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Iskaral Pust

Exercise and Fitness: bro science debunked

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2 hours ago, Proudfeet said:

I own a Garmin Vivosport and I would take it with a very big grain of salt. I think it uses your heartrate and movement to determine your quality of sleep, and well, it recorded me as being asleep when I've been awake and have been at my desk for a couple of hours just because I wasn't moving my left hand. 

Oh, and I have occasional sleep records in the app even though I stopped wearing it to bed after a week. I can't make any sense of it.

Yeah my 945 has registered me as asleep long after I woke up in the mornings. It's had me as asleep while I'm actively using my phone, including checking the Garmin app.

Side note related to both the weight and fitness trackers issue : There's also been at least one very good study showing the calories they (fitness trackers in general) calculate for activities to often be wildly, wildly off. There's simply too much variation from individual to individual, and day to day to give a general you've walked / run / ridden / swum X distance therefore you've burnt X calories.

I don't trust those 'general health' stats at all.

But as far as a general step / sport tracker I have loved my last couple Garmins. Looking through the running stats definitely helps keep me motivated.

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Posted (edited)

I have heard a doctor friend say that everyone who owns a FitBit or similar gets no health benefit from one, and that it’s people who don’t have one who need one.

His reasoning is that if you care enough about your health and fitness to spend money on a FitBit, then you are probably already quite healthy, and the actual count of steps or imprecise estimates of health metrics won’t actually change that.  It’s the deeply sedentary people — with hypertension, severe cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes — who should be wearing a FitBit to fulfill a minimum daily amount of activity.

Also, steps (the original metric tracked) are a positive, but beyond a certain threshold aren’t really improving your health.  At that point you need to add actual exercise, not just walking, to further improve your health.

So if these devices help you track your running distance as you clock miles for a running program, or have a fun competition with friends on number of daily steps, then have fun with them.  But don’t get too invested in their potential for health improvement or indication.  You’re probably already quite healthy and your best work (exercise) is not accurately captured by any type of wrist device unless it comes with an EKG for your chest and a VOX mask.

Edited by Iskaral Pust

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