Your FitBit isn’t good at measuring this, says study

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You might want to consider how you’re using it.

Photo: @kayla_itsines/@_dianafitness

The main reason we get a Fitbit is to monitor how much exercise we do, right? It’s about staying fit and healthy, optimising weight loss and getting those celebratory 10,000 steps notifications.

While they’re brilliant when it comes to monitoring heart rate (95 per cent effective on average), a study out of Stanford University School of Medicine has found that Fitbits and other similar devices can be seriously bad at calculating weight loss stats.

The researchers looked at the Apple Watch, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Basis Peak, Mio Alpha, PulseOn and Samsung Gear S2.

While it was found that six of the devices measured heart rate very well, all seven were inaccurate when it came to energy expenditure calculations.

In other words, your tracker isn’t great at the ‘how many calories you’ve burned’ calculation.

The cherry on the cake? They weren’t just a little bit wrong – they were way off.

The most accurate device on average, the Apple Watch, was 27 per cent off the mark, and the least accurate, the Samsung Gear S2 was mind-blowingly 97 per cent off.

“Devices reported the lowest error for cycling and the highest for walking. Device error was higher for males, greater BMI, darker skin tone and walking,” according to the study.

For researchers, this study has confirmed that devices like these can’t be relied upon for clinical statistics.

And to those who, like us, have been calculating an extra scoop of salted caramel ice cream into our ‘diet’ based on Fitbit data, this is the news we didn’t need.

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fitness | body+soul

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