Wearable fitness devices are one of the most popular innovations to hit the fitness world in recent years. They offer a way to track your activity levels throughout the day and to gather information that can be useful for getting fit and staying that way. While very popular, there is still some question as to how well they work.
What Are Wearable Fitness Devices?
You can find these devices come in two forms. The first is a dedicated device that you wear on your wrist. The second is an app that you can add to your phone.
The dedicated devices, like the Flex by Fitbit and the FuelBand by Nike, look much like a wristwatch. Inside each device are a bunch of sensors that can track a person's movement and acceleration. This allows the device to track steps and other relevant data.
The smartphone apps, like Moves by ProtoGeo Oy and Health Mate by Withings, use the built-in sensors already present in the phone to gather data about what is happening around the person carrying the phone.
Do Wearable Fitness Devices Really Work?
The main thing that wearable fitness devices do is motivate the person wearing them. With information readily available, it is easy to track how many steps you walk in a day, how many calories you burn, etc. This makes it possible to mark progress and to strive towards reasonable goals every day.
The problem lies in the accuracy of these devices. One study, done at the University of Pennsylvania, analysed just how accurate these devices really were. They brought in 14 people of random ages and fitness levels. They gave each individual several wearable fitness devices as well as two phones filled with the fitness apps. They had each individual do several walks on a treadmill, some at 500 steps, others at 1500 steps.
The results showed a high level of inaccuracy when it comes to measuring steps. The wearable devices showed anywhere from 2 to 23 percent less steps than the person actually walked. The phone apps were a bit more accurate with a variance of 6 percent above to 6 percent below the actual step count.
What does this mean? If you think you are going to get an accurate step count from the wearable fitness devices or apps, think again. However, if you are just looking for a way to keep yourself motivated, these devices can help you keep on track.
If you want to get fit, hiring a personal trainer is a great way to start. Contact Ralph Roberts. He provides fitness services to residents of Amarillo and surrounding communities.
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