Look down at your wrist. Are you wearing some electronic device that tracks your steps, activity and calories you burn in a day? If so, you are not alone. It is estimated that up to 20% up Americans have purchased jewelry meant to collect data instead of dazzle the eye. But, do they work?

I am not about to try to go into a scientific debate on the efficacy and accuracy of these devices. Garmin, Apple and Fitbit can have a wrestling match on that. I would buy a ticket to THAT event, and I bet all of us in the audience would know exactly how hard they were trying. However, I will bring into question whether or not they work in helping people achieve their goal: better health results.

As a society, we have become obsessed with data, tracking, posting, compiling and documenting our activity. You hear people brag about “getting their 10,000 steps”, the number of flights of stairs they have climbed or calories they have burned. What you do not see is 20% of the population that is wearing these device actually losing weight, improving their blood pressure or other positive results on their health. The research shows it just isn’t happening.

We also do this in business, don’t we? We track the hours we spend working, the number of calls we make, proposals we generate and other activity metrics in a hope that it will push us to do more and achieve better results. I believe that the obsession with counting and efficiency has brought us away from the main goal: getting better. In effect, we are running in place like a mouse on a spinning wheel. We go round and round expending effort, but we really aren’t going anywhere. If the goal is to be busy, mission accomplished. If the goal is to make progress, you could be focusing on the wrong way to get there.

Listen to this edition of the HighPer 7 podcast to learn more about why we get obsessed with counting our steps as well as the steps you need to take to start getting results.

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