Despite being deemed a "privacy nightmare," fitness trackers have been all the rage recently with more than 70 million devices sold worldwide in 2014. But fitness trackers have been fighting another battle. Did you know your fitness tracking gadget could be as little as 60% accurate too? That's hardly better than guessing when it comes to your health!
Researchers at Iowa State University decided to test out all the popular fitness trackers to see how accurate fitness trackers are in counting energy and calories burned by the wearer in "real world situations."
The test was made up of 50 healthy participants ages 18 through 65 who got to choose three different activities to perform of different intensities for 20 minutes. When participants performed these activities, they were being monitored by a system that measures oxygen levels in exhaled breath to count burned calories.
You won't believe the results. Out of all seven trackers tested, none was better than 85% accurate. Where does your fitness tracker stand?
The most accurate fitness trackers are ... drum roll please ...
The Body Media Core (worn on the left arm) followed closely by the popular Fitbit Flex. These trackers produced error rates between 15 and 18% along with the Jawbone Up and Nike Fuelband.
The worst offender is the Polar Loop, which might be the most expensive tracker on the list and an error rate around 40%.
See the chart below for more details and click here to see the full results from the study.