How Accurate are Fitness Trackers?

Majority of fitness enthusiasts enjoy keeping track of their progress during their daily exercise routines. To help them do this, they invest in fitness trackers that monitor their daily activities and let them improve their routine over time. Thankfully, there is a wide array of trackers in the market, making it easier for you to choose the one that meets your needs.

how accurate are fitness trackers

So, how do fitness trackers work?

Fitness trackers provide a variety of statistics on the type of exercise an individual is involved in. These parameters can include the number of steps taken, heart rate and calories burnt during exercise among others. The final statistics provided are often a combination of various types of information collected throughout the exercise regimen. Some of the ways that fitness trackers gather information include:

  • Use of sensors

Since a majority of trackers are worn the arm, it makes it possible for the sensors in the device to measure motions and vibrations that take place during exercise. The sensors keep track of movements in all directions using a gyroscope and use the data to calculate steps taken and calories lost. Some of the data measured by the sensors include patterns of movement, acceleration, intensity, frequency, and duration.

  • Use of algorithms

Different types of fitness trackers use various algorithms to calculate the amount of exercise done during a regimen. The trackers rely on sensors which after collecting data is converted into information that is easily understood by the user. Most times, the algorithms that translate raw data in the tracker have various thresholds resulting in different readings for the same person.

  • Special features

Most fitness trackers seek to differentiate themselves from others by providing extra features to exercise lovers. It is common to find trackers like those listed at having unique features that make them a favorite of fitness enthusiasts seeking to remain healthy. Some have optical sensors that illuminate your skin and go deeper to your capillaries to measure the rate at which your blood is being pumped in the body. Others give information on sleep patterns using wrist movements for the benefit of the user.

What you need to know about the accuracy of fitness trackers

It is obvious that no two fitness trackers will provide the same results when used by the same person. The main reason for the discrepancy lies in the use of various data collection and analysis processes which result in slightly different outcomes. Even so, the advantages of using fitness trackers cannot be ignored despite the minimal difference in results. Some of the benefits of using these trackers are:

  • Helps track performance

Starting a fitness journey needs a lot of willpower to keep going until you reach the final goal. Using a fitness tracker makes it easier to stay on track as it gives you feedback on your progress step by step. Most times, the input is in the form of a variety of statistics that help you gauge whether you are improving or not. Even though the information given by a tracker may be an estimate, it still offers a pretty good idea of the progress made so far. Also, as technology gets more sophisticated so does the wearable trackers, with many being worked on to provide information that is as accurate as possible

  • Helps set fitness goals

When used correctly, fitness trackers can help you reach your intended goals much faster and in a healthier way. It is essential to engage with the wearable device as often as possible to learn how it works and customize its features to meet your needs. You are likely to be more focused when you get regular updates about progress towards your overall fitness goal. To get the most out of your fitness tracker, you need to set goals that are achievable over a fixed period. You could use the reminder feature in your device to get you motivated in the morning or evening to exercise and move towards your dream fitness goal.

  • Helps in heart rate measurements

The heart rate is one of the measurements that most fitness trackers record when you are doing various exercises. Most trackers give a pretty accurate reading for the heart rate which is essential for anyone seeking to keep track of the measurements. The data collected by the device is often translated into information that is easy to understand making them worth the investment. In some cases, the measurements may vary, but the outcome is usually around the same figure making it important for those interested in such data to consider buying a fitness tracker. All the same, a healthy heart is a sign of a healthy body regardless of one’s age.

  • Helps in the assessment of overall health

Fitness trackers have been criticized for becoming a substitute for professional advice on exercise and weight loss. It is true that many exercise lovers rely on their trackers to monitor their health and progress, but this does not mean they do not seek help when in need of professional advice. In most cases, using fitness trackers makes them aware of every change in their body so that they can respond appropriately. Additionally, trackers make it possible to provide good enough information about the state of their health whenever the need arises.

Overall, it is essential to understand that fitness trackers have their limits. Most times, they are designed to offer essential information to those exercising, but they also have a fashion element to them. Manufacturers of the trackers often upgrade them on a regular basis to make them as near perfect as possible so that the information offered is as accurate as possible. Even so, it is essential to go beyond the results they provided by the device to assess your progress as you exercise so that you are aware of the current state of your health. Let these devices be your starting point and motivation towards achieving a healthy lifestyle at any age.

[Image via: Google Images]