Some fitness trackers are inaccurately measuring running distance, according to analyze from the purchaser watchdog Which?
It examined 118 trackers using a treadmill to complete the gap of a marathon – 26.2 miles (42km).
It discovered that the least dependable turned into the Garmin Vivosmart 4, which underestimated the space through 10.Eight miles – meaning the researcher clearly ran 37 miles.
Garmin said it changed into because that particular tracker did no longer include GPS.
It defined the Vivosmart 4 as an “all-spherical smart health tracker” and suggested that marathon runners use its Forerunner range which is GPS-enabled.
Of the 8 Apple fashions concerned in the check, the Apple Watch collection 1 turned into the most accurate, over-estimating the gap with the aid of 1%, at the same time as the collection 3 overestimated via 13% – declaring that the runner had finished the marathon distance after 22.Eight miles.
“Our exams have located a number of fashions from massive-call manufacturers that can’t be relied on when it comes to measuring distance, so earlier than you buy, ensure you do your studies to discover a version that you can depend on,” stated Natalie Hitchins, head of domestic product and offerings at Which?
Other results for the variety of miles reached earlier than the tracker recorded the reputable marathon distance blanketed:
Samsung Gear S2 – 36.2 miles
Xiaomi Amazfit Bip – 34 miles
Huawei Watch 2 Sport – 18.9 miles
A Huawei spokesman instructed the BBC “man or woman runner variances” could have affected the check results.
“With regards to going for walks indoors, as this precise take a look at became finished on a treadmill,” he stated. “The algorithm of Huawei Watch 2 Sport calculates the user’s stride duration from the acceleration sensor statistics at the same time as walking at exceptional speeds.”
In January 2019 researchers at Aberystwyth University discovered that each one the trackers they tested puffed up the number of calories burned during pastime.
Gavin Taitt is an everyday center-distance runner from Earlston, within the Scottish Borders, who also coaches others. He said he and his institution use a mixture of Garmin Forerunner watches and the social fitness community Strava to measure and share effects.
“The watches are pretty pricey but have proper feedback,” he stated.
“Accuracy is very important.”
Another expert agreed that the calibrated treadmill check become now not the high-quality method due to the fact all of the devices might have needed to depend on step-counting algorithms instead of GPS (for the ones which had it) to calculate distance.
“This is an actual disgrace as a real international (on-road) take a look at would have been extra beneficial for purchasers,” said Dr. Dale Esliger, senior lecturer in bodily pastime and health at Loughborough University.
He delivered that when investing in a tracker, humans have to think about which metric is going to be maximum benefit to them in phrases of measuring their development.
“Step-counting has ended up a key metric for plenty; but, gadgets are actually coming with heart-price monitoring capability which pertains to hobby intensity and gives insight into cardiovascular fitness,” he explained.