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Which Fitness Trackers Are the Most Accurate?

Which Fitness Tracker Is the Most Accurate? The Results Are In

With so many fitness trackers to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which one is right for you. Features like sleep measuring and activity tracking — not to mention what the tracker looks like itself — all can influence whether or not you think it's worth it to drop hundreds of dollars on your quantified self. If you're worried about calorie count accuracy, you're in luck; researchers have found which trackers are the most accurate when estimating calories burned.

To test accuracy, researchers had 60 men and women wear eight different trackers while they exercised for 69 minutes. The participants also wore a metabolic analyzer in order to establish an accurate count of their calorie burn. Afterward, data from the trackers were compared with the accurate calorie burn count.

The results, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, were encouraging: most trackers were within what the researchers called "reasonably accurate" estimates, within 10 to 15 percent of the accurate number. The winner? The BodyMedia Fit, which earned a 9.3 percent error rating.

You may recognize the BodyMedia Fit as the large upper-arm device that Biggest Loser contestants wear, and while it's not as sleek as other available trackers, it features several measurements to get an accurate rating. It uses an accelerometer, a measurement called galvanic skin response — which measures how active you are based on your sweat — as well as a measurement of the heat your muscles and skin produce when you move. Taken together, these sensors produce a calorie count that is just as accurate, the study says, as research models.

Check out how the other eight trackers fared below, and don't forget to read more about the pros and cons of the most popular fitness trackers here.

Rank Tracker Error Rating
1. BodyMedia FIT ($119) 9.3 percent
2. Fitbit Zip ($60) 10.1 percent
3. Fitbit One ($100) 10.4 percent
4. Jawbone UP24 ($150) 12.2 percent
5. Actigraph wGT3X-BT Monitor ($225) 12.6 percent
6. Directlife ($199) 12.8 percent
7. Nike FuelBand SE ($149) 13.0 percent
8. Basis B1 Band ($199) 23.5 percent

Source: Instagram users jawbone, jamie_sordo, marialuciangelo, and klewisxo

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Join The Conversation
champagneforeveryday champagneforeveryday 1 year

This is a great article - it even inspired me to go out and get the most accurate one to give it a shot. I was really shocked by the results though (and wrote about them) but I think my body type might also just be too lean/ an anomaly!

Jill

Latest Post: The World's Most Accurate Fitness Tracker - My Week of Shocking Results!

Chutima3692315 Chutima3692315 1 year

I have fitbit one, the tracking with the steps is completely wrong. I have to use stair everyday at least 30 steps every day but fitbit one show just 1 or 5 steps that I have each day. Other than that, I prefer fitbit one than flex because you can hit the button and see how many steps you walk at that moment without have to hook your tracker with the computer and sync with cell phone.

schlagers schlagers 1 year

i wish the fitbit flex was on here...

bhilb bhilb 1 year

I have had the Nike Fuelband for about 1 1/2 years. I'm mostly pleased with performance, and the calorie count is actually closer than I expected, but the band, itself, stopped working after about 9 months. Nike readily exchanged it for a new one, but now about 9 months later, this one is falling apart. It doesn't seem to be designed for long term/daily use.

Heather15149529 Heather15149529 1 year

I love my Fitbit Zip! It does everything I need it to and it keeps me moving. If you get it from Amazon it's only 49. :) Best 49 bucks I've spent and it has already paid for itself! :)

jlotusbiz1376 jlotusbiz1376 1 year

Kinda bummed my misfit isn't on this list. I really wanted one that I could swim while wearing so I ended up with that one. Polar loop and Garmin vivofit aren't on here either and they were tied for second choice.

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