It pays to keep track!
A recent study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 69% of American adults keep track of at least one health indicator and 60% of US adults track weight, diet, or exercise routine.
Although people with chronic conditions are most likely to track health indicators – plenty of healthy people are keeping tabs too.
How are People “Keeping Track”?
Of those surveyed who consider themselves “trackers”:
- 49% track progress in their heads
- 34% track progress by writing it down on paper or in a journal
- 21% track progress using some sort of technology
There are a variety of electronic resources out there to help track food intake and energy expenditure. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Websites such as USDA’s SuperTracker, part of the ChooseMyPlate.gov program
- Phone apps such as MyFitnessPal and LiveStrong CalorieCounter
- Wearable devices like FitBit and UP by Jawbone
Whether or not these health trackers are more successful at losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight remains to be seen. But if you know you are at risk for the development of certain types of chronic disease – such as heart disease – it may pay to keep tabs on yourself.
For a list of other fitness and food tracking resources, click here.