Did you get some fitness technology over the Christmas holiday? It may not help you lose weight according to a new study.
That brand-new Fitbit Surge or Apple Watch you got for Christmas might not be the best way to measure caloric expenditure, a research team at Stanford University claims in a recent study on popular fitness trackers.
Researchers determined that while fitness trackers are usually accurate in measuring heart rate, energy tracking was an entirely different matter.
Seven popular fitness trackers were tested: the Fitbit Surge, Apple Watch, Basis Peak, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn, and the Samsung Gear S2. Researchers found that six of the seven devices that measured heart rate in a diverse group of 60 volunteers using treadmills or stationary bikes produced an error rate of less than five percent.
However, none of the devices tested measured energy expenditure (calories expended) accurately when compared to medical-grade devices designed for testing energy expenditure. The most accurate device that measured caloric expenditure was off by an average of 27 percent, the least accurate was off by a whopping 93 percent.
Researchers say that many of the devices have proprietary algorithms measuring diverse groups of consumers and therefore will not accurately count calorie expenditure.
The study was published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine.