An activity tracker records all daily movement activities, measures the pulse and heartbeat and analyzes sleep.
Questions to Consider Before Buying A Fitness Tracker
Fitness and activity
Fitness and a balanced diet are part of modern everyday life these days and many people strive for it. Especially in a very hectic time with high demands in work and life, a balance is necessary that includes wellness and relaxation on the one hand, and sport and fitness on the other. A balanced training program, the use of exercise bikes, massages, going to the gym, practicing yoga, Pilates or similar methods deepen the awareness of the body and thus strengthen the mind.
Nevertheless, people are not fit and ambitious every day. Often it is also important to overcome your own weaker self. That requires motivation and inner drive. Activity trackers are helpful, as they offer a good incentive to continue a training program or to convince yourself every day that the body is healthy and what performance has been achieved. Since people differ in character and type, some need more willpower and determination, others less.
What is a fitness tracker?
There are various activity trackers that are worn either on the body or directly on the arm, can also be a watch and tracker in one or allow you to receive SMS and emails.
The activity tracker often has a small display and its size is adapted to daily use, so it can be used very inconspicuously.
It measures the total activity and sleep of the wearer around the clock. Accelerometers and a small processor are used to record the measurement results, analyze them and convert them with the help of software.
An activity tracker is an electronic device that allows all data to be recorded, synchronized and sent. Activity trackers are often used together with a PC or smartphone to analyze and synchronize data. Fitness and health remain extremely well under control. The calorie consumption, the distance of the running route, the number of steps, the heart rate or the quality of sleep are measured. Many modern models also have other functions.
Since the range of functions in fitness trackers is growing, there is hardly any difference to more expensive sports watches, but the price is much cheaper. The activity tracker is available to clip on, as a bracelet, as a device with a necklace or as a hybrid watch and enables motivation and a healthier life. They can be worn on different parts of the body and used visibly or concealed.
All relevant data can be monitored and compared at any time. The data is recorded by saving it and transferring it to a computer or smartphone. Depending on the type of activity tracker, the models are available in different sizes and colors. Many also have a touch screen and are able to switch themselves off automatically to save energy or to notify the wearer if he has to move a little more or if, for example, he has to move around a bit. Some models are also waterproof and can be used while swimming and diving.
It is precisely the versatility of use that makes the Activity Tracker interesting for many people. They are used by professional athletes as well as by people who are only occasionally involved in sports.
How does a fitness tracker work?
Activity trackers work electronically and are small pedometers with built-in sensors and altimeters. The various sensors perceive the movement of the user, count the steps and the distance covered and thus calculate fitness and activity in connection with the energy expenditure and heartbeat. This is shown in numbers and in a corresponding graphic, whereby all data is reliably stored. Sleep habits are also analyzed and an overall result is provided. Many modern devices are also able to remind the wearer or to wake them up by vibration. They have an alarm and reminder function.
In order to define the functionality more precisely, it is necessary to take a look at the various sensors that are built into an activity tracker for testing and comparison and that are combined with one another.
Typical motion sensors, acceleration sensors, optical and bioelectrical sensors, a gyroscope sensor, a GPS receiver and barometric altimeter are common. You determine the values as curves and show the whole thing schematically in a series of measured values.
Motion and acceleration sensors
The motion sensors form a crucial part for the acquisition of all measurement data and determine the entire activity and movement through their function. They are combined with acceleration sensors and the gyroscope sensor so that spatial detection is permitted during the test. The sensors are microelectromechanical systems and are attached to electronic components. The acceleration sensors record the linear movement on three levels. The gyroscope sensor records the rotational movement analogous to the movement and acceleration. This creates the measurement in three-dimensional space.
In physics, acceleration is the change in movement of the body and part of Newton’s first and second laws. The change in movement takes place through the action of force. If a ball is at rest, it starts to move and accelerates the rotation and movement for a moment. The braking of the ball works in exactly the same way, which is a negative acceleration. The sensors detect this movement as soon as the person wearing the activity tracker starts moving or changes their gait. Changes in direction are also recorded. Capacitive sensors, piozoelectric sensors, Hall effect sensors or piozoresistive sensors are required for this. The mass is deflected by inertia and acceleration. The deflection can be measured precisely.
