Fitness trackers aren't more accurate than smartphone apps

February 10, 2015 5:53 PM

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In a study published Tuesday in JAMA, researchers revealed that the most popular and top-selling fitness trackers were no more accurate than common smartphone apps, many of them free. Scientists compared the two approaches (tracker versus app) by loading up treadmill users with two smartphones -- one in each pocket, with one running three apps and the other running one -- as well as a number of tracking devices around their wrists and two on their waists.

The 14 study participants, all students at the University of Pennsylvania, were made to walk on a treadmill for 500 and 1,500 steps. The process was repeated once, making for 56 total trials. After each trial, the steps counted by each device and app were recorded. While no one approach is perfect, ...

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