Fitbit Alta Hr: Six Weeks In
After Hugh took care of our main review, I’ve been wearing the Alta HR for about a month to really get used to the device’s pros and cons. It’s worth noting that for this period my main exercise hasn’t been running, like most of the gang, but long-ish walks as part of prepping for our Race to the Stones challenge.
A couple of niggles to get out of the way, first. The Alta HR is amongst the lightest, most comfortable and least bothersome wearables I’ve worn, but at times I’ve still found that the module digs in a little. I like the peach coloured band I’ve been using though it has got pretty grubby over the past four weeks. I’m pretty clumsy and I’ve also managed to slightly chip one edge of the tracker body/display too.
Resting heart rate, steps and distance have all been accurate enough, which is to say if your main goal is to gradually get fitter, this affordable tracker could be a good fit. The worst behaviour I’ve encountered is that it did slightly overestimate a 12k walk and also incorrectly auto-tag one section of it as an ‘outdoor bike’ session to boot. That has been a one-off though with the rest of the data from the exercise tab – HR, calories, impact being genuinely useful.
Sophie Charara, features editor
What Is A Fitbit
Fitbit is a collective term for numerous devices, which the American company Fitbit, Inc., produce.
People wear a Fitbit on their wrist to track their daily steps and help them improve their health and fitness.
Depending on the specific model of Fitbit, a person may also use it for:
- tracking their sleeping patterns
Some people find that Fitbits help motivate them to go walking more regularly. Studies have shown that walking regularly can have positive effects on a persons fitness and general health.
A suggests that adults who take 8,000 or more steps each day have a lower risk of death from numerous diseases than those who take fewer than 4,000 steps each day.
This finding builds on evidence from a 2015 study , which showed that regular walking was associated with decreased mortality for males aged 6574 years.
A 2019 study found that the use of pedometers a device that tracks a persons daily steps, similar to a Fitbit can positively affect a persons health. In the study, older adults who took part in a 12-week walking program with a pedometer were less likely than the control group to experience heart problems and fractures.
Tracking steps, therefore, may encourage a person to walk more.
Can Fitbit Detect Health Problems
The Fitbit Sense is designed to track key trends in users health and well-being such as heart rate variability, breathing rate and blood-oxygen saturation, or SpO2, according to the company. The device also will have an on-wrist skin temperature sensor that can help detect potential signs of illness.
Also Check: How To Calculate Target Heart Rate Zone
Fitbit Charge 3 Or Charge 4
As one of the worlds biggest makers of fitness trackers, Fitbit is always under pressure to deliver new and innovative options for consumers. The Fitbit Charge 3 has been a highly successful device for the company. And, if you own one, you will appreciate the number of features you can use to ensure that your health and wellbeing take center stage.
However, you may be wondering if it is time to upgrade. Rather than being uncertain, we have the answers to your questions so that you can make your decision with confidence!
Fitbit Vs Jawbone Accuracy
According to the Human Performance Laboratory paper, the Fitbit Flex is more accurate at counting steps than the Jawbone UP24. When compared to manual step counting, the Fitbit came within 10% of the actual number of steps that the research subjects took. On the other hand, the Jawbone UP24 underestimated steps by as much as 34%.
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How Easy Are They To Charge
Both the Fitbit Charge 3 and the Charge 4 use a similar clip-on charger that attaches to the back of the watch face and powers up the device. It is simple to attach and is secure so you do not need to worry about it coming detached during the charging time.
You will know that the devices are charging as a battery symbol will show on the face when the charger is initially connected. The battery life on the Fitbit Charge is up to seven days, whereas the battery on the Fitbit Charge 4 is just four days. The reason for the difference is the introduction of GPS on the Charge 4. However, both devices charge quickly, meaning you do not need to be without them on your wrist for long!
How Does A Fitbit Track Heart Rate
To determine your heart rate, the optical heart-rate sensor in your Fitbit device flashes its green LEDs hundreds of times per second and uses light-sensitive photodiodes to detect these volume changes in the capillaries above your wrist. Then your device calculates how many times your heart beats per minute .
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Fitbit Inspire 2 Not Tracking Your Heart Rate Try This Quick Fix
Is your Fitbit Inspire 2 not tracking your heart rate, despite turning the setting for heart rate on in the devices settings?
Unfortunately, when your Inspire doesnt track your heart rate, you dont get quality health information for various things, from exercise to sleep.
And thats why its essential to get your Fitbits heart rate sensor to pick up and show your pulse!
The good news, its usually a straightforward fix!
Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2
Samsung Active 2 integrates seamlessly with Strava a popular tracking app for cyclists making it a good choice if you prefer to stay active on a bike.
The Active 2 continuously displays your heart rate and will notify you if it detects a heart rate thats too low or too high.
One distinguishing feature is that it has LTE connectivity, meaning it functions as a smartphone if you have an Android device.
The watch is also lightweight and water-resistant up to 164 feet , making it a good option if you train for triathlons.
