In the UK, scientists conducted research to find out how well fitness trackers display the number of calories burned. The results are not encouraging.
For the experiment, researchers from the University of Aberystwyth invited 12 participants – 6 women and 6 men. They had to walk 10 minutes on the treadmill first, and then go on a run. Three fitness bracelets that are popular in the UK have been tested: Letsfit, Letscom HR and Fitbit Charge 2.
Scientists used the method of indirect calorimetry to measure calorie consumption – they tracked how much oxygen athletes used during exercise. As the researchers explained, there is a direct link between the amount of oxygen consumed and the energy expended. Knowing how much oxygen was consumed, you can calculate the number of calories burned. The researchers compared the data obtained with those indicators that displayed fitness trackers.
Fitness trackers It turned out that when the experiment participants were walking, the fitness trackers worked more accurately. So, Letsfit indicated that athletes consumed 2.6% more calories than scientists recorded. Model Letscom HR exceeded figures by 15.7%, and Fitbit – by 53.5%! The results were worse when the athletes went on the run. Letscom HR exceeded real figures by 33.4%, and Letsfit – by 40.1%. It is noteworthy that Fitbit in this case turned out to be the most accurate, having exceeded the real figures by only 4.3%. Nevertheless, scientists do not urge to abandon the use of fitness trackers, as in general they are very useful for maintaining the daily regimen and monitoring physical condition. But the calorie consumption indicator should be treated with a fair amount of skepticism.