There once was a time when the pedometer was exclusively used by physical education teachers to motivate lazy teens. This would ultimately result in said lazy teenagers shaking their wrists rapidly in order to accrue the ever elusive ten thousandth step. Despite its humble origin, the pedometer has been revolutionised by Fitbit and the likes, and it now contains an accelerometer, said to improve accuracy. Despite this, it’s still alarmingly easy to notch up steps by shaking the old wrists rapidly. So this brought me to the question: are these monitors actually accurate and do they, in fact, improve our health?
Are they accurate?
Mostly, yes. A study compared activity trackers to expensive accelerometers used for scientific research. This study found activity trackers to be highly accurate at measuring sleep and steps counted, and moderately accurate at measuring vigorousness of exercise and total calories expended (1). So, all in…
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