The new Apple Watch Series 2 arrived with various improvements over the first-generation Apple Watch in terms of fitness tracking and recording. With the new smartwatch, Apple has introduced new Activity Rings which track your daily activities, be it standing, moving or exercising. Acting like a perfect fitness tracker, the Watch can begin tracking any of your exercises with a single tap and not only does it let you view stats like distance covered, calories burnt or duration of an exercise but also share the results of your activities with your families and friends while you're at it.
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Cleveland Clinic published a research note in JAMA Cardiology where it established that the Apple Watch is a more accurate fitness tracker compared to a Fitbit Charge HR, a Basis Peak and a Mio Alpha smartwatch. The accuracy of these wearables was measured by testing their tracking of 50 adult individuals and comparing them with the results obtained through an electrocardiogram, which offers the most accurate measurements of heart rates known to man.
The adults on whom the tests were conducted were made to go through periods of walking and jogging on a treadmill and resting. Among the wearables, the Apple Watch achieved a success rate of 90% when its results were compared to those of the electrocardiogram. The other trackers ended up with their success rates hovering around the lower eighties.
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“What we really noticed was all of the devices did not a bad job at rest for being accurate for their heart rate, but as the activity intensity went up, we saw more and more variability. At the higher levels of activity, some of the wrist technology was not accurate at all,” said Dr. Gordon Blackburn of Cleveland Clinic. “You need to have good contact between the photosensing cells; as a person is exercising more vigorously, there’s more bounce, so you may lose some of that contact.”
While measuring heart rate from the wrist will never be as accurate as measuring the same directly from the heart, such research studies let wearable-users like us get to know which devices are the most accurate in tracking our fitness regimen. A large number of adults curate their diet around their heart rates and other physical attributes, so an inaccurate reading may pose a lot of harm to them that they can imagine.