Fitbit Charge 2 REVIEW!
Here's How Your Fitbit Measures Up To The Competition
With so many fitness trackers on the market, finding the best fit can take having to channel your inner Goldilocks and wading through all the bells and whistles until you find the one that'sjust right for you. But when it comes to accuracy, things get a bit more simple: Most of the best sellers are pretty much the same, according to new research by the American Council on Exercise.
In the study, 20 adults tested out 5 popular activity trackers—Fitbit Ultra, Nike+ Fuelband, Jawbone UP, BodyMedia FitCore, and Adidas MiCoach—while walking and running on a treadmill, using an elliptical machine, and during agility drills. At the same time, they wore pedometers and portable metabolic analyzers (masks that measure the air you're breathing out during exercise), which are already known to accurately measure the number of steps taken and calories burned.
After comparing the data from the pedometers and the activity trackers, researchers found that all 5 fitness trackers are able to count your steps with at least 90% accuracy. But when it comes to how many calories you're burning during exercise, there's more room for error—up to 60% error, in some cases.
"That seems high, but it's not really surprising," says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise. "Estimating calorie expenditure is a pretty complicated process."
Don't let that discourage you, though. As long as you realize that the feedback you're getting isn't 100% accurate, there's no reason for you to swear off fitness trackers for good, says Bryant. Past research tells us that just wearing a tracker is going to encourage you to move more. And while the numbers may be a little off, it's still helping you track your progress: "If the device says you're taking 7,000 steps a day, and over time that number moves to 8,500, that's data you can use," Bryant says.
And something else to keep in mind: If you're only worried about the number of steps you're taking each day, you might want to consider skipping the fitness tracker and sticking with a cheaper (or even free!) app on your smartphone. Research published in theJournal of the American Medical Associationfound that many apps are just as accurate as their more expensive counterparts.
Video: How accurate is a Fitbit?
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