Research: Wearable devices, including Apple Watch, failed to track calories – Reuters

In a paper published in January this year, researchers attempt to assess the usefulness of wrist-worn smart devices for tracking energy expenditure and heart rate. Apple Watch Series 6, Polar Vantage V, and Fitbit Sense were used by 30 healthy male and female participants who exercised in strength training, cycling, running, and even sitting. As reference devices, the team used the Polar H10 chest strap and the MetaMax 3B.

Now, we won’t bore you with the details of the study or the methods used as they seem pretty solid and instead we’ll talk about the results. The guys at Stronger through science summarized it in a simple table that offers the accuracy, variability and reliability of each device.

In the end, all of the devices were pretty bad at tracking calories in almost any activity. Not only that, but the average deviation from actual daily expenditure was unpredictable and varied wildly, rendering watches useless for tracking calories. This is because you cannot reliably track progress even with absolute values ‚Äč‚Äčturned off. It seems that portable devices are even more incompatible with individuals who have below average and above average energy expenditure.

The research also appears to be in line with previous attempts to improve the same capabilities but with different wrist-worn devices.

The good news is that the Apple Watch Series 6 was pretty reliable at tracking heart rate in all activities. Polar Vantage V and Fitbit Sense wearables fluctuate with exercise. The number of steps also seems to be on point for all devices involved in the search.

Research: Apple Watch 6 among other wearables is bad at tracking calories

The bottom line? Despite its limitations, such as the small sample size of devices and individuals, the research appears to be in line with suggested precedents that commercially available smartwatches and wrist-worn fitness trackers do not provide. reliable measurements of your daily energy expenditure. Moreover, they are very unpredictable.

Still, heart rate tracking and step counting are generally very useful and reliable features. In fact, some research done that smart wearable devices alone can have a positive impact on life fitness. People who use smart wearable devices tend to increase overall activity and step count.

Source | Passing peer

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