JUN 21, 2016 10:40 AM PDT

Fitness band accuracy not always on target

Activity trackers can provide a good overall estimate of calories burned, but are less accurate when measuring certain activities, such as strength training.
 
"The key to a consumer is not so much if the activity monitor is accurate in terms of calories, but whether it's motivational for them and keeps them accountable for activity in a day," says Greg Welk

For a new study, researchers tested four consumer fitness trackers—Fitbit Flex, Nike+ FuelBand SE, Jawbone UP 24, and Misfit Shine—to see how well they measured sedentary, aerobic, and resistance activity. Two research monitors—the BodyMedia Core and Actigraph GT3X+—were also included in the study.

Overall, the BodyMedia Core was the top performer with a rate of error of 15.3 percent. The Misfit Shine was the least accurate with a 30.4 percent error rate.

Published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the study was designed to mimic real daily living activities. The 56 participants were asked to complete 20 minutes of sedentary activity, such as reading a book, working at the computer, or watching a video. That was followed by 25 minutes of their choice of aerobic activity and 25 minutes of resistance exercise, with 5 minutes of rest between each activity.

“By looking at the most commonly performed activities in exercise and daily living settings, we can examine where the errors occur,” says Yang Bai, lead author and a graduate research assistant in kinesiology at Iowa State University.

[related]

“As expected, some monitors overestimate or underestimate all three activities, but some monitors overestimate one type and underestimate the other two categories, which can cancel out if we don’t measure them separately.”

Researchers say accuracy is important, but it is only part of the equation in terms of improving physical activity levels.

“I think the key to a consumer is not so much if the activity monitor is accurate in terms of calories, but whether it’s motivational for them and keeps them accountable for activity in a day,” says Greg Welk, professor of kinesiology.

Source: Iowa State University

This article was originally posted on futurity.org.
About the Author
  • Futurity features the latest discoveries by scientists at top research universities in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The nonprofit site, which launched in 2009, is supported solely by its university partners (listed below) in an effort to share research news directly with the public.
You May Also Like
MAY 13, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Smart Patch Measures How Itchy You Are
MAY 13, 2021
Smart Patch Measures How Itchy You Are
A wearable “scratch sensor” developed by researchers at Northwestern University could finally help doctors m ...
JUN 03, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Activating Neurons in the Brain with a Combo of Ultrasound & Genetics
JUN 03, 2021
Activating Neurons in the Brain with a Combo of Ultrasound & Genetics
Devices that can stimulate deep regions of the brain have been in development as treatment options for disorders like ep ...
JUN 10, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Algorithm Flags High Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
JUN 10, 2021
Algorithm Flags High Risk of Pancreatic Cancer
In 2021, over 60,000 individuals in the U.S. alone will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Researchers are turning to ...
JUN 12, 2021
Technology
HubSpot and Modern Health Partner to Support Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace
JUN 12, 2021
HubSpot and Modern Health Partner to Support Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace
The hardships of 2020 exposed many flaws in our social and economic systems, including the ways we address mental health ...
JUN 17, 2021
Infographics
Cryptocurrencies 101
JUN 17, 2021
Cryptocurrencies 101
The first cyrptocurrency, Bitcoin, was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Naka ...
JUL 30, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Using Iron Waste to Clean Pesticides
JUL 30, 2021
Using Iron Waste to Clean Pesticides
Groundwater is something most people use every day. Whether for drinking, washing, or growing the food you eat, it is pa ...
Loading Comments...