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How Accurate Is Your Fitness Tracker?

They're not a good fit for calorie counters.

By Lacy Schley
Aug 7, 2017 5:00 AMNov 18, 2019 7:42 PM
(Credit: Martin-DM/Getty Images)


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If you’re relying on the gadget around your wrist to lose weight, you might need to rethink your game plan. A team from Stanford University recently investigated how good some leading consumer fitness trackers were at monitoring heart rate and calculating calories burned, or energy expenditure. After a group of 60 volunteers tested the fitness bands, researchers realized that while most of the devices measured heart rate well, they all failed to accurately gauge energy expenditure.

Source: “Accuracy in Wrist-Worn, Sensor-Based Measurements of Heart Rate and Energy Expenditure in a Diverse Cohort,” Journal of Personalized Medicine, 2017

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