Move LifeStyle

Move LifeStyle


Getting Fit and Healthy via Fitness Bands

Digital health became more accessible and accepted by the public when some of the recent mobile health tracking devices and applications where released on the market. One of the known technologies that has paved the way for mobile health to be widely known is the fitness band. Prior to smartwatches, fitness bands introduced the possibility of tracking vital signs in real-time. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Connected Life Report, 70 percent of consumers are aware of this technology, where 61 percent of them are currently using fitness bands. Here are just some of the other things you need to know about mobile health and fitness wearables.

Top Fitness Tracking Devices on the Market

Although the demand for wearables is high, there are very few choices available on the market. Among the wearable technologies available, smartwatches appear to be more popular than other gadgets, including fitness bands. Gartner’s study revealed that 50 percent of consumers will consider getting a smart wristwatch than a fitness band in 2015. This is due to the fact that the smartwatch and fitness band have overlapping functions in tracking health, however the former provides more mobile features, which appeals more to the consumer.

Currently, there is a shortage of fitness tracking devices on the market. A list provided by O2 showed the top wearables currently available, which includes the Sony SmartBand Talk, Moto 360, and the upcoming Microsoft Band among others. These gadgets have sensors that are able to gather data about the user’s heart rate, sleep and stress levels, physical activity, distance of jog, and calories burned.

Smartphone vs Wearables

The most common question raised today is, will wearables replace smartphones? As fitness band and smartwatches become as smart as smartphones in performing mobile functionalities, most consumers are wondering whether to keep their smartphones and get wearables as accessories or purchase a smartwatch and replace their handsets completely.

[1] Fitbit [2] Smartband [3] Jawbone [4] Viofit [5] Runtastic
Research by the University of Pennyslvania earlier this year revealed that smart handsets are just as accurate at tracking health as wearables. The researchers found that the applications on smartphones are as precise in monitoring physical activities and tracking vital signs as many fitness devices on the market. Apart from accuracy, there are more smartphone users than wearable users, and applications for handset’s appear to be more accessible and affordable than getting a new gadget.

In addition, mobile manufacturers are serious about including health features on their latest flagship. One of the most recently released devices is the Samsung Galaxy S6, which comes with the company’s propriety S-Health app and heart rate monitor sensor placed behind the phone’s back panel. O2 also commends the device for its fast wireless charging of 10 minutes that can last for four hours, which is highly necessary for those who need a quick battery charge before going out for a jog.

Since most wearables available are still dependent on its paired handset when gathering health data, it won’t be an easy shift for consumers moving from their smartphone to their smart wristwatch or band completely.

Future of Fitness Bands

Since the technology is still in its developmental stage, it is expected that more devices and innovative features will be unveiled soon. Wearables are expected to be able to assist patients that are in need of particular medical attention. Embrace by Empatica, a crowdfunded project, is a smart band that is able to provide its users with the health tracking features available with most fitness devices today. However, it can also assist patients who suffer from seizures by alerting their family members and carers when an attack happens, providing them with a quick and effective way to call for medical assistance. The device is expected to be released in October 2015.

The question of whether you need to acquire a fitness band will depend on your capability to purchase one. There are some devices that are affordable and highly reliable in terms or tracking health in real-time, but most will still require a paired handset to perform their functions. Will you get one soon?

Author Description

Fit and Fab Girl

Fit and Fab Girl is an adventurous blogger from Berkshire, UK. She loves covering various stories from lifestyle to technology and even travelling. She is always the go-to of ladies when it comes to advices on the best travel spots, top smart devices, and recommended diet and exercise regimen. Watch out for her blog!

Move LifeStyle is an e-zine for the modern working woman created by Autumn Reeser, Jenn Wong and Ashley Fauset.

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