There are several types of fitness trackers that can monitor users’ physical performance and heart rate. However, they are not equally effective, as a new study from researchers suggests. Their inefficiency is especially proved if compared with other devices meant to monitor heart rate.
Modern fitness trackers are designed to be both practical and comfortable. They are generally worn around the wrist, like watches or bracelets. However, there are other types of devices which help users exclusively monitor their heart rate while engaged in physical activity. They can be placed on the person’s chest.
Scientists account for the good results of straps which can be worn around the chest to measure users’ heartbeats. As opposed to them, the modern wrist wearable falls short when it comes to accuracy.
The new study on fitness trackers was conducted by specialists at the Cleveland Clinic. They were interested in testing the efficiency of wrist-devices from four labels, namely Apple, Fitbit, Basis, and Mio Global. It was not a large study, as only fifty people participated in the research. Nevertheless, there are significant results.
Twenty-eight women and twenty-two man helped the experts with their study. They monitored the participants’ heartbeat with the help of EKGs. They compared the results obtained from people when resting, walking and running. The EKGs provide the most accurate information on heart beats. The fitness trackers that were put to the test were supposed to show similar results.
During the tests, the researchers asked the participants to wear two of the assigned devices at the same time. This is how they observed that the fitness trackers provided different information on the same physical activity, requiring the same physical effort from a person.
The findings proved once more the accuracy of chest straps. The results of these devices were ninety-nine percent identical to those of the EKG tests. However, one of the wrist-wearable fitness trackers scored a quite similar percentage, namely Apple’s Watch. The wearable showed ninety percent efficiency when it comes to monitoring the heart rate of people using it.
The device from Mio Global, namely Mio Fuse, also scored a reliable percentage. According to the scientists in charged of the study, the Mio Fuse ranked second, after the Apple Watch.
The aim of the research was to get a closer look at how efficient fitness trackers are. However, by no means are the scientists suggesting that people should give up using the devices.
The new study on the four brands of fitness trackers was published in JAMA Cardiology.
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