Personal fitness trackers could make you fatter, study finds

Fitness devices may not be helping you to lose weight. Picture: AP

Fitness devices may not be helping you to lose weight. Picture: AP

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Wearing a wristwatch fitness tracker could mean you lose less weight compared with tech-free exercising, a new study has found.

Scientists have warned that having your fitness activity measured by an electronic device does not improve your chances of losing weight.

In a study by the University of Pittsburgh, scientits followed 500 young adults undergoing counselling because of their weight.

Half were subjected to a normal weight-loss programme of a diet and exercise while the other half used high street fitness trackers.

Over two years, the study found that the latter group actually did worse, losing 3.5kg compared to 5.9kg lost by those not using devices.

Scientists believed those using technology relied too much on their devices, and often rewarded themselves with treats after counting their steps.

Sales of devices, including smartwatches and fitness trackers, have boomed in the UK, with 10 million expected to be in use by the end of 2016.

John Jakicic, from the University of Pittsburgh, said: “When we started this, we hypothesised that we were going to see the opposite of what we found.”

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