Topic on the radio this lunchtime was Tracker Devices and keeping fit.
The experts were saying that these trackers are worn by a variety of people as part of their fitness routines, and yet it had come to light that different trackers provided different results for the same exercise.
An extremely fit journalist (even I could tell she was mega fit as she could talk whilst on a treadmill!) put a selection of the most popular trackers through their paces and the results were quite interesting.
I must point out that I’ve never used one of these gadgets, though I did have a step counter (free with Special K breakfast cereal) years ago, and that was a game and calorie burner in itself setting the damn thing up!
In order to calculate how far you walked, you had to measure your stride and take into account your height and weight. I walked ‘miles’ with the dog and the distance covered was far lower than we’d worked out in the car or with a computer programme and a local map.
Anyway, that was me, and a long time ago.
Today, the trackers being tested were Misfit, Garmin, Fitbit and Jawbone.
I have no idea what models, what they look like or on which part of the anatomy they were worn, but our journalist wore all of them at the same time and completed exercises as follows:
All four gave different readings for the same exercise. As it was all measured in ‘steps’, there was a differential of up to 200 between them, so you have to ask yourself is it
One step forward and two steps back, or vice versa.
The expert admitted that the difference on such a short workout (about 15 minutes) was unexpected and added:
“These tracker devices are designed to help individuals achieve their personal targets”.
To me, this is just more proof that when it comes to weight loss/control and fitness, we are all individuals, everyone is different, and we don’t all fit the confines of a computerised tick list.
It is still suggested we walk 10,000 steps a day (I’m already a counter as posts here and here give you an idea of how far I walk every day) so what they’re actually expecting us all to do is walk around four to five miles a day. That’s pretty daunting, but if you equate it to time, which for me is about 90 minutes, over the space of the day maybe it’s not so bad.