The battery life lasts about 2.5 days, though it will be less with continuous workout monitoring or always on display enabled.
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What Factors Can Affect Heart
Several factors can affect HRV, including age, sex, sleep quality, stress, and lifestyle choices, such as nutrition and exercise.
Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 notify you when we detect that your heart rate is outside of your high or low thresholds while you appear to be inactive for at least 10 minutes.
Fitness Trackers Overestimate Calorie Burning
Popular brands of fitness trackers can overestimate the number of calories burned while walking by more than 50%, tests have found.
Researchers at Aberystwyth University found all products â ranging from ÃÂ£20 to ÃÂ£80 in price â were inaccurate during walking and running tests.
Dr Rhys Thatcher said devices had an âinherent tendencyâ to over-measure.
Fitbit said its product was based on âextensive researchâ, but others said theirs were ânot medical devicesâ.
The tests, carried out for the BBC X-Ray programme, measured the amount of oxygen a volunteer used during ten minute walking and running sessions on a treadmill, before comparing it to the various fitness trackers.
The Fitbit Charge 2, which is the best selling fitness tracker on the market, was very accurate in testing calories burned while running, underestimating by 4%. But when measuring walking, it overestimated by more than 50%.
Cheaper devices â the Letscom HR and the Letsfit â underestimated the number of calories burned while running by 33% and 40% respectively.
But both were far more accurate in the walking test. The Letscom overestimated by 15.7% while the Letsfit was only 2% above the official measurement.
âIf you want to know the exact number of calories that you are burning during an exercise session then it doesnât matter which device you use, you have to interpret the data with some caution,â Dr Thatcher said.
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How Do Heart Rate Monitors Work
Chest strap monitors typically use electrocardiography to measure the electrical activity of the heart, while armband and watch-style monitors use small LED lights to measure blood flow through the skin in a process called . With both types of monitoring, the collected data is then transferred to a receiver, such as a watch or an app, so you can view your heart rate in real-time.
Fitbit Heart Rate Monitoring Explained
Tracking heart rate is a huge feature of Fitbit’s smartwatches and fitness trackers and drives the data we demand from our wearables. But how does Fitbit track heart rate, what features does it power and crucially, is it accurate?
Thanks to the in-built heart rate monitor found in the likes of the Fitbit Charge 4, and the new Fitbit Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense you’re able to gauge not only your heartbeat activity during workouts, but also tap into wellness features and some of the best sleep tracking in the business.
With the arrival of its Sense watch and its new PurePulse 2.0 sensor technology, Fitbit is also venturing deeper with the level of heart rate monitoring.
We get stuck into how it all works and why you’d want to try it out:
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How Fitbit Trackers Monitor Heart Rate
I admit that I am slightly obsessed with monitoring my heart rate. I check my heart rate when I get up, during a spin class, yoga, a dog walk, traffic backups, and stressful meetings. A quick glance at my Fitbit and a few swipes immediately shows me my heart rate, plus lots more useful data.
Having all this great information at my fingertips wasnt always easy. My first experience with heart rate, maximum heart rate, and heart rate zones was at a cycling class at the YMCA. In not nearly enough time, an instructor explained the rooms new heart rate wall poster and what it meant. As a class, we fumbled through finding our pulse, counting beats, and multiplying by four to find our heart rate. For maximum heart rate, we subtracted our age from 220. Both are math problems I like to avoidand I can with Fitbit.
How Does Fitbit Detect My Heart Rate?
When your heart beats, your capillaries expand and contract based on blood volume changes. To determine your heart rate, the optical heart-rate sensor in your Fitbit device flashes its green LEDs hundreds of times per second and uses light-sensitive photodiodes to detect these volume changes in the capillaries above your wrist. Then your device calculates how many times your heart beats per minute . The optical heart-rate sensor detects a range of 30-220 BPM.
Understanding Heart Rate Zones
Fitbit identifies three heart rate zones: Peak, cardio, and fat burn. These zones are based on your maximum heart rate.
What Is Resting Heart Rate
How Does My Fitbit Device Calculate My Heart
The formula Fitbit uses to calculate your heart-rate zones is based on your device.
Fitbit personalizes your heart-rate zones using your heart rate reserve, which is the difference between your maximum heart rate* and your resting heart rate .
Heart rate reserve is an indication of your overall cardiovascular fitness. While your maximum heart rate is generally determined by age, your resting heart rate can be lowered by increasing your fitness level. By lowering your resting heart rate, you can increase your heart rate reserve.
For example, if you are 45 years old and your resting heart rate is 74 bpm, heres the math:
First, calculate your maximum heart rate and heart rate reserve.
|Common formula of 220 – age|
|Heart Rate Reserve||
Maximum heart rate – resting heart rate
|Target Heart Rate Per Zone||+ resting heart rate|
Next, use your heart rate reserve to calculate your personalized heart-rate zones.
|Bottom of zone: + 74 = 114 bpmTop of zone: + 74 = 134 bpm|
Bottom of zone: + 74 = 135 bpmTop of zone: + 74 = 159 bpm
|Peak Zone||Bottom of zone: + 74 = 160 bpmTop of zone: maximum heart rate|
Note that you can see your personalized heart-rate zones on the Active Zone Minutes screen in the Fitbit app.
