Research revealed that the fitness devices which you wear on your hand are more reliable for counting your heart rate instead of counting your calories. This research was conducted by a team of scientists where they kept seven different trackers on experiments in their high-quality laboratory and found the most accurate and satisfying results of the experiment.

The Scientists stated that the results of heart rate were really pleasant while the results they got in counting calories was not even at the stage where you can give arguments or explanations. 

The devices used in the experiments was Microsoft Band, Apple Watch, Fitbit Surge, Mio Alpha 2, Samsung Gear 2. Basis Peak and Pulse on. The tests were conducted on 31 women, and 29 men, all of them were wearing different multiple devices and were using some appliances like treadmill or cycles, and some were just sitting to get more accurate stats.

No men or women was having any relation, all of them was of different height and weight even different skin tone to make the test more diversified.

The test was like they took every device and extracted readings from the devices. They compared it with the readings taken from high-quality laboratory, and they used ElectroCardiograph (ECG) to calculate the most accurate reading of heart rate. Also, they used calorimetry where they took measures of carbon dioxide and oxygen from their breath to measure how much calories were burned.

The results were published in a Journal of Personalized Medicines saying that the performance of fitness band devices is not up to the mark for reading the calories. Also, they published the average error percentage which is mentioned right next. The Apple watch was having the least median of error that was 2%, on the other hand, The Samsung watch was at 6.8% for counting the heart rate. The error was highest on the PulseOn device which is around 92.6% which is almost incorrect. The team also mentioned that the reading errors varied with sex and with the different modes of exercise.

This stats that the bands and devices were getting some bad input, and also they need to change their algorithms to make it more accurate especially for PulseOn.

From now if you imagine that your fitness tracking devices are giving you some valid reasons to burn your calories or some exercise then you have to think twice. Counting calories will definitely lead you to see better results in your fitness, but with this inaccurate devices? Think again.

The companies would be in shock because these products were popular and some brands like Fitbit was able to sell more than 30 million of those devices. People blindly trusted it and here is an example what was really the scenario.

Imagine some guy at the gym was having that band or say some other device, he worked out hard and at the end of the day, he found that he burned something like 1,00 calories, but they just burned around 700 calories. They guy would definitely be happy that he achieved his target and the next moment he will grab an ice-cream or wine. If you sum up this ratio, you will see that it will be around 2000 calories more at the end of the week. You may know that it just need 3,500 calories to get an extra pound of fat.

It’s reasonable that these devices would definitely have some inaccuracy or errors in reading but 92.6%? The scientists said it should be much lower. Also, they added that it’s almost impossible (for now) to find the perfect calories reading using a band which is used by different aged, sized men or women. Also, this devices gave an accurate reading for those women who were already fit.

So, we can say that these fitness devices will give you some rough analysis of your workouts, and hence you can’t be dependent on them. As it’s hard to make a proper algorithm and feed it to a device which will be able to find some exact readings on different diversified people with gender, height, weight, and age. You can find some really valuable information with this band, but it isn’t reliable for now. Let’s see how much upgrades we will get from big brands like Apple.

Surinder Singh
Surinder is a Computer Science Diploma holder and love to play with Android smartphones. He keeps eyes on latest firmware updates, latest leaks about smartphones & upcoming gadget accessories. You can connect with him on social media.


  1. First time when i listen about fitness trackers then a very big question arise on my mind how can it work. Due to read this artical i know about fitness trackers. I find that it count only our heart rate. It can not count our calories properly. Special thanks to Surinder singh for this special artical.