Why do people stop using wearables and fitness trackers?


For several reasons, fitness trackers and other wearables have become very popular with the general public. They are thought to be better at monitoring the user and their surroundings than traditional mobile technology, offering various functionalities like communication to various devices and features like a pedometer, heart rate monitor, etc.

While some users favor wearables, others do not for various reasons. According to a recent study on activity trackers or fitness wearables, 30% of consumers stopped wearing their devices after six months, and 50% of wearable owners stopped using them.

What causes such a high attrition rate of customers who stop using their devices? What factors made people unhappy with the devices to the point where they avoided them? Answering these queries can be a fascinating source of knowledge, offering helpful suggestions to enhance the innovation process.


Users of wearables risk becoming fixated on their gadgets and the evolution of the metrics to the point where they no longer enjoy wearing them. Obsession may manifest, for instance, as a person is distracted from their daily tasks to check their phone for updates.

Some users are so intent on getting a good night’s sleep that it interferes with their sleep. Additionally, if they fall short of the predetermined objectives, it might make them feel bad.

For instance, some people purchase fitness trackers to track their sleep, only to discover that their sleep is negatively impacted because they worry so much before bed about the quality of their sleep. Once they stop wearing them, they immediately resume sleeping better.

Limited metrics

Most wearables only offer a few metrics. The initial target market for wearables was “fit” people who wanted to track their development. The device was initially purchased for this use, but they quickly realized the functionalities were too constrained. They won’t get enough information about their workout when lifting weights, cycling, etc. These limited insights caused them to stop wearing their device. Additionally, features like accelerometers and heart rate monitors are not designed with workouts in mind. The current metrics are considered ineffective at drawing interesting conclusions from the data pertinent to the workout (such as step count).

In addition, the wearable device’s functions become obsolete once users reach a certain activity level. Customers believe a wearable is useful for increasing their awareness of their activity levels and forcibly changing their behavior to be more healthy. However, once they have done so, they might feel that the device is no longer useful to their current behavior and stop wearing it.

Accuracy and reliability

The sensors not picking up the correct information and being unable to correct confounding factors are to blame for the data’s accuracy and reliability. When step counts are added while standing, for example, or sleep is tracked while awake, this is an example. Some customers also mentioned that contextual factors, such as sleeping in a different bed, could impact the registered data, making its interpretations less reliable. Some consumers stopped wearing their devices because they noticed a discrepancy between their behavior and the registered data, which caused them to lose faith in the data’s overall value.


The battery’s durability can be a source of frustration for wearable users. Customers who purchased wearables with long-lasting batteries complained that their batteries stopped working after a short period. However, being able to charge it does not come without frustration. Customers dislike having to constantly charge their devices. One of the reasons they stopped wearing it was that they had misplaced the charger for their device.

Easy to forget

Some users simply forget about their wearable after removing it and stop wearing it because they no longer need it. The main reasons for removing it are to charge the device or to participate in workouts where the wearable is perceived as a hindrance. The device’s unobtrusiveness can cause forgetting, but it can also be caused by not being engaging enough to remember. Some customers even lose their wearables because they misplace and forget about them.


Wearables are easily replaced by better devices surpassing the previous device’s capabilities, such as smartphones offering features like step counting, sleep tracking, etc. Some devices’ added value and USP are too constrained, which may encourage users to switch devices, for example, stop using their wearable due to its constrained metrics.


Data consistency and accuracy are two key challenges most wearable devices face. The devices must collect more accurate and diverse data that can be integrated into a larger ecosystem to be more valuable. Data inaccuracy and limited access are primarily the results of mismanagement of expectations about the device’s capabilities and expected usage. Several devices promise features like continuous heart rate monitoring or electrodermal activity measurement but are never truly capable of providing these services, leaving many customers in the dark.