FitBit Fallacy + Finals

fitbit-surge_3543129bMy son Chris (a “gadget guy” like me) gave me a FitBit fitness tracking wrist device for Christmas; I love it, but its heart rate tracking numbers can be misleading – and dangerous (?).

Pending Lawsuit

Dr. Michael Fenster relayed an article on this subject, “Fitbit owners from several US states claim that despite the company’s products purporting to accurately measure heart rates, Fitbits do not and cannot consistently and accurately record wearers’ heart rates during the intense physical activity for which Fitbit expressly markets them”.

And I can verify those concerns… Doing overhead drills with Chuck Kinyon and Don Long on Saturday got my heart rate going really high; but when I checked the number on my FitBit, it read 104 beats per minute. I am sure I was in the 140-150 range for sure.

How It Works

The Charge HR wristband and Surge fitness watch both have a “PurePulse” sensor on the underside of the tracker. Rather than actually detecting heartbeats, it uses LEDs that reflect onto the skin to detect changes in blood volume, with software then working out the difference.

I still like the device for its step tracking and sleep measuring actions; but will need to take its heart rate numbers “with a grain of salt” (and if you read an earlier post, you know that is a good idea too!).

Do you use a fitness tracker?

Colonial Finals

Due to heavy rains, a few of the finals are still pending; but here are the winners through the end of Saturday…

Men’s 55 Singles
SF (2) Robert Steinmetz d. David Brown 7-5; 6-4
SF (1) George Kramer d. steven roberts 6-1; 6-0
Men’s 60 Singles
F (1) Joaquim Rasgado d. (3) Jeffrey Winkler 6-1; 7-5
Men’s 65 Singles
F (1) Mike Dahm d. (2) Herb Feldmann 7-6; 6-3
Men’s 70 Singles
F (1) Fred Drilling d. (2) Peter Peczely 6-4; 6-2
Men’s 75 Singles
F (1) Joseph Bachmann d. (2) Barry Shollenberger 4-6; 6-3; 6-3
Men’s 80 Singles
F (1) King Van Nostrand d. (2) Gordon Hammes 7-6; 6-3
Men’s 85 Singles
F (1) Michael Claffey d. (2) Norm Taylor 6-0; 6-2
Men’s 55 Doubles
F Redpath/Vaughan d. Olsen/Williamson
Men’s 60 Doubles
SF Gagnon/Gillette d. (2) Bloom/Hoffmann 2-6,6-0,10-8
SF Owler/Wendt d. (1) Tarantino/Veltman 7-5; 4-6; 10-5
Men’s 65 Doubles
SF Shreiner/Wilkie d. (2) Marois/Welch 6-4; 6-1
SF (1) Dalphon/Wendt d. Kennedy/Posteraro 6-3; 6-1
Men’s 70 Doubles
SF (2) Drilling/Kileff d. (3) Tarantino/Veltman 7-5; 6-4
SF (1) Irvine/Jonsson d. Fournier/Underwood 6-3; 4-6; 11-9
Men’s 75 Doubles
F (1) Davie/Valentine d. Caldwell/Weber 6-1; 6-1
Men’s 80 Doubles
RR Thoms/Winegar d. Fechtor/Gradinger Wo (inj)
RR Abramson/Fields d. Fechtor/Gradinger Wo (inj)
RR Thoms/Winegar d. Abramson/Fields 6-1; 6-1

For the full results, click HERE.

DEADLINE DUE: The World Tennis tournament starts tomorrow (click HERE for those draws); but please note the deadline for signing up for the third Florida Super Senior Grand Prix at Sanchez-Casal (Naples Bath & Tennis) is Monday at 5 p.m. Click HERE.

If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com

My Book: and if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page.

2 thoughts on “FitBit Fallacy + Finals

  1. The Fitbit hr feature is totally dependent on location,positioning and “fit” of the band. Since this a one size fits all, it makes it a bs feature not to be relied on.

    However, my love for my Fitbit is for the simpleness of measuring steps (activity) and calories expended for said steps. Really easy way to monitor If you are at a daily calorie deficit or surplus.

    George, the best odds for the hr feature to work, make sure to try wearing it high up on the wrist (above the ulnar styloid, the bone on the outside of your wrist) and secure the band TIGHT. Fwiw, when I do this, at least for me, when on the treadmill or bike in the gym and tracking heart rate, Fitbit and machine are within 2-5 points of each other. Caveat, the machine hr features aren’t totally accurate either.

    Marc – yes, i remember the instructions saying you had to wear it higher up on the arm. I will try it. thanks, george

  2. George, always good info ………I just got the Babolat pop….
    do you know anyone who has one. thanks, sal

    Sal, sorry i do not. Do you like it? george

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