice to look back and see the small improvements you have made over a period of time,” Butler said. “It reminds you to keep going.”

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