How can a wearable activity tracker help me develop better habits?

Wendy Batts
Wearing an activity-tracking device holds you accountable for your daily activities and, depending on your device, calorie consumption. Many devices provide this information to you in real time so you can stay on the right track and turn daily goals into healthy habits. Also, just wearing a tracker is a reminder to make good choices when faced with temptations. You can even set reminders on your device to get up and move around. 
Keith Roach, MD
Internal Medicine
A wearable activity tracker, especially one with a food log feature, can help you develop better habits by giving you an objective look at what some of your current habits are. We tend to remember the best things that we do and may not realize that we get less activity than we'd like, or eat more than we should. By actually tracking your real activity, you can get better information -- and we know that just having that information tends to change behavior. When people log what they're eating, they eat better. When they track their movement, they tend to move more.
Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, MD
Emergency Medicine
Wearable activity trackers include a range of devices from simple pedometers to bluetooth wristbands -- and I'll also include apps that connect to your smartphone's accelerometer to measure your movements. They can help you develop better habits simply by helping you be aware of your movement. Knowing how many steps you've taken can encourage you to be more active. Plus, some of these trackers have programmable features to remind you to move if you've been still for too long, so it's like a wearable cheerleader.
David Buer
A wearable activity tracker can help you develop better habits by heightening your awareness of various factors that influence your health. Some of these factors -- depending on the device -- include steps taken, calories burned, heart rate and sleep quality. Wearables as well as a wide range of smartphone apps can also aid you with motivation, activity reminders and status updates for your goals.

Continue Learning about Health Trackers

6 Clever Ways Your Smartphone Can Make You Healthy
6 Clever Ways Your Smartphone Can Make You Healthy
Anyone can download a fitness or health app onto his or her smartphone -- it's how you use it that matters. Here are six ways to get the most from you...
Read More
What are some mobile apps that can help me stay healthy?
Dr. Talal N. Khan, MDDr. Talal N. Khan, MD
Downloading a mobile app can help you stay healthy and keep you on track with your workouts. You don...
More Answers
How can a wearable tracker improve my sleep?
Dr. Michael Breus, PhDDr. Michael Breus, PhD
Wearable trackers can improve sleep in a few ways, by creating more awareness about your sleep habit...
More Answers
Wearable Health Trackers Timeline
Wearable Health Trackers TimelineWearable Health Trackers TimelineWearable Health Trackers TimelineWearable Health Trackers Timeline
Learn the history -- and future -- of wearable technology that tracks your health.
Start Slideshow

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.