Fitness bracelets are wearables that help people track their physical activities or plan a workout. It can connect with other devices through wireless or Bluetooth and can be worn on various body parts such as the wrist, the upper arm, ankle and more.
This kind of bracelet has become extremely popular in our technological era where smart devices are required in almost any situation.
In other words, fitness bracelets are accessories that tell you how much you trained, what is your heart activity and how fast you trained. They make use of sensors that can show you what your pulse is, what your hydration level is and how many hours of sleep you have had.
Some models are more accurate than others, and that is why it is worth investing a bit more in an advanced wristband. Fitness trackers are the accessory of the moment for those that are active, as these devices claim to track everything from steps to sleep.
However, the question remains: does the science stack up?
According to Dr. Mitesh Patel, an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, the people who are most likely to see benefits from using a fitness tracker are those who are already motivated and engaged in their health.
The Popularity of Fitness Bracelets
Just like any other invention in the world, these bracelets were designed to improve one’s quality of life and lifestyle, and wearing them not only makes you self-conscious but also motivates you to exercise more, sleep more or hydrate your body more often.
They are also impressive devices that can help you prevent various health conditions, such as hypertension.
By tracking your activity daily and sending it to your smartphone or smart devices, it becomes easy to create reports and observe the evolution of your physical shape.
Considering its technological progress, it is easy to understand why these tiny devices are so popular, as they make it possible for everyone to track their rhythm, activity and even sedentary routine. They also bring valuable information to us.
How Fitness Trackers Work
Almost all of today’s fitness bracelets available in the market are based on a three-component accelerometer that enables measuring acceleration against the start, the end, and the intensity of the motion.
A regular accelerometer consists of two electrically charged plates and a small counterbalance in-between, such that, when the sensor is still, the counterbalance is located right in the middle, but once you start moving, the counterbalance moves from one plate to another and the sensor registers the motion.
Gathering data about the motion is only one task of many to be performed by a tracker gadget. The device process this data so that we, users, are able to view it properly on the screen and different gadgets use different algorithms to calculate the gathered data in the most precise and useful way.
Some gadgets simply count steps, while others convert all data into their own units (e.g. fuel) and count calories and other factors. These algorithms are kept a closely guarded secret and are changed every now and then.
To ensure the accuracy of the gathered data, wearables makers test the data against the same data received by other devices. For example, the precision of calorie estimations is tested against the precision of calorie estimations made by a portable telemetric oxygen uptake analyzer.
Furthermore, the ways wearables are synced with a smartphone are different, too. While some sync via BlueTooth which appears to be the most popular method so far, others syncs with an iPhone via an embedded mini jack and earphones slot in order to save battery life.
How Accurate are Fitness Bracelets (wearables)?
The precision of data displayed by wearables leaves much to be desired, and that is obvious if we compare data shown by different devices for the same activity, or if we compare some smart trackers with regular pedometers.
Fitness bracelets are not precise enough because they’re affected by unintentional movements, excessive gestures or and such-like movements.
Tech bloggers and journalists have recently conducted a lot of experiments in order to detect and explain gaps and mismatch in data analysis by various gadgets and had published a comparative review of data accuracy in his blog.
One of his conclusions is that Fitbit usually “flatters” its users and somewhat exceeds the results, while, Nike FuelBand underestimates the results. On average, he stated that deviation in results makes no more than 20% across all wearable bracelets compared.
Tips for Fitness Tracker Success
- Get competitive with friends and family and sync your devices
- Make Incentives for achieving your goals
- Give your fitness tracker as many personal data as possible( weight, height etc) in order to improve the quality of the statistics your device gives you.