If Physical Activity Tracking Was a Necessity

woman using wearable technology during workout

With technology designed to help us stay healthy all around us, what might happen if we were forced, either by school or work, to track our physical activity?

Our generation is awash in technology designed to help us stay healthy. From heart rate monitors to calorie counters to diet and exercise apps; if you’re needing assistance with some aspect of your health, you can guarantee there is some form of technology to help you. While there are some who seek out and use these resources readily, others are less receptive to methods that help us track our diet and exercise. This can make you wonder, what might happen if we were forced, either by our school or work, to track our exercises? With every positive impact this might have, there undoubtedly will be negative impacts as well.

A Mandatory Condition

Positive: If we all were forced to wear technology that could monitor our fitness and we only be rewarded based off upon our efforts, the results could be beneficial. For example, at work our paycheck might take a $20 hit if we didn’t meet the company’s fitness goals. Or at school we would get a lower grade if we didn’t meet our required number of steps per day. This undoubtedly would improve the overall health of employees and students.

Negative: Being offered incentives, such as better grades or more pay as a result of increased physical activity, could be “motivating” and well received by some. To others, this requirement might add too much pressure, increasing physical and emotional stress. Feeling emotionally burdened, overworked and undervalued (whether it’s due to personal or professional expectations being unmet) can have a significantly poor impact on students and employees overall production.

Competition Driven

Positive: Being able to compare your efforts with your peers is a great way to encourage your fitness efforts. If your best friend or workmate burned 400 calories today, then you’re going to work that much harder to burn 410 calories tomorrow, giving you the attitude of “If she can do it, I can do it.” It’s similar to how having someone to workout with can make your attendance at the gym more consistent and meaningful; being able to compare your own capabilities and results with your peers definitely could drive you to do more than you would individually.

Negative: Some people see their competition and focus on negative comparisons resulting in self-doubt and self-defeat. Others are embarrassed by their results when compared to others and might feel discriminated against or looked down on because of their results.

Keeping Fitness Resolutions

Positive: Fitness goals are difficult for everyone. So often, we start out with the best intentions and then life gets in the way and our resolutions are put on the back burner once again. By being forced to monitor our fitness daily and then being held accountable by either our employer or teacher, we would stand a much greater chance of sticking to our resolutions.

Negative: Some may not react well to being monitored constantly by someone else. For these individuals, it might be best to allow them to be liable for their own goals and achievements, rather than being under someone else’s scrutiny daily. Then they could check in with their employer or teacher once a month and discuss their progress together.

With any big change you make, there always will be positives and negatives to consider; there will be people who love the new change and people who loathe it. When it comes to being forced to monitor our exercising, the positive physical health benefits will outweigh the negative effects, and modifications can be made to make everyone feel comfortable using this technology.

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