Barbara Stiglbauer, Silvana Weber, Bernad Batinic,
"Does your health really benefit from using a self-tracking device? Evidence from a longitudinal randomized control trial"
, in Computers in Human Behavior, Nummer 94, Seite(n) 131-139, 2019, ISSN: 0747-5632
Does your health really benefit from using a self-tracking device? Evidence from a longitudinal randomized control trial
Sprache des Titels:
The use of wearable self-tracking devices to increase health and well-being is on the rise; yet, there is a lack of
scientific evidence concerning their actual benefits. This article summarizes theoretical assumptions (e.g., social
cognitive theory, cognitive dissonance, conditioning, observer effects) to explore how wearables might positively
affect health and well-being outcomes. A longitudinal randomized control study with a pre-post measurement
design was conducted to examine the effects of wearing a fitness tracker for two weeks. Health consciousness,
physical health, and indicators of psychological well-being served as dependent variables. The results suggest
that wearing the fitness tracker had a statistically small but significant positive effect on users' perceived physical
health and their sense of accomplishment (vs. waitlist control group), while health consciousness increased with
a large effect size for all participants in the study. If users in the experimental group additionally used the
accompanying app, the positive effects on indicators of self-reported health and well-being were more pronounced.
Practical implications and open research questions are critically discussed.