In order to describe this sensor in more detail, the example of a turntable can be used, as is known from children’s playgrounds. As soon as it starts moving and reaches a certain speed, it is hardly possible for passengers to simply walk straight ahead. This is due to the acting force called the Coriolis force. A gyroscope uses this physical effect and can record the force acting on moving bodies and use it to determine the respective acceleration. In connection with the acceleration sensors for the linear movement, the gyroscope sensor measures the rotation.
Optical and bioelectric sensors
The optical sensors in the activity tracker measure the pulse and heartbeat. They are located on the inside of the device and have direct skin contact with the wearer.
The amount of blood moving under the skin can be determined by receiving and sending different impulses, from which the heart rate is determined and derived. Bioelectric sensors work like body scales. A weak current flows through every organism and thus allows the resistance to be measured, from which the sensors record the exact composition of the body, e.g. how much fat there are, because these conduct electricity worse than areas with water.
GPS and altimeter
Not all activity trackers have a GPS receiver. This is usually built into sports watches or more modern fitness trackers and can record within a few meters where the user of the activity tracker is. If this data is recorded and saved over a longer period of time, the distance covered can be determined, as can the distance and the time and speed required.
Barometric altimeters determine the air pressure and thus record the altitude-dependent conditions for the user of the activity tracker. This ensures a high level of accuracy of the measurement when the weather and temperature are constant. A disadvantage in the test for the installation of a barometer is a required reference point with a certain height above zero. Only here can the air pressure be measured.
Advantages & areas of application of a fitness tracker
Carrying and recording your own data on a daily basis allows a good overview of your own fitness, health and activity, and also allows you to improve and increase your physical activity. The training turns into a new form of personal control in a playful way. The steps, the distance covered or the number of floors climbed, the calorie consumption, sleep, pulse and heartbeat are measured. For this purpose, the determined values can be divided and compared, e.g. via social media or online communities.
Depending on the quality of the activity tracker, the accuracy of all measurements can be better or worse. Inexpensive devices sometimes cannot tell whether a person is moving or simply clapping their hands. Similarly, in the test and comparison, certain motion sequences have an unfavorable effect on the measurement, e.g. dancing, swimming or cycling. The results can then be more or less falsified. In this context, the type of attachment of the activity tracker also plays a role; it can be expanded to include a chest strap when it comes to measuring the exact heart rate.
Many activity trackers offer other fitness-related functions in addition to the basic measurements. They allow the movement and body to be measured day by day, which is interesting for health-conscious people and athletes.
The evaluation is possible via easily understandable statistics and can help to design an adapted training plan or to set up a fitness program.
Seeing how many steps have been taken or how many calories have been burned in one day can inspire you to increase your fitness the next day. The general active movement that is initiated by the activity tracker is important, whereby a reminder function is also beneficial, which indicates from time to time that something movement is necessary.
The activity tracker does not have to be worn around the clock, it is useful when there is movement, e.g. when walking, jogging, swimming and hiking. In a resting position, the activity tracker only makes sense when sleeping. Do you work or sit, e.g. in front of the PC, the tracker can be removed as a clip or bracelet, otherwise it also holds typing on the keyboard for steps and records this movement and analyzes what falsifies the result. High quality equipment, e.g. with GPS module, distinguish the movement and recognize when it is arm movements or steps. Acceleration sensors, in turn, allow the difference between walking and jogging to be recorded. Even cycling can then be determined as a separate movement.
The data recording is saved and can be synchronized. The data can then be transferred to a PC or a mobile device. With smartphones there are various apps that are provided by the manufacturer. Most of them are compatible with all operating systems.
The symbols, smileys and funny sayings that reward movement and success are motivating for some activity trackers. Professional athletes, on the other hand, value a built-in GPS receiver in order to be able to better analyze the distances later using the app or on the computer. An activity tracker can also be used as nutritional advice, in which case the appropriate software is required.
The data can be recorded and analyzed over a longer period of time, and individual behavior can be precisely documented.
The activity tracker can be helpful for people who sit a lot or move around very little, as it has an alarm function and uses light or vibration to indicate that some movement is useful. Many models then simply show a red light that only disappears when the user has set himself in motion during the test.
What types of fitness trackers are available?
Since the trend towards the use of fitness trackers is growing, there is now a large selection of such models in stores and online. There are inexpensive models that are worn as a clip or armband and have standard functions, as well as more expensive and high-quality models that allow more extensive measurement and data acquisition with better technology and many sensors. For the purchase, what the tracker is used for and what exactly it should measure play a role.
