Making Fitness Trackers More Useful

Woman checking fitness and health tracking wearable device

We currently enjoy being our own personal trainer, coach, and nutritionist. Wearable technology
coupled with numerous apps allow us to take charge of our lives as we seek augmented health and athleticism. But as we sit on the couch shaking the Fitbit to get our daily steps in, our little voice may tell us that our new gadget may not be quite as accurate as we might have hoped.

So we know that our trackers aren’t tracking every step or every calorie burned. But just how inaccurate are these little devices?

The Study

One study by Ace Prosource specifically studied five popular activity trackers: Nike Fuelband, Fitbit Ultra, Jawbone UP, BodyMedia FitCore (later purchased by Jawbone), and the Adidas MiCoach. 10 healthy men and 10 healthy women between the ages of 18 and 44 were divided into two groups to measure calorie expenditure and steps taken, the two most common measurements tracked on wearable devices.

Participants wore the wearable devices along with a portable metabolic analyzer and the NL-2000i pedometer. They performed a series of exercises on the treadmill and elliptical, as well as sports-related exercises which included ladder drills, basketball free-throws, T-drills and half-court lay-up drills.

The Results

As exercise got more intense, the devices became less and less accurate in their tracking abilities. Specifically, none of the devices predicting calories burned were accurate and were off by as much as 60%.

This information can be disheartening for those of us who just want to see some improvement in our lives. And when we don’t see changes in the mirror or on the scale, we feel discouraged and dissuaded to continue working.

The Solution

Stop Tracking–Start Working Out!!

Rather than tracking your current behavior using nothing better than predictive formulas, utilize VO2 measurements to construct workouts that are personalized to bring about a change.  The CardioCoach app is designed to help you have the most productive workout of your life!  By syncing your personal VO2 Max results with your heart rate monitor, the CardioCoach app literally coaches you, rather than standing on the sidelines counting steps.  CardioCoach will define workouts to meet your own personal goals, accurately measure calories burned both during and after the workout, and show you whether those calories are coming from fats or carbs to help you make adjustments.

So before you invest in another piece of expensive fitness “jewelry”, head to the Apple store and check in with your own personal coach–CardioCoach by KORR.

Alli Kofoed
Alli Kofoed is a staff writer for the marketing department at KORR. She is a student in Communications and Advertising at Brigham Young University,
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