embraced with enthusiasm and worn with pride, fitness trackers
are now winding up in the bottom of a drawer months later.
at the University of Washington wanted to know why so many
people abandon their tracking devices. So they found more than
100 former self-trackers and asked them why they quit and how
they felt about it.
guilt and indifference were among the emotions people
expressed about breaking up with their fitness trackers.
paper to be presented at this week’s Association for
Computing Machinery conference, the scientists surveyed 141
former Fitbit users, according to a University of Washington
them said they felt guilty about no longer tracking, and
almost all of them said they’d like to resume tracking for
fitness. A handful said they’d gathered enough information
from their Fitbits to build healthy habits and didn’t need
to track any longer.
number — 21 people — said they quit because they found
tracking annoying, useless, or because they didn’t
understand how to use the data to change their habits. Still,
45 others had mixed feelings about no longer health tracking.
researchers also noted that some people didn’t like what
their devices revealed about their health and activity levels.
most preferred data presented on their trackers in a way that
made them look better than their peers, University of
Washington officials said.
example, "you walked more than 70 percent of
people," instead of a negative comparison such as
"30 percent of people walked more than you."
words, when it comes to fitness trackers, people find bragging
better than nagging.