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Fitness Trackers - Helpful or Hype ?

Utsav Agrawal
Utsav Agrawal
Along with trendy clothes and shoes, fitness bands/watches are fast becoming must-have accessories for fitness enthusiasts. 

Let's understand what makes fitness watches/trackers tick and do they actually work?

What do these bands/watches do?

#1. These trackers can be used for tracking your sleep patterns. Practically speaking, it might not be helpful on a day-to-day basis but it does give you a rough estimate of your weekly/month average sleeping time.

#2. Steps counts can give you a rough idea of your daily movements, and with the advancement in technology, they are getting more accurate. This is the most crucial feature of these fitness trackers. 

#3. You can set steps/activity goals and track them with the help of a fitness band/tracker. It does work as a gentle reminder for your daily goals, and most of them give notifications when you are inactive for a long duration

#4. Well, the basic one, They do show time, date, etc. and some of them also have an inbuilt alarm and even water reminders. 

#5. Can help track heart rate, this feature is particularly useful for endurance athletes 

What they don't do

#1. Most fitness trackers overestimate calorie expenditure by a considerable margin. If your sole reason for purchasing the device is to only track your calorie expenditure, then you will be disappointed. What’s the margin of error, you ask? It can be as high as 93 percent. So yeah they can be pretty inaccurate.

#2. The obvious one, they DO NOT make you lose weight! Simply owning a device like this isn’t automatically going to melt your fat. You still need to work for that!

Considering the above factors, if you want to buy a fitness tracker watch, then go-ahead. It can be a good investment, provided you remember its limitations, and don’t think of it as a must-have on your fitness journey.

References -
1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5920198/
2.https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2017/05/fitness-trackers-accurately-measure-heart-rate-but-not-calories-burned.html#:~:text=Fitness%20trackers%20accurately%20measure%20heart%20rate%20but%20not%20calories%20burned,however%2C%20measured%20energy%20expenditure%20well.