*Occasionally during intense exercise, you might notice your heart rate go above your Fitbit-calculated maximum heart rate.
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Wanna Save 10% Or Found This Review Useful Read On
Hopefully you found this review useful. At the end of the day, Im an athlete just like you looking for the most detail possible on a new purchase so my review is written from the standpoint of how I used the device. The reviews generally take a lot of hours to put together, so its a fair bit of work . As you probably noticed by looking below, I also take time to answer all the questions posted in the comments and theres quite a bit of detail in there as well.
Ive partnered with Clever Training to offer all DC Rainmaker readers an exclusive 10% discount across the board on all products . You can pickup the Fitbit Charge 2 from Clever Training. Then receive 10% off of everything in your cart by adding code DCR10BTF at checkout. By doing so, you not only support the site but you also get a sweet discount. And, since this item is more than $75, you get free US shipping as well.
Additionally, you can also use Amazon to purchase the unit or accessories . Or, helps support the site as well . If youre outside the US, Ive got links to all of the major individual country Amazon stores on the sidebar towards the top. Though, Clever Training also ships there too and you get the 10% discount.
Thanks for reading!
Fitbit Accuracy For Step Tracking
Have you ever wondered how something strapped to your wrist could possibly measure something that your legs are doing? Heres the short answer: it doesnt. At least, not directly. Instead, Fitbit trackers compile a bunch of data and run it through an algorithm to provide an estimation of steps.
Inside your Fitbit tracker is a three-axis accelerometer which measures how you move your body and arm. Information about frequency, duration, intensity, and patterns of movement is then filtered through a complex algorithm. If movement data meets a particular threshold, then a step is counted. This is how your Fitbit is able to count your steps as you move forward to walk, but not count steps as you sit in your car and drive through traffic.
But this algorithm might lead to accidentally counting steps, or missing the steps you take. Here are a few things that might interfere with your step counters accuracy.
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Fitbit Heart Rate Zones
Heart rate zones are essentially groupings, which allow you to adjust the intensity of your training based upon how long you spend in certain stages.
When you set up a Fitbit account you’ll be assigned your maximum heart rate, which is configured by the usual method 220 BPM minus your age and from there your heart rate zones are also established.
What Is The Newest Fitbit
The Fitbit family is huge and the brand often adds to its line-up with new and improved models. The latest launch from the tech brand is the Fitbit Luxe.
It’s a gorgeous bracelet-style fitness tracker for people looking to exercise in style. It offers an impressive array of features and comes with a stainless steel case for durability. One of the most stylish smartwatches out there, it’s certainly a fashion statement from the health and fitness brand.
The Luxe has a battery life of up to five days and tracks all the essentials, such as steps, distance, calories burned, activity, sleep, and menstrual cycle. The waterproof tracker is available in a range of colors with vibrant watch displays.
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Turn On The Heart Rate Monitor
The heart rate monitor is supposed to be on by default in Fitbit versa.
However, users have reported that it turns off sometimes for no apparent reason.
If your heart rate monitor is on, the green light on your Fitbit versa should be blinking.
In this case, the solution is simple,
- On your fitbit, get to the clock face screen.
- Swipe leftwards multiple times until you see settings.
- go to settings.
- Tap the heart rate option to turn it on.
If you have a fitbit versa 3, turning the heart rate monitor on cannot be a fix because the heart rate monitor cannot be turned off in the first place in versa 3.
The Best Heart Rate Monitors
1. Best For Everyday Health Tracking: Fitbit Inspire 2
epitomises the change in fitness tracking from steps to heart rate, with all but one device in the brands current line-up including an optical heart rate monitor. All of Fitbits best features are linked to the HRM as well, taking the heart rate information it tracks around the clock and using it to provide easy-to-understand insights into your health and fitness.
In the partner app you can view your resting heart rate over time, which is a solid indication of whether you are getting fitter you want that number to go down and also your Cardio Fitness Score. This is Fitbits equivalent of a VO2 max measurement and another useful stat that shows your general cardiovascular fitness. In this case, you want the number to go up over time. The HRM also feeds into Fitbits sleep tracking, and for both your slumber and Cardio Fitness Score, your numbers are compared with those of other Fitbit users of your age and sex, so you can see how you stack up.
In 2020 Fitbit debuted Active Zone Minutes which clearly tracks your progress towards the weekly target of 150 minutes of moderate cardio.
We recommend the Inspire 2 because its the cheapest Fitbit with Active Zone Minutes, and its great value at under £100. If youre a committed exerciser, however, youll be better served by the , which has a larger body and a thicker strap, and which we found tends to return more accurate readings when youre working up a sweat.
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