The University of Toronto’s Student Newspaper Since 1880

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Wearable fitness technology: The evolution of health and wellness

Tracking your progress is only a wrist raise away
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
DARREN CHENG/THE VARSITY
DARREN CHENG/THE VARSITY

Health and fitness is always evolving, and since the beginning of the pandemic, the fitness industry has substantially risen in popularity. With little access to personal trainers, equipment, and gym facilities, it became evident that the world of fitness would have to adjust to an at-home style of physical activity for the time being. Like in many industries, technology is at the core of that transformation. Although not new to the scene, wearable fitness technology has risen in popularity within the last few years, providing consumers with the opportunity to have a better understanding of their daily activity, workout statistics, and overall health.

Since Fitbit launched its first piece in 2009, wearable fitness technology has grown from a simple idea to an industry that sold over 444.7 million units worldwide in 2020. From watches to smart jewellery and artificial intelligence headphones, fitness technology is getting more and more advanced each year. These devices can track many things including blood flow, heart rate, sleep patterns, step count, and breathing rhythms. As technology revolutionizes our world and we find ourselves sitting in front of screens for long periods of time, this technology is assisting us in correcting those habits and adjusting to healthy and more active lifestyles.

One of the top wearable fitness devices currently on the market is the Apple Watch. Not only does the Apple Watch have some of the most advanced fitness tracking capabilities, it also connects to notifications, allowing for quicker communication and information. The Apple Watch is more than just an iPhone on your wrist — when used to its maximum capabilities, it can be an easy assistant to living a consistent healthy lifestyle. The Apple Watch can track blood oxygen levels, sleep patterns, and heart rhythm, and it can provide directions and routes for your best run or cycle. 

A unique feature of the Apple Watch is the activity-sharing option. This feature allows you to connect with friends who also have an Apple Watch to follow their fitness progress throughout the day, or challenge each other in seven-day competitions. This feature is meant to further challenge and motivate you daily.

Another leading wearable is the Fitbit. With many models and varieties to choose from, you can be sure to find a piece perfect for your lifestyle and health goals. The first Fitbit was an attachable tag which stuck to your clothes, that only counted steps. Now you can find features on their newest model such as ‘daily readiness’ — which alerts you when your body is at its highest functionality for a workout or when your body needs a recovery day — stress management, GPS, oxygen monitoring, and skin temperature tracking. With its wide variety of pieces and features, the Fitbit is a great option if you are looking for basic activity tracking or if you are looking for the most advanced health applications.

Wearable technology provides us with immediate health and activity status information, and they’re becoming the ultimate devices for living a healthy lifestyle. Whether you decide to purchase a Fitbit, an Apple Watch, or a device from any other brand on the market, you can be sure that your investment will be worthwhile. Technology is revolutionizing today’s world, and this is the modern way to make sure we understand our bodies and the treatment and activity they need.