If you are impressed by everything that the new fitness trackers boast of doing, think twice. During the past year, it is estimated that on average, 19 million activity trackers were used by individuals, but when it comes to tracking steps and calories, the real deal regarding their accuracy has come under quite a bit of scrutiny, according to a recent study that was commissioned by the American Council on Exercise.
So, Here are the “5 Reasons”, as Evidence Supports
There are actually many more than five reasons why these little devices quickly lose their luster, and hopefully by reading this, you will gain a more objective insight into the growing disappointment that follows in consumers who purchased a wearable with great expectations.
1. They Can Only Measure the Simple Stuff
When the results were tallied, it became painfully evident that, even though most of the devices that were included in the testing were able to perform the basics, such as accurately (within 10%) tracking the wearers’ steps while walking, running and using an elliptical trainer, that’s where their performance ended. These “techno-marvels” proved themselves to be of absolutely no value at tracking steps for all of the other ways in which we work out and train. For instance, they are just not equipped to measure the expended energy of complex movements that are an integral part of sports activities, weight lifting and cross training, and some fared much worse than others.
2. Feeling the Burn and Effectively Measuring it–Not so Easy
When it came to their ability to keep track of the wearers’ caloric depletion during any given activity, these trackers wound up with effectiveness within a range of some 13 to 60 percent, when compared with the actual numbers. The Chief Science Officer of the American Council on Exercise reported that “There are certain assumptions that are made when developing the algorithms that translate movement activity detected by the devices into calories burned. Even devices with the best prediction equations will have some margin of error due to natural biological variability.”
3. A Waste of Time and Money?
Roughly at least one third of U.S. consumers who have purchased one of these wearables for fitness have actually been found to have stopped using the device within six months of having purchased it. And with the high ticket price on these little gadgets, that’s a lot of cash to be throwing away. Why go to the trouble of buying one and learning how to use it, when it’s just going to wind up in a utility drawer, with all of the other random, useless stuff. If you want to monitor your progress walking, running and using an elliptical, just get yourself a pedometer, and you’ll be just as well off – really.
4. The Technology
These devices are known to be aggravating when attempts are made to sync them with a smartphone, and the batteries on them just do not last long enough – this is likely to be reduced if further functionalities are added – Some are even known to require battery charge at least once a day, even with light use–more expense and more frustration.
5. They Evolve So Fast…
…that your brand new device will be surpassed in not time. While we could find only a few brands launching wearables a couple years ago, today multiple companies, including startups, are jumping into the market, launching new models one after another, with better quality and technology.
But There’s Still Hope
If you have bought a wearable – keep on wearing it under the direction of a personal trainer. It is really beneficial as:
- the professional can most accurately decipher the readings;
- personal trainer will provide you with the best guidance, regarding changes to help you improve.
Want to improve ROI ? Take your fitness wearable and contact a live, professional trainer!
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