Fitness Trackers and Step Counters

Which activity monitor is best for me?

What do activity monitors do?

An activity tracker or fitness tracker is a small device usually worn as a band around the wrist, like a watch, that tracks how much exercise or activity you do in a day. This can include your daily steps, as well as timed activities such as running or yoga. The device usually links to your smartphone via Bluetooth or the internet and downloads the data stored on the band to an app on your phone. On the app you can view how many steps you have taken, or how many calories you have burned. Some fitness bands have a watch function as and they can also track your sleep patterns and heartbeat.

What do you want from a fitness tracker?

Deciding which fitness tracker is best for you depends upon what you want the activity tracker to do. Is sleep tracking important to you or does it need to be waterproof? You also want to pick an activity tracker that you’ll want to wear all the time, that is comfortable and looks good. Trackers are not just seen as a weight loss aid or useful fitness device, but as part of a person’s look, so there are plenty of designs and colours to choose from to match your personality.

Fully functioning watch

You might want your exercise tracker to double as a watch, so that you don’t need to wear two bands on your wrist or look at your phone to know the time. Many activity watches also have touch-screen so that you can swap between the watch face and your fitness progress, allowing you to keep on top of your fitness goals and not be late for that important meeting.

Step counter

If you’re looking for a simple way to track your steps without having to use your phone then a stepometer is for you. Featuring a minimal design complete with a digital clock, this pedometer is a great way to track whether you are doing the government recommended 10,000 steps a day.

If you prefer to use an app on your phone, then most wrist-worn exercise trackers have built-in pedometers that monitor the steps you take throughout your day. The step tracker tends to show you when you were most active, the times in which you were active and how many total steps you have taken. You can also set step goals to keep you on track and some trackers can also alert you when you have been inactive and need to get moving.

Sleep tracking

Monitoring your sleep with a fitness watch can help you determine your sleep pattern and whether you are getting the exact amount of sleep you need. On average adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night*, but many of us do not get enough sleep.

This is where a fitness tracker such as the Misfit bands, steps in, being able to see your sleep pattern in an app will tell you how much sleep you are getting each night, and what the optimal length is for you. From this you can look back on behaviour in the day to see what may have disrupted your sleep, for example having a coffee after dinner could be the reason you are struggling to sleep.

Heart rate monitor

Monitoring your heart rate via your fitness band is a great way to see how intense your work outs are, as well as how long it takes your body to recover afterwards. The acme ACT202 has a built-in heart rate monitor which tracks when you’re exercising and entering fat burning zones. So you can get the best out of your time at the gym or meet a personal best on your next run.

If you already have an Acme fitness tracker, but are unsure of how to set it up, we can give you a helping hand with this guide on our blog.

Browse our fitness trackers and find the best activity tracker for you here.

How accurate are fitness trackers?

The accuracy of fitness trackers has been under debate since they first appeared on the fitness scene. Stories about people being able to trick their fitness watch into thinking that they’re walking when in fact they are simply moving their arms are commonplace. However, as the technology behind activity trackers improves so do their levels of accuracy when monitoring your heart rate, steps and sleep.

Sources

*www.nhs.uk/conditions/insomnia

www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/fitness-trackers-calorie-measurements-are-prone-to-error

www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/tools-and-technology-that-can-help

www.nhs.uk/news/lifestyle-and-exercise/fitness-trackers-dont-help-you-lose-weight

Like a watch, you should wear your fitness tracker on your non-dominant hand, for example if you are right-handed you should wear the band on your left wrist. This will help your activity tracker to be more accurate and prevent any false steps from being recorded.

Yes, however to help you reach your weight loss goals an activity tracker needs to be paired with a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise. A fitness tracker can help you to monitor your activity levels, allowing you to increase them and burn more calories than you are consuming. Find out more about weight loss and what steps you can take to change your lifestyle here.

Yes, depending on their features, different models of exercise watches can track your sleep. They’re also able to show you how much light, deep and REM sleep you have had as well as how many times you have woken in the night.