After smart phones there is a new trend catching on in India for fitness bands. Fitness bands is a wrist-worn device that can detect some combination of walking steps, running distance, heart rate, sleep patterns and swimming laps. Fitness bands interact via Bluetooth with an app in a mobile device that configures the device and receives the wearer’s activity data. Most smartwatches support some number of fitness activities via a health app. However, just as the smartphone combined phone, media player, camera and a raft of other devices into one, there may be little difference between a smartwatch and a fitness tracker in the future.
Tests conducted on 22 healthy volunteers (even split of males and females) completing a variety of activities – ranging from running, cycling and walking, to seated and lying rest – for a period of approximately one hour there are limits to how much trust we can place in such devices to monitor energy balance and, therefore, to serve as weight loss aids. The measurements of the wrist-worn devices were compared to electrocardiography readings every 15 seconds and against a portable gas analysis system which measured the number of calories burnt. As per manufacturer’s instructions, each of the wrist-worn devices was individualised to reflect the users age, gender, height and weight. Researchers found that wrist-worn fitness monitors underestimated energy expenditure with variances of more than 40 percent.