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Fitness trackers can be a useful tool to help people track their physical activity. While some options may be too costly for many people, a few cheaper alternatives are available that include lots of the same features.
Examples of these features include tracking calorie expenditure, monitoring heart rate, and reminding a person to move around more.
This article explains how fitness trackers may benefit health and suggests some budget fitness trackers that people may wish to consider trying.
Some people use fitness trackers to keep track of their activities. Others find the various motivational features that the tracker offers helpful.
Researchers suggest that fitness trackers are sufficiently accurate to provide acceptable measurements of activity. However, they note that a single sensor is not able to capture all movements of the body. Therefore, current fitness trackers cannot provide a perfectly accurate measurement of physical activity.
A 2018 study also indicates that fitness trackers can reliably measure heart rate, number of steps, distance covered, calories burned, and sleep duration.
Other commonly used features of fitness trackers include rewards, fitness milestone badges, and challenges. People also report that the motivational cues, social support, and general health information are among the most helpful features.
Exercise may make people feel and function better. They may also sleep better and lower their risk of several lifestyle-based chronic diseases.
Physical activity can benefit everyone, including:
- males and females of all races and ethnicities
- young children
- older adults
- people who are pregnant
- people in the postpartum period after childbirth
- people who are living with chronic diseases or wish to lower their risk of disease
Researchers suggest that fitness trackers can increase:
- daily step count
- moderate and vigorous activity
- overall energy expenditure
They also note that people who use fitness trackers along with other smart devices may benefit from a range of motivational and tracking tools. These tools can help people better manage their health.
In a 2019 study, researchers compared fitness trackers with standard interventions to increase physical activity. They found that fitness trackers demonstrated a significant improvement in all measures of exercise in comparison with traditional interventions.
Many cheap and affordable fitness trackers are available to buy. Below, we list four products that people may wish to try.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All product information is purely research-based.
Fitbit are a health and fitness company. They state that their mission is to inspire people to live more healthfully and be more active. According to Fitbit, their products fit into people’s lives seamlessly, making it easier for them to achieve their fitness goals.
The Fitbit Inspire can track activity and sleep, as well as calories burned. It also monitors a person’s heart rate. Another feature of the Fitbit Inspire is the many activity options, such as:
The user can choose from more than 15 different goal-based exercise modes and set goals for distance, time, and calories burned.
The tracker contains motivational tools to get people moving. If a person opts for reminders, it will gently remind them to stretch and take 250 steps every hour. Users will receive recognition for completing 250 steps.
The Fitbit Inspire can also track a person’s menstrual cycle and allows the wearer to report symptoms.
Samsung Galaxy Fit-e
Samsung are a company that develop consumer electronics and digital appliances. Their portfolio of products also includes smartphones, tablets, televisions, and computers.
According to the website, the Samsung Galaxy Fit-e can detect three common exercises automatically. This feature helps people focus on their activity without having to worry about adjusting their tracker settings.
The device also allows users to customize up to 10 preferred activities from a range of more than 90 workouts available in the Samsung Health application.
People can track their sleep with the Galaxy Fit-e device. The tracker analyzes sleep patterns and provides information to the user on the Samsung Health application.
Garmin are a technology company that provide global positioning system (GPS) navigation to the automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor, and fitness markets.
The Garmin vívosmart fitness tracker displays different measures of activity, including steps, calories, and distance. It also vibrates every hour to alert the user to move. After a few minutes of walking, the inactivity timer resets.
To keep users engaged, the Garmin vívosmart tracker learns the person’s current activity level and then assigns a personalized daily goal. The tracker adjusts the goal after the user reaches certain activity milestones.
The Garmin Connect application uploads activities automatically and awards users with virtual badges. People can also track their progress on the application. The tracker connects to bike speed sensors and heart rate monitors to provide additional data.
Polar are a fitness company that use expertise in sports, physiology, and electronics to develop products to suit people’s varying needs. They cater to all levels of fitness, offering devices for athletes, people who want to enjoy a more healthful lifestyle, and those needing rehabilitation and weight management.
The Polar A370 is a fitness tracker that also measures the user’s heart rate continuously. By detecting the person’s heart rate, this fitness tracker helps people train in an appropriate heart rate zone. As with other fitness trackers, it reminds users to get up and move after a period of inactivity.
The advanced sleep tracking technology allows people to track their sleep. The information that the tracker collects throughout sleep helps users understand their sleep behavior.
Fitness trackers are devices that people can use to track their physical activity. These devices may motivate people to increase their daily step count and physical activity levels, which, in turn, will likely improve their health.
Various fitness trackers are currently available, but many of them are expensive. However, there are also many budget options for people to consider that include many of the same features.