People with arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems often restrict their physical activity, even though exercise is beneficial. For a study published in Arthritis Care & Research
(September 2018), researchers reviewed 17 studies to assess whether wearable activity trackers, which keep track of the number of steps you take and other activities, increase physical activity among people with osteoarthritis, low back pain, and inflammatory arthritis (which includes rheumatoid arthritis). The wearable trackers were simple pedometers as well as more high-tech devices, such as Fitbit. The studies included a total of 1,588 people with an average age of 55. The researchers found a significant increase in physical activity among users of activity trackers over a period of about 14 weeks. The difference between those who used the devices and those who didn't was an average of 1,520 steps a day.