Recording comprehensive stats about your runs and other workouts used to be the domain of pro athletes. But today, anyone can be their own personal health coach thanks to fitness wearables. You can track your daily steps, how much sleep you get at night, and even your average heart rate.
But is all that data accurate? More specifically: how accurate is it when compared to actual medical equipment that doctors and scientists use?
Exercise scientists take these questions very seriously. So over the past few years, they’ve put the most popular fitness trackers on the market to the test. The result? Trackers are highly accurate is some ways, and not so accurate in others. If you use your fitness tracker to count your steps, then you can probably trust it. On the other hand, they tend to be way off when estimating your calories burned.
To help you understand the research on fitness tracker accuracy, WearableZone created this infographic that summarizes some of the more interesting studies on the subject. While modern fitness trackers are generally close enough for most people, they still have a way to go until they are just as accurate as the technology your doctor uses. That’s something to keep in mind the next time you check your fitness stats on your phone.