Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Fitness Tracker

By Tim Fox

January 3, 2019   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Fitness tracker has bagged in immense popularity these days. These wearable technologies help you lead a fitter and healthier life, as they easily track your fitness level. Whether you are getting physically more active or training for sports, tracking your fitness is going to be easier than ever with a fitness tracker.

These small tech-gadgets are going to evolve with exciting features and capabilities in the near future. In the meantime, you ought to know what the advantages and disadvantages of using fitness trackers are.

Are these devices really useful? Do fitness trackers work?

Let’s get to know whether a fitness tracker is worth it or not.

What exactly is a Fitness Tracker?

A fitness tracker is a hi-tech device that measures your movements and motions with the help of integrated sensors.

It will collect data and convert them into related metrics, such as general activity, steps count, calories burned, sleep quality, etc.

To track the number of stairs you’ve climbed, there’s a specific sensor called “altimeter” which measures your altitude. The more sensors in your gadget, the more accurate it’ll be.

This strap-on gadget can track your daily steps, monitor your heart rate, sleeping patterns and even log your food intake — all while you carry out your routine.

How does a Fitness Tracker Work?

Before we get into its pros and cons, let’s see how a fitness tracker work.

How accurately does a Fitness tracker convert data? Well, there are smartphone apps where you can check and interpret the tracked metrics.

These apps also allow you to set fitness goals and keep track of your progress.

Top 7 Benefits of the Fitness Tracker

1. Get that accountability

This has to be the top reason why fitness tracker is good, especially for those who need that little push to get out there and workout.

Almost all fitness trackers integrate with third-party apps, on which you can post your workout sessions or challenge your friend to hold yourself accountable for your fitness regime.

Research tells us that such social touch to workouts help you perform exercise regularly, without being lazy!

2. Much-needed daily motivation

Another biggest advantage of a fitness tracker is that it provides you with visual progress. You get to see how many steps you’ve taken, how many calories you’ve burned and so on.

For being active, it is recommended to take minimum 10,000 steps per day. Adding to that, many fitness trackers let you see what time of the day you are most active. Some trackers even remind you to take a walk or do exercise when you’ve stopped being active in a while.

All these numbers alone are quite a motivation for many! They help you get up and get going.

3. Ditch the junk and start eating healthy

Being active is not the only thing you need to be happy and healthy. A healthy diet plan is as crucial as an active lifestyle.

A tracker will let you log your food intake as well as your water intake. You can enter your water intake per day, food choices and then calculate the quality of your diet plan to make better choices each day.

4. Set your own fitness goals

There’s a huge difference between wanting to be healthy and actively working with a plan to lead a healthy lifestyle.

There’s nothing more motivating than setting your own fitness goals and working daily towards achieving it. Whether it’s a weight loss program or training for a marathon, fitness trackers help you set goals and achieve them over time.

Goal setting keeps you focused and motivates you to accomplish them even more.

5. Track your sleep

Quality of your sleep greatly affects your metabolism, mood, cravings and energy levels, says research.

Today, many fitness trackers can track sleep patterns and show how deep or light your sleep was, how long you’ve slept, and how many times you woke up.

Such information will help you make better choices before going to bed and improve your sleeping patterns over time.

6. Stay Connected

Strapping on a fitness tracker, like Fitbit Charge 3 and charge 2, can also notify you as regards to your incoming calls, text messages or emails without you having to look at your smartphone.


Many Fitness Trackers today come with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity feature, with which you can sync the device with your smartphone.

7. Monitors Heart Rate

Without using a chest strap, a fitness tracker can monitor your heart rate by measuring your pulse.

Integrated sensors aim light towards blood vessels in your wrist, detecting any changes in blood volume as your heart pumps blood.

Changes in the blood volume are detected by checking the amount of light reflected.

Less amount of light indicates a high amount of blood volume was pumped and vice versa! Thus, wearer gets to know the right intensity to perform exercise and when not to overdo it.

Disadvantages of a Fitness Tracker

The pros of fitness trackers outweigh their cons. To emphasize, there are very few disadvantages of using a fitness tracker.

Some of them are as follows:

1. They are expensive

Best fitness trackers can be expensive, especially when you’re not getting the most out of it. You cannot get a costly fitness tracker and only use it occasionally.

Today, hi-tech fitness trackers feel more like owning a luxury rather than a necessity.

2. Battery run-time can be disappointing

One more device to be charged daily!

The battery run-time of fitness trackers can be a critical issue, as most of them do not last long. And, it can be quite frustrating to charge these devices on a daily basis.

If you forget to charge it, it won’t be long until the battery drains off while exercising.

3. Accuracy can be questionable

Some fitness trackers do not provide 100% accurate metrics — such as the steps taken, especially cheap ones. These devices cannot count all the steps you take but only estimate it loosely.

This is why you cannot fully rely on these devices if counting steps is your topmost priority. The same applies to the calorie-counting aspect of it.

To Sum Up

Wearable fitness trackers are one of today’s top fitness trends as they encompass an array of technological features. They can be a boon if they are suitable for you and serve your fitness requirements.

*Featured Photo Credit: Total Shape

Tim Fox

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