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
DEC 12, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 12, 2019
Self-learning, Light-responsive Robot Inspired by Pavlov's Dog
Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov famously trained the canines in his experiments to salivate in response to the sound of a metronome, which was a showcase...
DEC 30, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 30, 2019
How SpaceX's Crew Dragon Will Operate, From Start to Finish
It’s no mystery by now that SpaceX is working hard to earn the right to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station via NASA’s Commerci...
JAN 17, 2020
Neuroscience
JAN 17, 2020
Fewer Connections Between Brain Cells for Schizophrenia
Approximately 1% of the world’s population have schizophrenia, with 3.2 million Americans having the disorder. Now, for the first time, advanced brai...
JAN 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 20, 2020
SpaceX Demos Crew Dragon Launch Escape for NASA
SpaceX is one of two major players in NASA’s Commercial Crew program, an attempt to use third-party space companies to bring crewed space launches ba...
JAN 21, 2020
Technology
JAN 21, 2020
Expanding Microchip Storage with 3D Technology
Most recently engineers are utilizing 3D components on a standardized 2D microchip to use up to 100 times less chip space. Researchers added up to three or...
FEB 02, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 02, 2020
Everything You Need to Know About Solar Orbiter
The Sun is something you see every day when you look up at the daytime sky, but despite residing right in plain sight, there’s still so much about th...
Loading Comments...