A new study conducted by scientists at Stanford University shows that fitness trackers can be good at measuring heart rate, but don’t measure burned calories accurately. Since this trend became more and more popular among people who work out, researchers warn them not to rely on these devices to to settle for a diet.
To conduct this study, scientists monitored 60 participants who tested 7 fitness trackers. The fitness trackers that were tested included Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Apple Watch, MIP Alpha 2, Basis Peak, PulseOn, and Samsung Gear S2. The volunteers were asked to perform several types of exercise, including running, cycling, and walking.
Measuring Burned Calories
Researchers noticed that 6 out of 7 fitness trackers were great at measuring heart rate, showing an error rate smaller than 5 percent. Samsung Gear S2 was the only one with a rate of almost 7 percent. When it came to measuring burned calories, the devices showed a high error rate. The rate exceeded 20 percent, which is extremely inaccurate. PulseOn displayed the highest inaccuracy.
This is problematic, especially for those who use fitness trackers to lose weight. These people can be misled by the high number of burned calories and eat more than they should. Therefore, people are advised to consider the limitations of fitness trackers.
Don’t Base your Diet on Consumed Calories
People also need to be aware of the fact that everybody burn calories differently. For instance, walking 10,000 steps can burn from 400 to 800 calories. The number of burned calories depends on the weight and height of the person who performs the exercises. Therefore, don’t base your diet on the results from your fitness tracker.
Fitness tracker producers should be more transparent when it comes to their algorithms, and be aware that not all bodies work the same. However, such devices still have a positive effect on people. They are motivated by these fitness devices to do more and more physical activity.
Image source: Pixabay