Are you wearing the right wearable tech?

Why all the buzz about wearables tech?  First of all, what is a wearable? It is electronic technology added to either sports garments or accessories that are worn on an individual's body. They are designed so as not to interfere with the body while performing exercises, including standard activities that occur at a gym or while working out. At the most basic level, wearable tech gives athletes measured fitness.


So, what is important when measuring your fitness levels? Accuracy vs. convenience vs. averaging?  Wearing a Fitbit or other wearable wristband technology provides the wearer estimates or averages using such inputs as steps taken or estimated heart rate zones based on reading pulses from your wrist. All of this is done without truly considering how hard the body is actually working as using heart rate information taken from the heart. This is the same reason why you’re hooked up to an EKG machine when you're having surgery: accuracy matters.


The analogue is like trying to determine gas mileage of a car while it’s cruising down a mountain road. The same applied for determining accurate calorie burn: without knowing how hard the body (engine) is working, it’s impossible to determine how hard the body truly is working. Studies have shown wearing a wrist-based wearable device overestimated calorie burn by 16 to 40 percent during fitness activities, such as walking, jogging and climbing stairs.


So if your ultimate goal is to know how many calories you actually burned, take your Fitbit with a grain of salt.  So if wearing a heart rate monitor produces the most accurate results for athletes of all abilities and keeps your fitness goals realistic, why would you settle for anything less than the most accurate.