Benefits Of Fitness Trackers
Last Updated on June 4, 2021 by Gabriel Goddy
If you are a sports person, then you definitely need a fitness tracker. The benefits of fitness trackers are innumerable. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to know the benefits of fitness trackers, would you? This guide aims to show to you the benefits of fitness trackers, make sure to take note of the benefits.
What Is A Fitness tracker?
An activity tracker, also known as a fitness tracker, is a device or application for monitoring and tracking fitness-related metrics such as distance walked or run, calorie consumption, and in some cases heartbeat. It is a type of wearable computer.
The term is now primarily used for smartwatches that are synced, in many cases wirelessly, to a computer or smartphone for long-term data tracking. There are also independent mobile and Facebook apps. Some evidence has found that the use of these types of devices results in less weight loss rather than more. Sleep tracker devices tend to under-detect wakefulness.
How Does A Fitness Tracker Work?
In the past five years, fitness trackers have become increasingly popular with consumers. It seems that new models with improved features are released frequently while prices continue to fall. Most fitness trackers tout the ability to help users lose weight and improve their overall health by counting the number of steps taken and calories burned in a day.
Many even measure the user’s heart rate in real-time and claim to track both quantity and quality of sleep. But many users and potential buyers are left wondering, “How does a fitness tracker work?” and “How accurate are they?”
How Does the Technology Behind Fitness Trackers Work?
Simply put, fitness trackers work by using a variety of tools to gather data about your movements and your body combined with algorithms to interpret this data. The specific technology used to gather this data and the algorithms used to interpret it to vary by manufacturer and even model, which means that two different trackers may give you different numbers.
Although manufacturers and models can vary, fitness trackers work by measuring motion. Most employ a 3-axis accelerometer that measures movement in every direction, while some include a gyroscope to measure rotation and orientation. Many include an altimeter to measure altitude; this allows the device to measure how many stairs you’ve climbed in a day or the height of a mountain you’ve hiked.
Some models include temperature sensors and sensors to measure your heart rate. Some include sensors to measure your sleep patterns by tracking your wrist movements.
These multiple sensors then measure such variables as frequency, acceleration, intensity, duration, and patterns of your movements. This vast amount of data is then interpreted using an algorithm specific to the model of a fitness tracker to put together meaningful measurements and statistics of your movements and health over time.
How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers?
Because the sensors and algorithms vary by manufacturer and even model, it sometimes happens that two different fitness trackers may yield different results. This suggests that while fitness trackers may give you a good overview of your movements, the data gathered and how it is interpreted may not be completely accurate all the time.
How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers When Measuring Steps?
Knowing that measurements and data can vary from tracker to tracker, you may be wondering just how accurate are they when measuring steps. Most trackers are generally reliable when counting steps were taken during the day. The technology has improved over the past couple of years, and newer trackers are generally quite reliable.
They “know” when to dismiss a small movement of the wrist, such as when you are typing or playing a video game, and not count it as a step. Only larger movements count. However, some activities, such as a particularly bumpy car ride, may register as steps due to the amount of movement, while walking softly across a very thick carpet may not register at all. Fitness trackers are fairly reliable at counting your daily steps, but they are certainly not infallible.
How Accurate Are Fitness Trackers when Measuring Calories?
Many users opt for fitness trackers because they are trying to better manage their weight. This may lead you to ask, “How accurate are they when measuring calories?” The answer to this question depends in part on you, the user. When measuring calories burned during a particular activity, a tracker’s algorithm needs information about age, weight, height, and gender.
These variables factor into the determination of how many calories are burned during a particular activity or across a day or an entire week. If you as a user do not input the correct information, you should not expect your tracker to be able to provide an accurate reading.
This means that you need to update your information as these variables change: you age or you lose weight, for example. When tracking the calories you burn, some trackers measure not only movement but also heart rate and perspiration. This means that you likely get more accurate data from trackers that include these options.
Types of Fitness Trackers
- Basic Trackers
If you are having trouble getting motivated to take your fitness goals to the next level, this Omron device should be of benefit to you. It allows you to track your distance and steps to push you to improve every day.
Also, it comes with an accurate step count that works in all positions (horizontal, flat, and vertical). It will reset at midnight automatically so that you have an exact daily count to keep for your records. You even have the ability to keep a weekly log, with 7 days of activity data included. It is incredibly simple to use and has smart Tri-Axis technology that prevents it from miscounting steps.
- Sleep Measurement Tracker
This is a great tracker that will help you to analyze your sleep, diet, and fitness routines. It is compatible with both Android and iOS, though you do have to install the Jawbone UP smartphone app (which is free).
One of the best things you can do with the UP Move device is to wear it on your wrist as you sleep to determine your quality of sleep. Also, it allows you to connect with your family members and friends to help you reach goals together, as well as check out your status on the team leaderboards.
- Heart Rate Tracker
This tracker reads your heart rate and monitors it while you are playing sports to ensure optimal health. It also sends you a reminder when you have been sitting for a certain length of time, making it ideal for people who work overtime and are trying to improve their exercise routines.
The body of the bracelet is comfortable, made out of an anti-sweat soft material. It comes with a unique identity ID so that you can unlock your phone without a password with Android when it is close to the fitness tracker.
- Trackers with Smart Features
This is one of the more popular trackers out there today. It tracks your distance, steps, how long you have been active, and how many calories you have burned. The tracker is incredibly thin, meaning that you can hide it in with your bangles and bands. It comes with SmartTrack to recognize your records and workouts.
Set it up to receive text and call notifications that feature color-coded LED lights and vibration patterns. You also can have it automatically set to track your sleep quality and how long you sleep, including a silent alarm with a vibration. It is swim-proof, perfect for taking along to track your swimming distance and pace.
Benefits of Fitness Trackers
- Personal Accountability –
This is the number one benefit and the reason people use fitness trackers. Many trackers keep track of your goals and progress to, psychologically, encourage you to get more steps in than the day before or perhaps run faster than yesterday and sustain a higher peak heart rate for just a little longer. In fact, some studies have found that even just wearing a basic pedometer can increase activity levels by 30 percent.
- Individually-Tailored Goals –
Many fitness trackers have workouts, tips, and realistic goals that you can set yourself. For example, if you want to run a 5K, but have not run more than 100 yards in the past year, the tracker will set individual milestones for you to get you up to your goal of running 3.1 miles.
- Weight Loss –
When you use a fitness tracker and try to meet or beat your personal goals, you will likely see some pounds being shed. When you look at your activity levels and notice if you’re in the correct heart rate zone and then when taking a look at the weight scale you can see if you are on track toward your desired weight.
- Group Motivation –
While fitness trackers are centered around you as an individual to help you meet your goals and personal milestones, some people enjoy the social features that some fitness trackers can provide. Depending on the fitness tracker, you can choose to share your progress with your social media networks, which allows your friends to encourage you. Some, in fact, have features where you can connect with other “fitness trackers” in your area and create your own workout groups and challenge each other to meet their goals.
- Sleep Tracking –
Trackers are now used to determine how well you are sleeping by monitoring your movement while asleep. Getting three full cycles of sleep per night is important to maintaining your energy levels and giving your brain, and the rest of your body, the time it needs to recover and process everything that happened in the day prior.
As technology advances, so will fitness trackers. Many consumers choose fitness trackers to monitor the number of steps they take each day, how many calories they burn and how well they sleep. Although each tracker is a bit different, there is certainly a choice to fit the preferences, both in terms of data and design, for nearly any user.