Bracelet trackers are mostly worn permanently and should be comfortable to wear. An activity tracker is simply worn as a clip on a belt, bra, pants or in a pocket. They are a little smaller and very light, so hardly noticeable, but also less able to measure the pulse, since there is no direct skin contact. They are especially suitable for inconspicuous measurements.
Devices for measuring steps and movement
Almost all activity trackers offer the basic function for measuring steps. They do not necessarily have to have a display or a touch screen, they have motion sensors and are simple.
In addition to step counting, some also offer floor recognition, a compass or an altimeter. They can be waterproof or waterproof and can then also be used for swimming. The data can usually be transmitted wirelessly to smartphones and PCs so that the data can be evaluated.
Devices for measuring heart rate and health
Activity trackers, which are supposed to record the pulse and heart rate, are used for health control and offer this additional function mostly through direct skin contact on the arm or via a chest strap. The models are also designed to count steps, often equipped with motion and acceleration sensors. They allow extended monitoring of fitness and physical activity, which is interesting for athletes and self-optimizers.
It is also useful to measure your heart rate during endurance training in order to train in the ideal range. The activity tracker can also be used to support a diet in the test, whereby the bracelet should then be worn permanently in order to record all data precisely. Many activity trackers of this type offer functions such as measuring calories and all vital signs, and can also measure body and skin temperature.
Devices for recording sleep quality
The physical condition and health can be recorded even more precisely with activity trackers, which are also able to analyze sleep in its various phases. The REM phase plays an important role in restful sleep. It is expressed through minimal physical movement, dreams and faster eye movements, as the brain is highly active in this phase and processes and classifies all experiences. The muscles are inactive, which means that this phase can be precisely determined.
In the same way, body temperature rises in the deep sleep phase, while the brain gradually switches off. Now the body begins to regenerate so that it is less sensitive to external stimuli and releases its own growth hormone, which strengthens the immune system, forms cells and repairs damaged areas. Both phases are important to promote healthy sleep. With an activity tracker, sleep can be recorded in the habits and can then be improved by taking precautions.
How are fitness tracker tested?
With the large selection of different fitness wristbands and activity trackers, a test and comparison is helpful in order to highlight the positive characteristics of the models, to compare them with one another and to present their functions and advantages. A comparison offers good purchase advice, compares the models and also examines the individual application options, the equipment, the material and the durability of the trackers. Ease of use and application is essential here.
Practical benefits - operation and applications
The operation of the small models should be simple and intuitive, enable the full scope of data acquisition and also simplify the setting of the functions and the display. In the test, the activity trackers are therefore carefully checked for handling. A look is also taken at the associated software or the applications used. An analysis should be carried out as accurately and reliably as possible, and a good overview of one’s own activity can be obtained.
Quality & Material
In order for a fitness tracker to last a long time and also allow permanent use, the workmanship should be excellent and the materials should allow a light weight. This applies to the case, the bracelet, the display and the buckle.
The display, if present, should have good resolution, be adequately lit, and present the data sharp and clear.
The bracelet should have rounded corners and edges, be neatly processed and be flexible and comfortable. The closure should be stable and easy to use.
Depending on the type of measurements and functions, the test and comparison takes a close look at the extent to which the tracker can increase its own performance, how the ads can motivate or the reminder function fails. It is tested whether the alarm function as sound, vibration or light is more practical. In addition to the control, the motivation of the device in the test is decisive for practical use. The selection of features and apps is also tested here, e.g.the analysis by the software or the sharing of the data in apps and community.
Functionality and measurement data
Many modern activity trackers have a large number of useful functions that, in addition to the basic equipment, also allow other measurements or possible uses. A tracker can also be used as a phone or MP3 player, determine the location, determine the route, plan training and nutrition. In the test, the functions are checked and the interaction of several functions is also examined. The measurement data should then be as precise as possible and may contain slight deviations, although the result should still be displayed consistently.
Storage capacity and battery life
The reliability of data storage and battery operation are important for using the activity tracker. In the test, models with batteries and rechargeable batteries are examined, whereby the running time and the charging time play a role. The battery should last at least 3 days. Many devices last a week or two. Batteries, on the other hand, last longer and need to be replaced about every 3 to 6 months. Others are as durable as a normal watch.
What do I have to look out for when buying a fitness tracker?
Anyone who decides to purchase an activity tracker can optimally match the type of device to the purpose. This depends on which data is to be recorded and measured and what the tracker is used for, e.g. for motivation, for self-optimization, with a diet or a more demanding training program. In this context, different functions and measurements are crucial, which also allow a long-term analysis, in addition to step counting, the recording of calories, vital signs, sleep behavior and heart rate.
Size, weight and intended use
The activity tracker is usually small and light, can be attached to the body as a clip or bracelet or simply carried in your pocket. They shouldn’t weigh more than a few grams and you should barely feel them when you wear them. This is not only important for daily use, but also for use in sports and fitness. The size is usually given in S, M or L when the activity tracker is worn as a bracelet. The length of the band is then between 14 and 22 centimeters.
Some models also offer similar features as a sports and running watch or can be combined with a smartphone so that incoming calls and emails are also displayed. The tracker should not be too big, it can also be worn like a watch or jewelry, which makes it ideal for work and everyday life.
Design and color
Even if the presence of a display or the general design is of secondary importance with regard to the function of the activity tracker in the test, the device remains a constant companion and should therefore also be visually appealing. A pleasant color and shape or a comfortable touch operation are advantageous in the test. Backlighting can also be useful if the tracker is worn around the clock.
There are very chic and simple models in black, white or silver or brightly colored models in one-colored or multi-colored designs. Activity trackers without a display only have a few colored LEDs and show the status and battery level. If you value more precise data, you should use trackers with a display that can also be used otherwise, e.g. as a telephone or MP3 player. The display should then be easy to read and have a good light intensity and resolution.
Resistant materials and a high level of comfort
The activity tracker as a wristband should fit comfortably, have good and robust materials, be kind to the skin and free from harmful substances.
A light construction and the ergonomic shape increased the wearing comfort. Other models are built so small that they fit in the hand and can also be attached inconspicuously. The construction is designed in such a way that the sensors are well protected and precise measurement is possible. Of course, the values can only be tendencies and approximations. With GPS, however, the distance covered or the route run can also be determined precisely. Models that are waterproof or water-repellent are very practical in the test. This is not only beneficial in bad weather or for use while swimming, but also for protection against sweat. However, if the tracker is only water-repellent, it is not suitable for swimming and must also be removed in the shower.
Functions, measurement accuracy, pedometer and heart rate monitor
The functions and the type of measurements are important features for the purchase and also determine the versatility of use. The better and more expensive the fitness tracker, the more accurate the data measurements. But even simple models allow the counting of steps, calories, pulse and distance, all active minutes or the time in which there is less activity. Activity trackers are always a good substitute for watches, they show the date and time. Extended functions are the heart rate measurement, the analysis of the sleep, the assignment of daily goals, the activity reminder and the display for incoming messages and phone calls.
Battery, compatibility and data transfer to other devices
A powerful battery is important to enable higher consumption, should last for several days and be charged quickly. If the activity tracker has a display or special functions, the energy consumption increases. For the precise analysis, the fitness tracker should then be able to be used permanently without the battery giving up and data being lost. Activity trackers generally have a low consumption and are equipped with batteries that are adapted to the purpose. Depending on the scope of services, they can offer terms between 3 and 365 days. Few models are also available with battery operation, which then have to be replaced.
All data and measured values can be transmitted wirelessly to the PC, tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth, as this enables the tracker to develop its full potential in the test. Synchronization is also possible in this way, whereby software provided by the manufacturer can be used.
The tracker should accordingly have the Bluetooth function or corresponding interfaces, then allow fast processing and sharing of the data. All of them can also be charged with a USB cable in the battery or enable a transfer.
Leading fitness tracker brands
According to statistics, it is a fact that many people exercise too little in general. This applies to the entire lifestyle, the relief that people are offered, driving in the car, sitting at a desk or lying on the couch. Unfortunately, the consequences are far from pleasant and can also lead to serious problems. Back pain, a tense neck, exhaustion and restlessness are clear signs that something needs to be changed. Manufacturers have also reacted to this and brought activity trackers onto the market that allow control and motivation. Exercise is rewarded, a lack of exercise is indicated. Many activity trackers have a community function so that it is easier to stick with them. The models are mostly designed for Android and iOS, including activity trackers from “LG” or “Nike”. Other important manufacturers are:
The American company “Fitbit” specializes in watches and fitness trackers, has its headquarters in San Francisco and manufactures electronic devices with the brand name of the same name, which are intended to help improve your fitness and to be able to record training units. Cheap models are offered as simple step counters or very complex activity trackers that can also measure body parameters, heart rate and sleep quality. All data can be transferred and synchronized. The evaluation takes place via a smartphone or PC, via an app or software. “Fitbit” was founded in 2007 and also develops the associated software for the products. To use the devices, it is necessary to create an account on the Fitbit website and to agree to the data protection guidelines specified there.
With several activity trackers, including the “Samsung Gear Fit”, the company has delivered a good and inexpensive alternative to the well-known manufacturer “Fitbit”. “Samsung” is one of the leading manufacturers of “consumer electronics” and is known for its high-quality smartphones. As a global electrical company, the products are constantly being further developed. In addition, the fitness market is also interesting, with compatible solutions being offered. “Samsung” comes from South Korea, is based in Seoul and was founded in 1969.
“Garmin” is a manufacturer from Switzerland who designs and markets navigation receivers. It became known for its miniaturization of the company’s own GPS receiver, which also allowed positive further developments for the activity tracker presented. Otherwise the products were used in road traffic, air navigation and outdoors. “Garmin” is based in Schaffhausen and was founded in 1989. Additional branches can be found in Kansas and Taiwan.
Heart rate monitors, sports watches and activity trackers are also available from “Polar” in a large range. In the test, it is a Finnish company that is based in Kempele. It was founded in 1977 and soon became one of the leading manufacturers of wireless measuring devices for pulse and heart rate. It is not surprising that this resulted in an excellent combination of watch and tracker. The first model was a measuring device as a heart rate monitor, which could not only be used for stationary training, but was worn directly on the body.
“Jawbone” is known for its activity trackers and Bluetooth headphones and also offers a wide range of different devices. The company was founded in 1999, has its headquarters in San Francisco and several subsidiaries, including “BodyMedia” and “Massive Health”. The activity trackers are offered under the name “UP”, can do much more than just count calories and steps, and also have a professional design. “Jawbone” relies on activity trackers that are available as wristbands or watches.
Where is the best place to buy my fitness tracker?
The activity tracker from various manufacturers is available in stores, in fitness studios or on the Internet in a somewhat wider range. Customer advice is possible on site.
Most retailers only offer a range of certain brands, while the full range of all manufacturers and devices can be found online. Compared to retail, the Internet offers a small price advantage.
Many providers want to undercut the competition, which then enables some special offers and discounts for the customer. Since fitness and activity trackers ultimately only show their performance with long-term use, a detailed test before buying is not possible in stores. The models can accordingly be ordered more conveniently online. There are also many customer reviews that provide information on how the activity tracker has proven itself in practice.
Fitness Tracker Alternatives
Fitness and activity trackers allow approximately precise measurements, but their features are limited when it comes to competitive sports. Nevertheless, models with pulse and heart rate measurement are already well suited for implementing the training plan.
More complex devices recognize the type of movement from the activity pattern and reliably and automatically record the activity and duration. Alternatively, more specific heart rate monitors or heart rate monitors can enable a more precise measurement. This particularly applies to the measurement of the heart rate, whereby such models are often worn with a chest strap. Sports watches or combined devices that measure and analyze the fat and muscle percentage in the body using distance, step, calorie and heart rate measurements are even better.
These have a special contact surface on the tracker that must be touched while the measurement is carried out using the bioelectrical impedance analysis, as is known from body fat scales. The measurement is more precisely determined by the current flowing through the body and the different resistances. As a result, the body condition and the summary can be recorded precisely.
Facts about the fitness tracker
Tips for measurements
Most activity trackers are connected to software or an application. The activity tracker is particularly easy to use in conjunction with a mobile device.
The app developed by the manufacturer collects all data, shows the calculated result and detailed lists. This allows following a diet as well as planning a fitness program. Most of the time, the data is displayed as a bar chart and then appears directly in the app on the smartphone’s home screen. If the bar is tapped directly, the exact measured values can be viewed.
Regular use in the test and comparison is of course decisive for using an activity tracker. If all data is really to be recorded precisely, the tracker must be worn permanently and should then also be waterproof and robust. The practical and very narrow bracelets are cheap here. You can then have an overview of your entire movement, calorie consumption, pulse and sleep behavior.
