Fitness trackers are not as accurate as you might think

Fitness trackers are not as accurate as you might think

Do you have a fitness tracker? If so, you might not be getting the right information about your health.

A new study conducted by Ball State University shows that fitness tracker that you may be focused on could be inaccurate by as much as 40 per cent.

The study took a look at two popular wrist-worn fitness trackers and two popular hip-based trackers. Researchers observed calorie loss as participants stayed sedentary, performed common household chores, and exercised.

Across the board, the sedentary tracking was pretty accurate, typically within 8 per cent. However, all of the trackers underestimated the calories burned during the household chores by somewhere between 27 and 34 per cent. During the vigorous exercise, the trackers all overestimated calorie loss by anywhere between 16 and 40 per cent.

The study was relatively small; it was limited to only 30 people of various age and fitness levels. However, it does raise an important question: how accurate are these popular fitness trackers?

This is such an important issue because these fitness trackers are definitely affecting how and when people are exercising and could have a direct influence on their health and fitness choices.

Many fitness tracker companies claim that their devices are meant only as supplements to a fitness routine that serve as motivational tools rather than replacements for actual medical devices. Nevertheless, this study could really affect their business and how the average person views the technology.

If you do not think the fitness tracker’s possible inaccuracies are worth it, you can still live a healthy life and stay on the right track for working out without one. Here are some tips.

Set realistic goals.

Keep in mind that no fitness tracker will ever be able to make you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals – that is all up to you. You do not need a fitness tracker to set realistic goals. Start small and shoot for the stars! It may be beneficial to set goals for achievements rather than pounds. For example, why not commit to 15 minutes of working out at a time and build up to at least 30?


Keep a food diary.

It is not always necessary to count your calories, but you do need to make smart eating choices. Why not start keeping a food diary? You will be able to see how your eating habits change over time and when you look back, you can easily determine what types of foods you may need to eliminate from your diet.


Reward yourself.

Living healthy and losing weight is not about deprivation. If you tell yourself that you can never eat dessert again, you may just start craving it constantly. When you meet a goal, reward yourself! It might be that ice cream cone you have been thinking about or some fresh flowers or a pedicure. Just be sure you continue to stick to your goals.

What do you think? Would you use a fitness tracker even though the data could be off by as much as 40 per cent?

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