Be it at the coffee shop, the workplace or the yoga studio, health watches seem to be on everyone’s wrist. And rightfully so as these nifty devices are not only stylish in a futuristic sort of way, they are also useful in collecting and storing personal health data. Be that as it may, like any technological invention, health watches are not without shortcomings. Thus, before you jump on the bandwagon, weigh both the pros and cons carefully.
1. Increased health awareness
Health watches collect data such as heart rate and blood pressure which increase one’s awareness of their own health. What’s more, that fact that this information is so easily accessible and in your face (or wrist, if you like) means that it is much harder to ignore. Thus, health watches generally reduce the ignorance and or denial that sometimes accompanies poor health states
2. Reality check
Health watches give you a reality check on your poor health habits. It’s is easy to tell yourself that your sleeping habits are just fine or that walking to and from work is all the exercise you. Not with health watches. Numbers don’t lie after all. Health watches provide a clear picture of how many steps you take per day, how much time you spend sitting down and your sleep patterns. This information may be oppressive at first, especially to those who like to talk themselves up, but in the long run, it is a useful precursor for change.
3. Personal goals
Health watches enable you to set personal health and fitness goals, both short-term and long-term. This will help give you a clearer picture of where you’ve come from and where you are going. In addition, health watches can generate graphs that help you measure your progress or lack thereof.
4. Community support
Health watches enable you to invite friends and join fitness groups. You may also check in with your friends via your health watch to let them know when you’re going for a workout. This is especially effective for runners who thrive on togetherness and community support. Moreso, health watches are superb for helping you prepare for a marathon and may connect you with like-minded people. All in all, they are great for all types of fitness enthusiasts who want to connect with like-minded people.
Initially, health watches were bulky and awkward looking. However, after several complaints, especially from women, they have evolved to become exceedingly trendy. Most have swappable wristbands and some look exactly like a watch that you wouldn’t even realize the added health features.
Despite their numerous benefits, health watches are not without shortcomings as follows:
A trendy yet useful health watch may require you to cough up a few hundred bucks. Sure, there are budget buys available ranging from thirty dollars to a hundred dollars, but they only contain a limited number of features. You, of course, don’t need to buy the trendiest and most expensive watch. But a good health watch with sufficient features for a satisfying user experience will cost you anywhere from one hundred to three hundred dollars.
2. Device fatigue
It’s bad enough that most of us are glued to our laptops, smartphones and or television sets all day, and health watches, unfortunately, add on to this not so healthy habit. While the whole point of health watches is to promote good health, looking at the tiny screen all day
3. Slave to data
While healthy to a certain degree, constantly reviewing health data and caloric intake can make one become a slave to the said data. An obsession with reaching an arbitrary target rather than enjoying the process of getting there while listening to our bodies can take a toll and make exercising and being healthy boring if not emotionally exhausting. Health watches may also lead to negative comparisons with others and this is never a good thing for our self-esteem.
Some of the data collected by health watches, especially the daily steps, have been proven to be terribly inaccurate. In fact, so much so that if you wear different health watches at the same time, you will get varying readings. Thus, try to buy a brand that is known to be notoriously accurate.
Health watches will go down in history as one of the best inventions known to man. They are, essentially, a marvelous idea. But as fitness and Tech enthusiasts compete on who is wearing the trendiest device and even as Tech companies compete even more to produce a latest and more mind-blowing version, remember both the pros and cons. And, when choosing a watch from the vast array available, find one who’s featured are especially suited to your own brand of fitness and good health.