Smart things are the next evolution of technology. It promises to bring not only an experience never been offered before. It also makes it accessible to anyone services and technologies previously were only made available to a certain few.
Smart watches and activity trackers are among those devices that falls under the so-called Internet of Things. But, these devices also comes with disadvantages that may harm your health. This article will look into the pros and cons of wearing a Fitbit device.
Fitbit Smart Watches and Activity Trackers: An Introduction
A Fitbit smart watch or activity tracker is a device capable of tracking your every move so that it could calculate the amount of physical activities during a day. Its design does not depart from that of a traditional watch.
It worn using a band, which can either be made from plastic, rubber, or leather. A Fitbit also functions like a normal watch. It is capable of telling you time and date aside from being capable of providing you information on your physical activities. However, it differs as it delivers time digitally instead of the mechanical hands found in most traditional watches.
The most common features among smart watches and activity tracker from Fitbit are the following:
- Ability to track the number of footsteps you make in a day;
- Ability to calculate calories burned;
- Track the hours of your sleep;
- Caller ID;
- Music control; and
- Ability to tell time.
What are the Different Types of Fitbit?
A Fitbit comes in several models. Each of them offering something unique. There are models that are designed to merely track the number of your footsteps while there are others capable of tracking not only your footsteps but also the number of stairs you have taken, control music from your smartphone, and view the status of your heart rate.
The following are some of the Fitbit smart watches and activity trackers previously and currently available in the market:
Tagged as Fitbit’s most advanced tracker to date, the Charge 3 can keep track of your heart rate 24/7, tell you how much calories you are burning, and automatic exercise recognition. The activity tracker also comes with the following features – ability to determine the state and quality of your sleep, heart rate zones, and is waterproof. Aside from tracking your fitness, this activity tracker is also integrated with the ability to notify you of calls, text messages, and calendar alerts from your smartphone.
Fitbit also offers children their own activity tracker. The Ace was made to encourage children to be more active and engaged into sports and physical activity early in their life. This Fitbit device monitors steps, sleeping hours, and active minutes. This activity tracker differs from the adult offerings because it comes with a feature that displays celebratory messages when they reach their activity goal for the day. It also allows them to collect badges for such achievements. To make it more fun and kid-friendly, the Ace also comes with the ability to change watch faces. It comes with 10 designs that shows date, time, and goal progress.
The Versa smart watch is a more advanced device from Fitbit. It is capable of storing and playing up to more than 300 songs, capable of using Fitbit Pay, and a store where a variety of apps for various uses. In terms of tracking fitness, the Versa comes with Fitbit Today that displays daily statistics and reminders. It also comes with the PurePulse heart rate technology, automatic exercise and sleep tracking, and on-screen workouts. Women who use this smart watch can also take advantage of the female health monitoring capability of the Versa.
How Does a Fitbit Work?
Smart watches and activity trackers from Fitbit aim to track your daily physical activities. It is capable of estimating how much steps you have taken, the number of calories you have burned, and some are capable of delivering information on your biostatistics including your heart rate. It is able to do so because it is integrated with sensors and algorithms that make it capable of providing you a wide variety of information.
For example, Fitbit devices are able to deliver information on how many stair steps you have taken because it has an altimeter sensor that is capable of detecting whether you are going up or down. However, this sensor cannot count steps taken on the StairMaster, inclined treadmill, and other stationary exercise equipment.
Fitbit devices are also capable of counting how many steps you have taken in a day. The 3-axis accelerometer integrated into smart watches and activity trackers from Fitbit is responsible for tracking steps. Accelerometers are made to convert movements into digital measurement when attached to your body.
Compared to older versions of pedometer, it is more accurate in counting steps and every motion you take. To ensure that only accurate information will be recorded, Fitbit made sure that their devices are integrated with a technology that is able to differentiate unique movements from bumps while riding a car.
Can Fitbits Produce EMF?
Yes, Fitbit smart watches and activity trackers use Bluetooth to keep it connected to a smartphone. These devices are capable on their own, but they need to be paired with a smartphone or a tablet computer to take advantage of the statistics it was able to record.
It is through a Bluetooth connection that you can pair your Fitbit smart watch or activity tracker to send data it collected. The mere presence of Bluetooth in this device is an instant warning that it is capable of producing EMF. Additionally, this kind of device has its Bluetooth turned on 24/7 to take advantage of its features.
You may well remember that prolonged exposure to electromagnetic field and radio frequencies, even in small amounts, do contribute to health issues.
Aside from the wireless technologies used in Fitbit devices, each smart watch and activity tracker comes with components capable of producing EMF. These devices are able to record your steps, provide you data on your sleep, and capable of giving you on-demand status of your heart rate as it is embedded with components designed to read such data. These components create electric current that in turn produces and emits electromagnetic field radiation.
Dangers with Wearing a Fitbit 24/7
Fitbit, the company, recommends that you wear your smart watch or activity tracker 24/7. They explained that doing so can enable their device to properly assess your physical activity in a day. However, having your Fitbit on your wrist 24/7 does come with consequences. Experts on electromagnetic field radiation shielding expressed concern over how having it on your wrist all day and night increase the chances of your body absorbing more EMF. The following are several concerns raised over wearing any Fitbit device day and night:
Some users of smart watches and activity trackers from Fitbit report that they developed rashes after using the device. They claimed that severe rashes became more prominent after long period use of the Fitbit Force activity tracker. Fitbit claimed that it is indeed that their tracker caused the appearance of rashes.
The chemicals used in the tracker’s band was pointed as the culprit behind thousands of complaints of rashes. The company recalled the devices but there are still some users who complained of developing rashes. While the company named the material used in the Force as the culprit, EMF shielding experts cannot rule out the possibility that electromagnetic field radiation can cause rashes if you are exposed to it 24/7 over a long period of time.
Impact on Your Brain
Researchers also looked on the possibility of EMF emitted by Fitbit devices impacting your brain. They have discovered the contribution of exposure to EMF and the functions of the human brain. A study found that people who are constantly exposed to EMF radiation tend to demonstrate significant change in brain function due to the lack of quality sleep.
Another study looked and discovered that EMF caused changes to brain oscillatory responses during cognitive processing in children. Lastly, EMF was found to have cause drastic changes to human electroencephalogram (EEG) activity caused by low amounts of electromagnetic field radiation.
Fitbit devices offer you a lot of potential to be in greater control over your health. These devices are designed to monitor every step you make, the number of calories you burn, and is able to provide you your heart rate on-demand. Aside from being your accessible medical practitioner, smart watches and activity trackers from Fitbit also provides you ease in controlling your smartphone.
It also comes with features like notifications, call management, and music controls. Yet, there are disadvantages that come with wearing a Fitbit device 24/7. These devices emit electromagnetic field radiation that can cause some serious damage to your body. EMF is known for causing changes to sleep and brain activity.
Wearing a Fitbit device also raises another concern after its users report appearance of rashes. Therefore, it is a must to educate yourself on the advantages and disadvantages of wearing a Fitbit smart watch or activity tracker. Knowledge of the device’s pros and cons can help you balance its potential harm and benefits it offer.