Want to exercise a little bit more without trying? Then just wear a pedometer.
Researchers from BYU found that people who wore pedometers walked an average of 318 more steps per day, even though they may not have any specific intention to walk more, or even if they could not see the step counts. The act of just wearing a pedometer altered their behavior to walk more.
The researchers used a clever yet sneaky way to get valid data from their study. They got permission from the 90 participants to gather general data from their iPhones, including step counts. iPhones actually track your steps, a default function most people are not aware off. This data provided them with a baseline reference (control group).
Afterwards, some participants were given a pedometer without a step count display. The rest of the participants were not told about the study’s purpose. After two more weeks, the researchers again accessed the step count data from all the participants.
Tracking Progress Can Help Improve Progress
What the researchers saws was that participants wearing the pedometer walked more steps than those without the pedometer.
The conclusion is that actually tracking your progress can help you improve more. Measurement and tracking precede improvement, according to the researchers.
So to reach your goals better, you should really plan them out and track them. The act of tracking can help you improve whatever you are tracking.
The paper was published in the journal American Journal of Health Behavior.
Source: The Effect of Wearable Activity Monitor Presence on Step Counts