Let's say you are looking for a reliable fitness tracker. There are a lot of options available on the market, from manufacturers such as Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin. However, the question remains: are Fitbits accurate? If so, how can we help you make a conscious and informed decision?
Researchers at Aberystwyth University have been experimenting with the accuracy of popular activity tracking devices for a consumer affairs panel in Wales, and Fitbit was one of the devices tested, specifically Fitbit Charge 2.
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The participants were asked to walk on a treadmill for ten minutes at 4km per hour, followed by a ten-minute jog at 8km per hour. “There is a direct correlation between the amount of energy someone is using and the amount of oxygen they are burning,” according to Dr. Rhys Thatcher.
So what does this mean for Fitbits' accuracy? According to Dr. Thatcher, the accuracy of activity trackers isn't that important when it comes to their health benefits.
Dr. Thather believes that activity trackers must be treated with caution as they are not direct measurements. Fitbits, as well as other fitness trackers, are useful when tracking progress and can be a great motivational tool to keep people motivated to exercise.
According to the author, "activity is one of the greatest factors of health."
According to the International Journal of Environmental Research, what you're doing will affect how accurate your tracker is at estimating TTE, and while "mainstream devices are able to reliably measure heart rate, number of steps, distance, and sleep duration, which can be used as effective health evaluation indicators, the measurement accuracy of energy consumption remains inadequate." Fitness trackers of different brands are all affected by the activity state, thus manufacturers must improve their algorithms for different activity states.
While all trackers are based on your personal information, including height, weight, gender, and age, and metrics such as basal metabolic rate or BMR, it also takes into account how quickly you burn calories consumed in resting mode. For example, an elevated heart rate may not necessarily result in a stressful situation.
Despite this, perhaps the issue remains whether or not focusing on how accurate are Fitbits is the gadget's value or functionality. After all, it's all about perspective.
Although not 100% accurate — no fitness tracker is really a fitness tracker — Fitbit health trackers are excellent at urging you to move more because they measure steps, distance, calories burned, and the amount of activity during the day, which will motivate you to achieve goals and perform better.