Fitbit Reviews & News: Fitness Tracker Is Not So Reliable, New Study Shows

By Arvin Matthew, Parent Herald May 23, 09:44 pm

Consumers should think long and hard before pulling the trigger on the latest high-tech wearables. A new study commissioned by plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Fitbit found that the company's popular activity trackers often show inaccurate readings.

Consistently Inaccurate

According to a study by California State Polytechnic University, two of Fitbit's top-tier fitness bands can be off by up to 20 beats a minute. There were even times when the PurePulse heart rate monitors on the Surge and Charge HR and failed to indicate a heartbeat reading.

To do the experiment, researchers asked 43 adults to wear Fitbit bands which were hooked to a special electronic recording device known as a BioHarness. The participants were then made to do different levels of activity in a span of an hour. Researchers later concluded that the heartbeat readings on the two Fitbit bands became more erroneous the more intense the activity got.

Fitbit Lashes Back

Fitbit responded to the claims by saying that the study was flawed and lacked merit. In a press statement shared to Gizmodo, the California-based company questioned the credibility of the study and dismissed it as nothing more than a malicious ploy to elicit a payout from the company.

The statement added that the company spent 3 grueling years in ensuring the quality and precision of the PurePulse technology on its fitness bands. Fitbit claimed that its Charge HR band is trusted by millions around the world, making it the best-selling activity tracker in the market today.

Fitbit has dealt with numerous PR disasters in the past. In one report by Daily Mail, the company had to clean up an issue in which 3 Fitbit bands showed different results despite being put through the same amount of work.

Do It Yourself

Freddy Brown, a nutritionist for Great Britain's Olympic athletes, explained that people can still measure their heart rates even without the help of costly high-tech gadgets. You just simply press on the pulse spots on your neck or wrists, count how many times your pulse beats in a minute and bingo, you just save yourself a few hundred dollars!

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