Moving is good for your health! Races, cleaning, dog walking, climbing stairs: we spend calories every day. But how much and how to know if this activity is sufficient? The activity bracelet (or connected watch) has been designed for this purpose. Discreet, easy to use, it will interest especially non-athletes who spend themselves without knowing it. A real coach to motivate yourself, keep fit and improve your daily life.
Moving to stay healthy
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), it would take at least 10,000 steps per day to stay fit and maintain health. That is the equivalent of 1h30 of walking or 1 hour of jogging.
Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing breast cancer by 39%, the risk of diabetes by 34% and the risk of stroke by 25%.
To move, and if possible to practice in addition a physical activity or sport, represents thus a key element to keep the form and especially to remain in good health! The activity bracelet aims to achieve this goal by raising awareness of its caloric expenditure and encouraging more effort.
A smart health bracelet to do what?
Connected objects or the Internet of Things (IDO)
The world of the Internet will never cease to amaze us. Since 2013, a new type of “objects” has appeared: connected objects. These everyday objects are an extension of the virtual world of the Internet to the real world that we know.
Equipped with sensors, a memory and a transceiver, they record and communicate on the network (smartphone, tablet, computer, etc.) various data for their exploitation for useful purposes. The Internet of Things is the system that can identify these entities and communicate with them to retrieve and process the data they provide. A small revolution in the technological world.
There is a multitude of connected objects, most of them controllable from a smartphone, such as glasses that interface with the web to record what they see, do research on the Internet, or project videos. Electronic scales that transmit their data to an application that interprets the results and provides expert advice to their user. Assistive devices for health, household appliances. The list is long. And of course, among these objects, there are the famous activity bracelets also called sensors or activity trackers.
A bracelet that measures daily physical activity and encourages movement
An activity bracelet is a connected object that measures your physical activity (calories burned, number of steps taken in the day, distance traveled, quality of sleep), summarizes these data and presents them in the form of a detailed report . He can even provide useful tips on your diet and activity. His interest: to inform you about your daily physical activity, to motivate you to move and to spend even more and of course to keep you in good health.
Simple and user-friendly, it is a real personal coach to track your expenses and keep fit. Some templates generate alerts to remind you, challenge you, or track your sleep, diet, and advice.
Smartphone applications (or software for your computer) allow you to exploit your data and share it on the Internet, or even compare your activity with that of your friends for increased motivation.
Bracelet or watch, the activity bracelet is small and discreet. It is worn around the wrist, “clipped” to the belt or simply put in a pocket. We find something for everyone: with or without a screen, in various colors, stylish or discreet.
Ideal for non-athletes!
The activity bracelet was mainly designed to measure the activity spent on the everyday tasks of daily life (shopping, households, stairs, gardening, etc.). It lends itself less to sports activities where more adapted models exist (see our record on the heart rate monitor and how to choose your cardio). There are nevertheless bracelets and connected watches intended for sport use.
The activity bracelets all offer the same basic functions but they are distinguished by more or less useful additional features. Know that it is the quality of embedded software that makes the difference between models more than electronic components, more or less identical and reliable from one brand to another. The software must be able to correctly interpret the movements in 3 dimensions recorded by the bracelet to deduce if it is indeed a step and not a jolt. That’s why we recommend you to go to known brands to avoid any problem.
The look: design or discreet, with or without screen
The bracelet of activity comes in 3 forms: bracelet, watch or case to “clip”, to put in the pocket or around the neck. It may or may not have a screen. Usually ultra light and resistant. Simple and discreet or design. There is even a jewel-like shape to wear as a watch with a bracelet or neck as a pendant, such as the Misfit Shine. For 24-hour follow-up, opt for a bracelet, more comfortable and more convenient to wear.
Screen: touch or not, ink or LEDs
Some models have a screen. There are LED screens, LCD screens or other innovative technologies. They display the time as well as the main activity data, such as the number of steps taken, the distance traveled or a progress bar (percentage achieved by the goal).
Having a screen is convenient if you want to see his activity without having to wait to download on his smartphone or computer data collected during the day.
The disadvantage of screen models is that they are generally more energy hungry and less discreet. Some manufacturers have nevertheless turned to an e-Ink display solution: this system uses ink bubbles that are oriented from an electric current. This is the process used in electronic reading lights. These screens have the advantage of being very low energy consumers and to be readable even in full sun.
The touchscreen models allow a very user-friendly and intuitive use. A side a little gadget but nice.
The size: bracelets adapted to your wrist
For optimum comfort, some manufacturers offer several sizes of bracelet or models with a watch strap with fine adjustment. A practical aspect in particular for small and large sizes.
Autonomy: from a few days to more than a year!
The connected wristbands have very different autonomies from one model to another: from 2-3 days to over a year! The differences are mainly related to the Bluetooth system, the most energy-consuming component, and the type of display. To extend the battery life, some manufacturers use Bluetooth Low-Energy, a low-cost system but also more expensive. Finally, a rechargeable battery powers the most consumer wristbands but they increase the price of the bracelet.
Some models have a record autonomy with a battery life of between one year and one and a half thanks to the cumulative use of Bluetooth Low-Energy and an ink screen (e-Ink). See our comparison of connected bracelets.
We recommend that you move towards a model with good autonomy, especially if you intend to wear your bracelet permanently and make daily transfers to your application. Consumption is indeed greater when the bracelet is used and especially during the phases of data transfer.
