Are Fitness Trackers Useful?

Everyone is on the fitness tracking bandwagon. The Apple Watch shall track your heartbeat, steps, and activity. The Fuelband and Fitbit have been doing similar things for a long time. But they aren’t perfect. At best, the data is good encouragement, but at worst, it’s unreliable and deceptive. Here’s why everything data doesn’t equal better health, and what you can use actually. When Google announced Android Wear, week and again when Apple announced the Apple Watch last, fitness experts watched to see if either company would try different things or adopt the Fitbit and Nike Fuelband method of activity tracking.

Both companies opted for the latter, which means that Android Wear devices and the Apple Watch could be more like the gadgets you can already buy than anything new when it comes to fitness and health. If you use them properly and you’re already motivated to get a lean body, then fitness trackers can change lives. However, they take some effort to interpret, only work very well with specific types of exercise, and you also can’t believe all you see with them at face value.

Here’s how to sift the nice stuff from the junk, and not fall prey to marketing disguised as healthy living. Fitness tracking devices are everywhere. It looks like we constantly hear in regards to a new device or application that promises to “disrupt” activity tracking for some reason. The difficulty with many of these apps, clips, and strap-on bands is that they fail at a few of the basic things they aim to do (like let you know calories burned, plane tickets climbed, and activity level).

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The situation is so very bad that we’ve outlined a few of it before, which great piece at Quartz switches into deeper details. However, the video itself shows people exercising that the Apple Watch wouldn’t have the ability to measure, like package jumps and stationary cycling. The Apple Watch can monitor heartrate likely, but odds are it’ll use a pulse oximeter to do it.

Pulse oximeters frequently have difficulty on people with darker epidermis or who sweat, and it requires one to take a look at their Wikipedia entrance to see their numerous restrictions. Similarly, take a look at Droid Life’s overview of the Samsung Gear Fit, which calls out a true number of issues with utilizing a smartwatch to measure pulse. Finally, using an accelerometer and pulse monitor to infer activity is largely useless when tracking non-cardio activities, like weight training, weight lifting, and weight resistance exercises.

And none of the devices are water-resistant, so going swimming is out of the relevant question. Sometimes they grant way too many steps for too little movement, & most encourage movement “goals” predicated on outdated and disproven science. Even worse, the marketing for many trackers claim their devices will “get to know you like a personal trainer would” (a primary quotation from the Apple Watch advertisement), which is misleading at best.