Is your fitness tracker making you less interested in walking? - | WBTV Charlotte

Is your fitness tracker making you less interested in walking?

(WBTV) (WBTV)
(WBTV) -

If you don't have a fitness tracker the odds are someone very close to you does.

They are great motivators to get your 10,000 daily steps in and try to eat and sleep better. 

What if, though, all of that quantifying of your healthy activities is causing you to be less interested in completing them?

That's what one researcher at Duke University wanted to know after she gave her dad a fitness tracker as a gift and he began sending her daily updates on his progress with it.

"I wondered if this is really something he is enjoying.  It was supposed to be a gift but I feel like I created all this work for him," Jordan Etkin said.

Like you'd expect any good researcher to do, she put that thought to the test. 

"Can quantifying a behavior, tracking it, how much we do of something, can that make things that were fun feel more like work and therefore we like them less," Etkin wondered.

She didn't just look at walking and sleeping.  Etkin also asked undergraduate students to read or color.  Some were tracked and some were not. 

There were a couple of outcomes.

"When you see how much you do and pay attention to it, you do it more," she said.

But she added that students who could see how many shapes they colored were less likely to say the coloring was a fun activity.

"When I asked those who had been tracked whether they wanted to continue coloring when the tracking was finished, they were less likely to say yes," Etkin added.

So many of us, however, quantify how just about every minute of our days are spent. 

"It's okay to do certain things just for fun.  We have to protect them.  If we take all of the happiness out of everything, what's left?" Etkin said.

To read the full study, click here.  To see listen to some web-exclusive portions of our interview with the researcher, watch the video on this page.

Copyright 2016 WBTV. All Rights Reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Dog poop feud among Rock Hill neighbors escalates to mysteriously delivered bag of ...

    Dog poop feud among Rock Hill neighbors escalates to mysteriously delivered bag of ...

    Sunday, March 26 2017 2:54 PM EDT2017-03-26 18:54:23 GMT
    This dog is not believed to be a suspect in the neighborhood disputeThis dog is not believed to be a suspect in the neighborhood dispute

    Have you had your fill, so to speak, of neighbors using your lawn as one big canine restroom? Well, one Rock Hill woman told police she was victimized in what may be an escalating dog poop war in that town’s Ridge Pointe neighborhood, reports the Rock Hill Herald. 

    More >>

    Have you had your fill, so to speak, of neighbors using your lawn as one big canine restroom? Well, one Rock Hill woman told police she was victimized in what may be an escalating dog poop war in that town’s Ridge Pointe neighborhood, reports the Rock Hill Herald. 

    More >>
  • Domestic disturbance in NE Charlotte ends in shooting

    Domestic disturbance in NE Charlotte ends in shooting

    Sunday, March 26 2017 1:03 PM EDT2017-03-26 17:03:51 GMT

    A man was shot in northeast Charlotte Sunday morning in what family members say was the result of violent domestic disturbance. Police say the incident happened just before 8 a.m. in the 1900 block of Prospect Drive. The father of the woman who lives at the home told WBTV his daughter, her baby, and another man were at the home when an ex-boyfriend arrived and kicked the door in.  The father said the ex-boyfriend started beating the woman when the other man at the home sh...

    More >>

    A man was shot in northeast Charlotte Sunday morning in what family members say was the result of violent domestic disturbance. Police say the incident happened just before 8 a.m. in the 1900 block of Prospect Drive. The father of the woman who lives at the home told WBTV his daughter, her baby, and another man were at the home when an ex-boyfriend arrived and kicked the door in.  The father said the ex-boyfriend started beating the woman when the other man at the home sh...

    More >>
  • Family: Please help us, lost phone has only photos of our baby who died

    Family: Please help us, lost phone has only photos of our baby who died

    Friday, March 24 2017 4:32 PM EDT2017-03-24 20:32:17 GMT

    But for a Charlotte mom, losing her cell phone means losing some of the last pictures she has of her little baby boy Ashton, who died in November.

    More >>

    But for a Charlotte mom, losing her cell phone means losing some of the last pictures she has of her little baby boy Ashton, who died in November.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly