People who wear activity trackers to count the calories these are burning are probably not getting accurate quotes, suggests a fresh study. Researchers who tested seven popular activity trackers discovered that while heart rate measurements were generally accurate, none of them of the devices provided a reliable calorie count number. Stanford University in California, Dr Euan Ashley.
Patients “have been getting data from the unit to us and some of us were utilizing these devices ourselves,” Ashley told Reuters Health. The researchers were amazed at the unreliability of the calorie counts. The devices were actually all around the map with mistake rates. Because so little is well known about the data’s accuracy, “We realised that we had to do our very own study,” he said. Ashley’s team recruited 60 healthy adults to test seven popular wrist-worn activity trackers: the Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, MIO Alpha 2, Samsung and PulseOn Equipment S2.
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Participants used up to four devices at a time, plus they also wore laboratory devices to measure center calories from fat and rate burned while sitting, walking, operating and cycling. All the devices but one experienced an average heart rate error rate below five percent. The exception was the Samsung Gear S2, which had one rate of 5.1 percent.
But for calculating energy expenditure all of the devices had error rates above 25 %. The Fitbit Surge experienced the cheapest average error rate for calories burned at about 27 percent. The PulseOn had the highest at about 93 percent, regarding to a report in the Journal of Personalized Medicine.
Overall, the Apple Watch had the lowest error rates while the Samsung Gear S2 had the best. The analysts were surprised at the unreliability of the calorie matters. The devices “were all around the map with error rates actually,” Ashley said. Data tended to be less accurate for men, people with higher body weights and darker pores and skin tones, and while walking. Ashley’s team hopes the devices’ calorie keeping track of technology will improve.
In a declaration to Reuters Health, Fitbit said its trackers show around total number of calories. MIO Global Mark Gorelick in a declaration. The relative head of procedures for PulseOn Oy, Markku Lankinen, said that the researchers might not have adjusted the device specifically for each participant. Apple, Microsoft and Samsung did not provide comments for publication. All Basis Peak watches were recalled in 2016 due to overheating, according to its website.