People measure how many steps they take because it makes them feel healthy, like they’re doing something proactive for the body and mind. But can that measurement—the actual number itself—make people healthier? Or is it just another lifestyle metric dressed up like a medically actionable data point?
Right now, the answer is a little bit of both. While millions of people are busy strapping Fitbits, Apple Watches and other fitness trackers to their wrists and moving until they feel the Pavlovian vibration of reaching 10,000 steps, others are using dedicated at-home medical devices such as connected glucose meters and weight scales.