The Science Behind The Inefficacy Of The Majority Of Fitness Apps

    If you haven’t heard that fit is the new skinny, then you have been living under a rock. For a couple of years now, the world has become obsessed with healthy living, but more importantly, fitness and exercise.

    Adding fuel to the fire is our ability to track our movement and exercise with numerous apps and devices. The problem is that most of these apps don’t really work, yet so many people are drawn in by the flashy numbers and cool stats that they provide. When the novelty wears off, most people revert to their old habits and they gain even more weight than before the app.

    When people see the calorie count of the exercise that they completed, they develop a phenomenon called moral licensing. What this does is it coaxes them into thinking that they can reward themselves with an unhealthy snack for their hard work in the gym. In most cases, they overindulge and take in more calories than they would have if not for the app.

    The other thing that happens is that bad eating habits start to form, which are harder to get out of than an exercise routine. Generally, people who started working out with an app don’t have the self-discipline to continue and gradually exercise less, but the eating habit that they formed still persists, leaving them in a worse spot than before.

    These apps are also not great motivators. Sure they look great and amuse us for a while, but then they become a chore and people lose interest. When you feel like you are being forced to do something, you’ll only persist in doing it for so long. If exercise is not fun, it cannot exact permanent change in behavior and this is not something that an app can easily achieve.