NPR

Fitness Trackers: Good at Measuring Heart Rate, Not So Good At Measuring Calories

A study of seven popular fitness trackers found they are generally good at measuring heart rate, but may mislead consumers about how many calories they have burned.
Researchers had participants wear the fitness trackers while walking or running on a treadmill and while riding an exercise bike to determine how well the trackers measured heart rate and energy expenditure. Source: Paul Sakuma

Sleek, high-tech wristbands are extremely popular these days, promising to measure heart rate, steps taken during the day, sleep, calories burned and even stress.

And, increasingly, patients are heading to the doctor armed with reams of data gathered from their devices. "They're essentially asking us to digest the data and offer advice about how to avoid cardiovascular disease," says cardiologist Euan Ashley, associate professor of medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center and Stanford Hospital and Clinics in

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