7 On Your Side
Consumer Reports tests newest fitness gadgets
Eating right and exercising are important steps to staying healthy, but technology can help out too. New fitness gadgets track how many calories you've burned and more. Consumer Reports has partnered exclusively with 7 On Your Side to reveal which ones are the best.
The hottest gadget for fitness-minded people is an activity tracker - a wearable device that tells you how much you're moving. Consumer Reports took six popular trackers for a whirl and found some better than others at helping you reach your exercise goals.
Joseph Jose never leaves home without his activity tracker. He says the results have been eye-opening.
"What I found out is that I was actually moving a lot less than I thought I was," said Jose.
An activity tracker uses sensors to gather information about the steps you take and the calories you burn. Jose's tracker syncs to his phone or computer when he's ready to crunch the numbers. But are activity trackers accurate? In Consumer Reports' labs, a panel of volunteers wore them on wrists, arms and clothing to find out. The panelists walked on a treadmill, used an elliptical exerciser, climbed the stairs and picked up toys, crossing the room to toss them in a bucket. Testers kept track of every step.
"We compared our step-count against the trackers', and all of the devices did well at counting steps," said Nicole Sarrubbo, Consumer Reports.
Next this metabolic analyzer was used to measure the calories each panelist burned. Some of the activity trackers proved better than others at counting calories. And some give feedback during your workout.
"Three of the trackers show how you're doing while you're exercising, and most of the panelists said they really like that feature," said Sarrubbo.
One that gives instant encouragement is the Fitbit One. The taller the flower, the more you've moved. It earned top ratings and costs $100.
As for Jose, his tracker has helped him shed 40 pounds and counting.
And another bonus with the Fitbit One is that it lets you track the calories you eat and how well you sleep. But Consumer Reports has one caution - not all of these fitness gadgets sync with every type of smart phone or computer, so check before you buy.
Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2010. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
consumer reports, smartphones, 7 on your side, michael finney
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