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Fitness Trackers Getting a Bad Rep For Inaccurate Results

Jaclyn Hughes

Have you jumped on the activity tracking bandwagon yet? Millions of people young and old have purchased an activity tracker to wear all day and view their movement throughout the week. Many have decided to wear their devices just to track their steps and motivate themselves to move more or less depending on their daily step count goals. They can do so much more than just track your steps these days; in fact now some versions can track your sleeping patterns, tell you how many stairs you climbed in a day, and how many calories you burned!

Seems foolproof right? You simply wear the activity tracker, and you’re one step closer to reaching your fitness dreams. Or, perhaps not. Some are starting to question the legitimacy of their fitness trackers as they feel they aren’t getting accurate numbers. USA Today did a great story regarding this very topic where it touched upon the reported error rates of smart bands, advising that research rates came back with some 15-30% reported errors in daily tracking. Has this happened to you? Have you ever worn your fitband and glanced at the calories burned amount and thought, “There is no way I burned that many calories today!” Well, you aren’t alone as many have begun testing each smart tracker against a regular old pedometer. Interestingly enough, some reported results were more accurate from a $15.00 pedometer than they were getting from the pricey bands that were costing in upwards of $200.00.

Greg Welk is a professor that has stated researchers finding difficulty getting accurate estimates of physical activity. Fitbit is one of the largest brands of activity trackers, and has been recently slammed with major lawsuit regarding the accuracy of their heart rate monitors. Some users claiming they were way off whilst performing any type of strenuous activity. Fitbit plans to vigorously defend their product line, and they do have millions of adorning fans raving about their smart trackers across the globe, so how do you know where you stand? Experts advise keeping an eye on your smart bands to see if it really is tracking your activity accurately or not. If you have a very sedentary day, ensure that your tracker has calculated that properly. If you notice a dispute in what you think the numbers should be, certainly notify the customer service department of the manufacturer to ensure that you are utilizing the band the correct way. Some reports false results when all along they were wearing the devices incorrectly. Read the directions and save your sales receipts in the event of any hiccups down the road.

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