Physical Activity postWeight loss is a $60 billion industry.

With that many zeroes, is it any wonder there are so many companies seeking a piece of the not so low-fat pie?

Products pushing physical activity run the gamut from exercise equipment to videos to smartphone applications (apps) and wearable devices.

Each trying for a physical throwdown in the lucrative market.

  • The trending wearable device market may be the next victim
  • At least if smartphone apps have anything to say about it

Physical Evidence

A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association  (JAMA) shared results of a study comparing the accuracy of  the data tracked by smartphone apps and wearable devices.

According to the research, despite all the bells and whistles of wearables, smartphone apps are just as accurate in tracking physical activity.

  • Study participants walked on a treadmill
  • An observer used a tally counter to count steps

They tested waistband devices (one pedometer and two accelerometers), three wearable devices, and two smartphones (one with three apps and the other one with one app).

The findings showed smartphone apps had only a slight difference (from -6.7 to 6.2) from the observed step counts. The wearable devices had a larger difference (-22.7 to -1.5).

If you’re like me, the image that popped in my head was an observer silently clicking away through 552 step count observations. What if he or she lost count?

The study indicated M.A.C. after the observer.  Okay, I had to look up the M.A.C. acronym (not the Apple).

M.A.C.=Media Access Control – unique identifier assigned to network interfaces for communications on the physical network segment.

That did not do much to clear it up for me. I am sure one of my smart readers can explain it.

In any event, when you consider the cost of a wearable device to an app you download to a smartphone you have anyway, this research is not good news for the wearables industry.

I can see the app marketing exploding in glee. They just cut out a piece of the competition. For now.


Helping you Keep it simple, clear & uniquely yours – contact me for help with your business writing needs. Visit my business blog, Simply stated business.


Notice of Disclaimer –Cathy Miller is not an attorney or health care provider and cannot provide legal or health care advice. The information provided is for your general background only, and is not intended to constitute legal or health care advice as to your specific circumstances. We recommend you review legislation with legal counsel and visit your physician for health care issues.

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