Some models offer a high-resolution, color display that is easy to read even in poor lighting conditions. The simpler models work with LEDs. Models that have a reminder function and are also able to assign and calculate daily goals have proven themselves. The range of functions is growing. In order to find out which ones actually make sense or meet individual requirements, it is important to analyze your own performance requirements before buying.
Training programs, pulse and heart rate measurement
The measurement of the pulse and heart rate differs and is output in different values. The pulse rate is the wave-like movement of blood in the vessels that occurs when the heart beats.
The heart rate is the impulse itself and the number of beats per minute. Both values are more or less identical in a healthy person. Therefore, activity trackers and heart rate monitors usually measure the heartbeat.
For sport, endurance and fitness, measuring the heart rate is useful in order to determine exactly how far the body can be stressed. The pulse is an indicator of the physical exertion. In a rested and relaxed state, the heart beats around 70 times a minute. Physical or mental stress increases the pulse rate. Exercise also drives the heartbeat.
For the measurement with the activity tracker, the resting heart rate and the maximum heart rate play an important role, which must be taken into account when planning training. The maximum pulse includes the heart rate when the body is under maximum stress. If this is measured with the activity tracker, you can quickly see when the fitness limit has been reached. This allows good monitoring and self-control so as not to strain the circulation too much and make fitness sensible.
The maximum heart rate is divided into several zones, which concern the active solids change, the aerobic zone and the anaerobic zone. If the training takes place at a heart rate of 70 percent of the maximum pulse, energy from around 60 percent fat is provided. The training can take longer. Most of the fat is burned in the process. Exercising in this area will help you lose weight in the long run.
When training in the heart rate range between 70 and 80 percent of the maximum pulse, the energy is reduced to 40 percent through fat. 60 percent are provided by carbohydrates.
Training in this area helps to build up stamina and is also called the fitness zone. The training should last at least 30 minutes and be implemented regularly.
As soon as the pulse rate is above the stated percentages in the test and comparison, the body is exposed to greater stress, and breathing is not sufficient to burn all the carbohydrates that cells need to build up. The muscles can then over-acidify, which is why only a short and powerful training is possible. In this area of the performance zone, above all professionals and competitive athletes train who want to improve their athletic performance. So muscles and strength mass can be built up.
The top red zone indicates about 90 to 100 percent of the maximum heart rate. Only endurance athletes train in this area, e.g. marathon runners to increase their own speed again, or athletes who implement interval training. Here there is a change in exertion. In the red zone, training is only possible in a few minutes and must be combined with other zones. This also boosts calorie burning.
Before starting training, it is always important to know your maximum heart rate. The resting heart rate also says a lot about physical fitness. In untrained people this is usually in the upper range. The cardiovascular system must be strengthened accordingly in order to be able to keep the resting heart rate in the low range. The resting heart rate is also high if the immune system is weakened or if the patient suffers from illness.
The first pulse range, which is also known as the health range, can be measured via the activity tracker. This is chosen by athletes as an introduction to gradually strengthening the cardiovascular system.
The activity tracker quickly shows how difficult it is to reliably maintain the first pulse range. It is around 50 to 60 percent of the maximum heart rate. Regular training in the first pulse range strengthens the immune system.
Frequently Asked Questions: Fitness Trackers
How accurate are the measurements with a fitness tracker?
The accuracy of the measurement always depends on the device and the performance that the processors and sensors guarantee. Many activity trackers have a relatively simple structure and therefore only allow an approximation of the values. For this purpose, the data is optimally analyzed in the test, including age, height, weight and gender more precisely determined. For competitive sports, more expensive fitness trackers that also measure the heart rate via step counting are useful. A hundred percent accurate measurement is not possible with any activity tracker.
The deviations are between 1 and 7 percent. Sports watches also have their problems in this regard. The expensive smartwatches, which also allow reliable measurements while cycling, have proven themselves. If you need a more detailed analysis, you can fall back on models that have acceleration sensors in the test and can precisely differentiate between the movements. A realistic image of the actual activity is only possible if the device is worn for a long time, as the data is collected and calculated and the deviations are gradually leveled out in the test.
How can a fitness tracker help with my diet?
