Keeping Up With Technology: Fitness Tracking Devices

ExcersiseThese days it seems like no matter what you do in your occupation and personal life, you are faced with changes in technology that are intended to make your time more efficient and/or effective. Technology (for the better or worse) is here to stay. Working in the health and wellbeing industry for more than 10 years, I have seen the technology trend grow and develop with the intentions of helping individuals by making health and wellbeing easier.

Thanks to technology, manually tracking and analyzing calories in against calories out is­ becoming easier thanks to devices such as these:

  • Basis B1 Band©
  • Fitbit®
  • Jawbone Up®
  • Motorola MotoActv©
  • Nike+ Fuelband®

These devices, amongst others, are basically an evolving cousin of the traditional pedometer that you may have used in the past. They are much more sophisticated and most record data points such as steps, calories burned, sleep quality/time or activity/inactivity. Most of these devices use three-way accelerometer (compared to the single-axis pedometer) which makes these devices more precise. The price point of these sorts of tracking devices range from $100 ­– $200.

I am not advocating one of these devices over the other because they all have their unique features. There are a number of technology websites that rate fitness tracking devices which makes for a great resource. If you are in the market for a fitness tracking device, I would encourage you to do some of your own research by looking at user reviews to find out what features are important to you. In my personal experience, here are some specific features I value in my personal fitness tracking device:

  • Comfortable and easy to wear
  • User-friendly experience on a smartphone app and website
  • Comprehensive food library for tracking intake
  • Ease of syncing data
  • Good battery life

In summary, ask any wellbeing professional and they will tell you that tracking your physical activity and caloric intake is beneficial to hold yourself accountable for your daily health decisions. If technology is not your cup of tea or you don’t have room in your budget for one of these tracking devices that is ok. You can still keep track of your activity level and your calorie consumption. There are websites available and a good old fashioned notebook still works. These devices are just another tool available in the health and wellbeing toolbox.

By Amanda Harty

Program Manager, To Your Health at Avera Health

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