Human coaching outperforms tech

Girl and robot looking at each other


  • Abu Dhabi
  • Al Ain
  • Al Khobar
  • Dubai
  • Jeddah
  • RAK
  • Riyadh
  • Sharjah
Please select city

The New Landscape of Fitness Technology

In today's world, there are countless options for those aiming to become the fittest and healthiest versions of themselves.

The tech industry offers a wide array of products designed to assist, ranging from calorie trackers to gym session monitors.

However, if your goal is significant fat loss, recent research suggests you shouldn't be too quick to ditch your personal trainer.

The Study You Should Know About

A new study conducted by Northwestern Medicine sought to determine if wireless fitness feedback systems could effectively replace traditional human coaching in the fight against obesity.

Given that the fitness tracker market is projected to be worth over $25 billion in North America alone by 2024, it's a question worth exploring.

Study Methodology

The study evaluated 400 adults classified as overweight or obese over a 12-month period to identify the most effective weight-loss approach. Participants were divided into three groups:

  • Treatment using a wireless system alone.

  • Treatment using a wireless system combined with human coaching.

  • Treatment using human coaching alone.

Participants aged 18 to 60 who used a wireless system were equipped with an integrated app, a WiFi scale, and a Fitbit.

This setup allowed them to receive digital feedback on their diet, activity, and weight. Those with human coaching received additional advice and guidance.

Human Coaching vs. Tech-Only Results

The data revealed that participants relying solely on technology without any human coaching support were less likely to achieve meaningful weight loss.

"Providing people with technology alone for the initial phase of obesity treatment results in unacceptably poorer weight loss outcomes compared to combining technology with human coaching," said Bonnie Spring, the study's corresponding author and director of the Center for Behavior and Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

While past research has shown that engagement between humans and wearable tech is promising, there's still a gap between using these devices and actually following through with exercise or dietary recommendations.

This discrepancy might explain why technology alone cannot yet replace human coaches. The presence of a real person to whom one is accountable might be a stronger motivator.

The Future of Tech in Weight Loss

"At this stage, the average person still requires a human coach to achieve clinically significant weight loss goals because the technology isn't fully developed yet," Spring noted.

"We may soon have AI chatbots capable of substituting for human coaches, but we're not there yet. The tech is evolving rapidly."

For now, it seems that the reliable, traditional personal trainer remains indispensable.

Source: muscleandfitness

The opinions shared in the GymNation blog articles are solely those of the respective authors and may not represent the perspectives of GymNation or any member of the GymNation team.