Health Advocate Blog

Ask a Health Advocate: What are the benefits of using an activity tracker?

Activity trackers continue to gain popularity as popular devices for fitness newbies and diehards alike. With so many activity trackers (including smartphone apps, websites, and wearable devices) available, you might be wondering what you can get out of using one. We’re here to help—read on to learn more about the many benefits of activity trackers and how you can put them to work for you! While the specific bells and whistles of each brand of activity tracker may differ, the following are the most standard features and capabilities these devices can provide:

Increased Accountability:

People tend to focus better on information that they track. For example, if you use a device that is logging things like steps walked throughout the day, there’s a good chance you will be more mindful about walking. Even better, over time you will start thinking more about ways you can maintain and increase your activity levels.

Set Personal Goals:

The data from an activity tracker shows your current activity level, which can help you set realistic health goals. Additionally, as you track, you may find that you are paying more attention to which activities help you reach your daily goal. This will help you come up with a plan that incorporates more of those activities each day.

Connect with Friends:

With an activity tracker, you aren’t limited to exercise buddies who live nearby or have the same schedule as you. Whether you’re next-door neighbors or siblings living on opposite sides of the country, if you both use the same device or application, you can link up online to see each other’s stats or create friendly challenges. This can help you and your exercise buddies keep each other motivated.

Access to Additional Tools:

Activity trackers often offer access to online groups where you can discuss and create challenges with other users. Additionally, activity trackers may regularly (often, once per week) display or email you progress reports to show how you are doing week to week, which can help keep you motivated to stay on track with your goals.

What about the cost?

Cost ranges from free mobile and online applications to more expensive wearable devices that track beyond basic steps and calories. There are many available options, so first decide what features are most important to you as well as decide upon your budget. Then research specific trackers online to determine which one best meets your needs.

How easy is an activity tracker to set up?

Generally, setting up an activity tracker is an easy and user-friendly process. Once you buy a device or download an application, you register for an account. Then you can log in and view your progress, access additional features, change settings and sync your data at any time.

For Health Advocate members

If you are a Health Advocate member with access to our Wellness Coaching program, you have access to free health trackers for steps, exercise minutes, food and water intake, weight, and sleep on the Health Advocate Wellness website. Plus, our Wellness website now links with Fitbit to connect your device data to the health trackers on our website. It’s easy to use—just visit your Health Advocate Wellness website to get started!

Have a question for a Health Advocate? Email, and your question may be the topic of an upcoming “Ask a Health Advocate” column!


Fitbit is a registered trademark and service mark of Fitbit, Inc. Health Advocate’s Wellness website is designed for use with the Fitbit platform. This product is not put out by Fitbit, and Fitbit does not service or warrant the functionality of this product.