Stay healthy with Apple watch: Do wearable activity trackers work?

We know increasing physical activity is no easy feat. In our blog post earlier this week, we highlighted that only 10% of healthy-weight children in United States meet guideline recommendations for exercise, sleep, and screen-time. To some extent, we live unhealthily since we were kids!

Picking up a new health behaviour is a complex change

chronic pain recovery chart
Behaviour change models have been developed since as early as the 1990s. While we like to believe it’s just about setting a goal and putting your heart to it, it’s not actually that simple!

When you look at behaviour change models, it becomes clear exercising more is more than just setting your mind to it. Other facets of your life matters to. Social support, self-efficacy, socioeconomic status, neighbourhood you live in all play a part in successful behaviour change.

You can’t just decide to change and force yourself to do it. Behaviour change is more complex than that.

Stop nagging at your loved ones. It doesn’t help.

nudge theory, behaviour change
The seven-step Nudge theory does seem to make sense. Yet at the same time, research doesn’t seem to support its effectiveness at driving behaviour change.

In fact, even nagging from family and friends is not likely to work. A paper published a few days ago reported that “nudging” doesn’t work. Nudging, according to behavioural science, is positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions aimed at influencing behaviour.

When we want a loved ones to change a habit, we repeatedly repeat ourselves in hopes that change will occur. Science is telling us it doesn’t work. Science is suggesting you should stop nagging at your loved ones and cause unnecessary strain in your relationship.

What about activity trackers? Apple watch? Fitbit? Garmin?

A big paper investigating the effectiveness of wearable fitness devices on health actually found that activity trackers to be useful at physical activity!

To be honest, it completely challenged my bias. I would think that it would take more than wearing an activity tracker to change behaviour. I personally wear a Garmin. While it does track the number of steps I take in a day, I don’t find paying attention to the number of steps I have taken or how many more I should be hitting for the day.

The study was published in Lancet, one of the world’s leading journals, and tracked over 163 ,992 participants across all age groups. Not only did people increase their physical activity, it also lead to improvements in body composition and fitness. It’s a big deal! Activity trackers can directly improved your health!

On average, participants walked an extra 1800 steps (or 40 minutes) per day leading to reductions of apparently 1kg in bodyweight. As a chiropractor in the physical health space, I must say these numbers are impressive!

Are you struggling with exercising more?

who physical activity guideline, functional training singapore
150 minutes of aerobic exercise alone may not be good enough for you! The World Health Organisation (WHO) clearly recommends at least 2 days of “muscle strengthening activity”.

If you are struggling with exercise, research strongly suggests that an activity tracker could help. If your loved one is struggling with being physically active, perhaps what you could do is to gift them an activity tracker.

There are lots of ways to increase physical activity. For example, you could also try group classes. Some people find the community and social elements of group classes compelling, and keeps them coming back for more. We do run group fitness classes at Pom Pi Pi Functional Fitness so definitely check that out if you are interested.

If those who prefer more privacy, we also offer one-on-one personal training. One-on-one personal training allows you to receive personalised exercise training based on your current fitness levels as well as exercise goals. It also allows you the flexibility to decide which day/time to train, as well as how often to train.

If you are trying to break out of a sedentary lifestyle to no avail, don’t worry. You are not alone. Drop us a message below and let us help you help yourself to achieving a more active lifestyle!


Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.