The first thing to catch my eye this morning was an article decrying the lack of accuracy of fitness trackers. I personally use a Fitbit Flex. Anyone who has one of these devices for any length of time realizes they aren’t perfect. They use gps and some kind of motion sensor to make a good guess as to what you are doing, and how many calories you are burning. Just like the machines at the gym make a good guess at how many calories you are burning. They do serve a purpose, and as long as you aren’t slavishly dependent on them, they do their job.
The first thing I noticed is mine underestimates active minutes. I believe that is measured by rapid arm movements, since you wear the device as a wrist band. So when I am bench pressing and doing flys, it doesn’t count. However, I often hit my goals knitting! Since I don’t rely on the device for all of this, it is just a humorous moment.
The author was saying the one he tried wasn’t good at tracking his sleep. I track mine, and it seems fairly close. If I have a bad night, it reflects that. A friend of mine has one and says her’s does not do well tracking her sleep. So maybe it works better on some kinds of sleepers than others.
So why do I use it if I know it isn’t totally accurate? For the reason the article states. I will take an extra walk to hit my goal. If swinging your arms counts as active minutes, I’ll get up and do some arm exercises. I think that reason alone should keep their popularity up until the technology is perfected. We all need motivation.
I would love to hear about it if any of you use trackers. What brand do you use, and how accurate do you think it is?