Some health trackers are inaccurately measuring working distance, in accordance with analysis from the buyer watchdog Which?
It examined 118 trackers utilizing a treadmill to finish the space of a marathon – 26.2 miles (42km).
It discovered that the least dependable was the Garmin Vivosmart 4, which underestimated the space by 10.eight miles – that means the researcher truly ran 37 miles.
Garmin mentioned it was as a result of that specific tracker didn’t include GPS.
It described the Vivosmart Four as an “all-round sensible health tracker” and advised that marathon runners use its Forerunner vary which is GPS-enabled.
Of the eight Apple fashions concerned within the take a look at, the Apple Watch sequence 1 was essentially the most correct, over-estimating the space by 1%, whereas the sequence three overestimated by 13% – stating that the runner had accomplished the marathon distance after 22.eight miles.
“Our exams have discovered quite a few fashions from big-name manufacturers that may’t be trusted on the subject of measuring distance, so before you purchase, be sure to do your analysis to discover a mannequin that you may depend on,” mentioned Natalie Hitchins, head of house product and companies at Which?
Different outcomes for the variety of miles reached earlier than the tracker recorded the official marathon distance included:
- Samsung Gear S2 – 36.2 miles
- Xiaomi Amazfit Bip – 34 miles
- Huawei Watch 2 Sport – 18.9 miles
A Huawei spokesman advised the BBC “particular person runner variances” may have affected the take a look at outcomes.
“Almost about working indoors, as this specific take a look at was carried out on a treadmill,” he mentioned. “The algorithm of Huawei Watch 2 Sport calculates the person’s stride size from the acceleration sensor information whereas working at completely different speeds.”
In January 2019 researchers at Aberystwyth College discovered that every one the trackers they examined overestimated the variety of energy burned throughout exercise.
Gavin Taitt is an everyday middle-distance runner from Earlston, within the Scottish Borders, who additionally coaches others. He mentioned he and his group use a mixture of Garmin Forerunner watches and the social health community Strava to measure and share outcomes.
“The watches are fairly costly however have good suggestions,” he mentioned.
“Accuracy is essential.”
One other skilled agreed that the calibrated treadmill take a look at was not the very best methodology as a result of all of the units would have needed to depend on step-counting algorithms slightly than GPS (for these which had it) to calculate distance.
“This can be a actual disgrace as an actual world (on-road) take a look at would have been extra helpful for customers,” mentioned Dr Dale Esliger, senior lecturer in bodily exercise and well being at Loughborough College.
He added that when investing in a tracker, individuals ought to take into consideration which metric goes to be most helpful to them by way of measuring their progress.
“Step-counting has turn out to be a key metric for a lot of; nonetheless, units at the moment are coming with heart-rate monitoring functionality which pertains to exercise depth and supplies perception into cardiovascular well being,” he defined.
“In our analysis, this [heart rate] is the metric that appears to be the potent driver for behaviour change.”