How accurate is your fitness tracker?


As of late there have been a lot of questions circulating around how accurate various fitness trackers are, and whether or not they’re tracking as well as they advertise it.

Last night on the NBC Nightly News they aired a segment of Rossen Reports testing 3 very well known fitness wearables and how accurate they really are. The video below goes in depth to the point of going to the sports performance center to see the real numbers (steps + calories).

Rossen Reports: How Accurate Are Those Wearable Fitness Trackers? – NBC News

So many depend on wearable fitness trackers to count every step and calorie, but how do you know if they’re correct? NBC News’ national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen uncovers their accuracy

What was found should not be a huge shocker to most people who utilize these devices, the three tested devices were the Jawbone UP 3, Garmin Vivo Smart HR, and the FitBit Charge HR. They all gave different results when it came to step count, with the Jawbone coming in with the higher numbers.

When testing out the devices in a controlled environment, the FitBit was the closest for steps, however as far as calories burned they were all way off. This is often seen with various exercise equipment in the market, stationary bikes, treadmills, etc. all tend to stretch the truth when it comes to calorie counts.

During the segment, they reached out to each of the companies, and the overall consensus from the various fitness band makers was:

“The trackers are designed to motivate and encourage healthy lifestyles”

But does this fit your needs? When you wear the device and get into challenges with friends for step counting and calorie burning but the numbers may be artificially inflated or not calculated properly, is that acceptable?

At GYM we do believe that getting people interested in fitness and bettering their lives is always a good thing. With that said, we do believe the products should be giving real results as best as they can. The market is flooded with many different wearable devices that are marketed to take accurate results, and give you feedback that you may base your daily diet around.

If you thought you burned 800 calories on your morning walk because your tracker told you so, but you really only burned 200 calories, and then you base what you eat during the day on this, it would obviously throw your calorie intake off quite a bit & throw your diet off a bit.


The GYM team has been writing articles for the health and fitness community for over 10 years. From gym equipment, to fitness & meal plans, they've helped thousands of individuals get on track with their goals.