Do fitness wristbands really help lose weight?

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jan 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 16:49:13-05

Fitness trackers are all the rage these days.

But a new study, one of the biggest and longest to date, suggests that for some, they probably won’t help with weight loss.

Not Much Weight Loss Reported

A 2016 study tracked 800 adults for a year. Most wore Fitbits and logged 50,000 to 70,000 steps per week.

But after just six months, none of them showed improvement in their weight or blood pressure.

And after a year, 90 percent stopped using their Fitbit altogether.

Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine say taking steps alone isn’t enough to help you lose weight. You’re going to have to pair that with an intense exercise regimen and a healthy diet.

But the magazine says fitness wristbands can be worth buying if you think it will help you be more active on a daily bases.

The Best Fitness Trackers

Consumer Reports tested fitness trackers for step-count and heart-rate-monitoring accuracy, water resistance, ease of use and pairing, and readability in bright and low light.

Consumer Reports’ top-rated trackers are:

  • Fitbit Surge for $250

  • Tom Tom Spark Cardio Plus Music for $130

  • Garmin VivoSmart for $150.

Consumer Reports reached out to the makers of Fitbit, who said: “Fitbit continues to invest in the development of new devices and innovative motivational tools and social features to further enhance user engagement and help individuals achieve their health and fitness goals."

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports’ website. Subscribe to

Whatever you decide to buy, don't waste your money.


“Don't Waste Your Money” is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. (“Scripps”). The information included in this article was obtained independently by Scripps reporters. While purchases from links inserted in this article may result in a commission for Scripps, no Scripps reporter benefited from that commission.

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