Fitbits and Jawbones track your sleep, steps, and heart rate (including how it spikes in the middle of a breakup). But a new study found that collecting all of that data makes whatever you’re doing a lot less fun.
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The study looked at two groups who spent time coloring, walking, or reading, and tracked one group but not the other. The people in the group that was tracked did their activity the most. But there’s a big catch: They also rated themselves as enjoying the activities much less than those who weren’t measured.
The researchers found that measurement makes people focus almost exclusively on output. All of a sudden exercising (or coloring or reading) feels a lot like work. The thinking goes: Work is something we have to get done, so it’s not as much fun as the kickboxing class we do just for the thrill of it.