The activity tracker is a good companion for a diet and can also set up a personal nutritional profile. Above all, it motivates stamina by displaying the calories consumed and the visible improvement in physical fitness. It is possible to use set goals and thus always face a challenge. The devices have a reminder function and remind you to exercise more. In the same way, the implementation of the goals is rewarded with symbols or encouragement. Activity trackers are also interesting in connection with Weight Watcher, if the corresponding connection and registration takes place in the app.
What can be measured with a fitness tracker?
Basically, all movement behavior is measured with an activity tracker. This applies to steps taken, pulse, calories burned, distances, floors, sleep quality and calories consumed. The data is compared with the information provided by the user and converted. Individual goals can also be set, e.g. E.g. taking 1500 steps a day, which includes about 10 minutes of running, or burning 500 more calories a day. The data can then be collected and evaluated as statistics and diagrams via software or an app. There are also very individual recommendations for exercise, activity and diet. Simply structured models that are easy to understand even for laypeople are worthwhile here.
How does a fitness tracker count the steps?
The device has an integrated sensor and records all activity moments, including the number of steps, which are then analyzed with the measurement of the heart rate.
The procedure is called photoplethysmography and allows an optical measurement of all changes in the blood volume in the vessels. Each cardiac cycle changes the amount of blood and the flow behavior, whereby the data can be recorded and measured. A gyroscope sensor and various motion and acceleration sensors are also installed. They determine the linear movement and acceleration on three levels, while the gyroscope sensor detects all rotational movements. This is done in an analog way. In order for the values to make sense in a three-dimensional space, at least 3 sensors are required that are perpendicular to each other and complement each other.
How big should the display be on a fitness tracker?
Since most of the data can only be read out and viewed more precisely in the app or on the PC, the display is rather secondary and therefore does not have to be particularly large in order to increase wearing comfort. Models that look like a watch and only show the most important data on the screen are good. On the other hand, there are also models with a color display and background lighting or activity trackers that have no display at all. The decisive factor is the processor performance of the models, less the size of the display.
How does sleep monitoring work on a fitness tracker?
The activity tracker is able to record and analyze the nocturnal movements. This results in a scale of all phases of light and deep sleep. Becomes visible when the sleep is very restless. The activity tracker uses a corresponding multi-sensor technology for sleep analysis. However, what is most practical around the arm is decisive for the sleep detection. In this way, the light, deep sleep phase and REM sleep can be recorded. The latter is crucial for the body’s recovery.
How to clean a fitness tracker?
Since some activity trackers are used permanently, they should be comfortable to wear and the materials should be kind to the skin. This also includes more frequent maintenance and making sure that the activity tracker wristband stays clean. Since it is worn in direct skin contact and so z. If, for example, the measurement of the heart rate is allowed, sweat and dirt can occur and provide a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
Action should be taken beforehand to avoid skin irritation. Models with skin-friendly elastomer or silicone wristbands were excellent in the test. On the other hand, bracelets made of leather or metal are unsuitable. It must be remembered that fitness trackers are often used during sports and should not be soaked. Water-repellent wristbands are an advantage in comparison.
Cleaning should therefore be done regularly, the bracelet should be removed and cleaned with a soft cloth and a little clear water.
Soap or more aggressive cleaning agents are not recommended and can attack the material. Some rubbing alcohol can be used for more stubborn protection. It is also important that the bracelet is sufficiently dry. The activity tracker should also be used on dry skin. Anyone who previously creams their arm or uses oils must wait until they are completely absorbed before putting on the activity tracker again. The bracelet should fit loosely and comfortably, not too tight, in order to ensure comfort.
What are the standard functions on a fitness tracker?
The standard functions depend on how the activity tracker is used. For people who want to encourage themselves to exercise a little more in everyday life, a simple model that counts steps and calories is sufficient. Athletes, on the other hand, also need pulse measurement in order to be able to evaluate the training data more precisely. We always recommend models that are easy to survey and operate, capture the essentials and allow daily measurement.
An activity tracker is required to increase performance, which records all vital signs, fat and muscle percentage, measures the maximum heart rate and has a wide range of functions. Standard functions are usually the counting of steps, the distance or floors covered, the calorie consumption and an activity reminder. All trackers must be connected to a smartphone or PC in order to ensure comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the data.
The data that appear on the display itself are only intended for direct control and only become suitable reference points in connection with the diagram in the app or in the software to improve your own fitness or to record control over the activity.