Connectivity: pay attention to compatibility!
To be exploited, the data recorded by your bracelet must be transferred to a smartphone or a computer. This transfer is via a jack, a USB key or a wireless system (ANT + or Bluetooth). Note that the Bluetooth 4.0 Low-Energy system is not compatible with older smartphone models.
Most wristbands are compatible with Android, iOS and run on Windows or Mac. Older phones are not always compatible. Check these details on the manufacturer’s or dealer’s website before buying your bracelet!
Waterproofness: up to 50 m
The activity bracelets generally support the water (shower, rain or pool). Check this point if your intention is never to leave it. For pool or diving use, opt for a waterproof model designed for this activity.
The tracker bracelet has a memory to record the many information about your activity.Its capacity will determine its autonomy, that is to say the maximum duration of use without downloading data on your smartphone or computer. Check this feature if you intend to download your data only occasionally (use during a holiday for example).
The applicationTo use the data of your bracelet, you need software. This one comes with the bracelet. More and more manufacturers are offering a mobile device application (smartphone, tablet) that allows you to use your activity data anywhere or even share it with other connected users. These applications can be free or not and offer more or less sophisticated services. Check this point during your purchase.
FonctionnalitiesThe activity bracelet has a number of basic functions in addition to other ancillary features. These can be the difference between two models. Choose the one that will best meet your goals. Pedometer function (measuring the number of steps) The activity tracker tells you how many steps you have taken during the day. This is the basic function of any bracelet. The measurement is made using an accelerometer. This miniature device is able to detect any movement in 3 dimensions and determine your precise activity (walking, running, stair climbing, etc.).
Distance traveledThe bracelet shows you the approximate distance traveled thanks to its accelerometer.
Number of calories burnedMost models tell you an approximate value of the calories you spent in the day. They are based on the number of steps taken and the type of activity, possibly other data entered such as your weight, your age, your physical condition. For more precision, opt for a device offering heart rate monitor function.
Heart rate monitor functionSome bracelets are equipped with a heart rate monitor. This device constantly measures the value of your pulse with a heart belt around the chest. This measurement helps determine your average heart rate and assess your progress over time, inform you and advise you on the intensity of the effort according to your goals (weight loss, training, etc.). to inform you about your state of form. For more information, consult our record on the heart rate monitor. The cardio-frequency counter function also allows you to inform yourself more precisely about your calorie expenditure.
Analysis of the activityThanks to its accelerometer, the activity tracker is able to accurately determine your movements: walking, running, jumping, climbing stairs, driving, taking pictures, chatting, surfing the Internet, sleeping activity, etc. This characteristic obviously allows to indicate the number of steps taken but also to better calculate your caloric expenses, to make a balance of your activity (number of hours of activity and inactivity, type of activity), to provide adapted advice or to indicate the quality of your sleep.
Sleep controlSome tracking bracelets analyze your nocturnal activity. They detect the micromoves during your sleep and deduce the quality of the latter, the time you fall asleep, the number of times you woke up at night, the number of hours of light sleep and deep sleep, agitated hours, etc. You will be able to program an intelligent alarm that wakes you up at the most favorable moment of your sleep cycle and thus gets you up in the best conditions.
Health TipsBracelets are offered with a health app that takes into account your activity and diet and provides you with targeted advice to improve your performance, your fitness and your quality of life. They record everything you consume and control their calorie, fat, carbohydrate, protein, fiber and salt content. To do this, simply scan a barcode, browse the image gallery or choose directly the foods in question in the database proposed by the application. Certain characteristics can also be taken into account to better advise you, such as your weight and its evolution, your state of health and even your mood!
Follow-up and objectives
Your wristband can help you set goals and remind you to be quiet. For example, you can set a daily goal (number of steps, distance, etc.) and track your progress over time. The bracelet can also alert you in case of prolonged inactivity and encourage you to move!
Social BraceletSome bracelets will have a second screen to display notifications or send to a friend wearing the same bracelet. We can also detect the presence of a bracelet nearby and know the characteristics of the person who wears it (mood, centers of interests, etc.). Control your smartphone, measure solar exposure time, etc. As new models come out, automakers compete for innovation by offering new features and functionality. You will find bracelets measuring your solar exposure time or even able to control your smartphone to change the volume, change the music, be notified of a call or incoming message.
Tips for spending even moreTo spend even more and reach the recommended 10,000 steps, here are some helpful tips. You will find more information in our article how to increase your metabolism. .Avoid the elevators, prefer the stairs .Get used to parking your car further to walk .At work, leave your screen every 30 minutes and take a few steps .Go shopping .Make time for walking, swimming, jogging or cycling: in the morning before going to work, during your lunch break, the evening after dinner. 30 minutes of walking or 20 minutes of swimming, jogging or cycling equivalent to 3,000 steps. Plan short gym sessions at home 2 to 3 times a week. 15 minutes is enough to increase your scores and earn points! Time is running out for you to move? Reduce the time you spend watching television by 15 minutes a day and use this time to set up the activities mentioned above! And if you really can not do without television, test the sessions of elliptical trainer, spinning bike, home rowing trainer or treadmill in front of your TV! These activities will also help improve your endurance. If you want to burn fat, work at moderate intensity, at least 20 minutes or practice the split. Smart health bracelets are becoming increasingly popular, as people look for ways to improve their health and fitness. These devices can track a variety of metrics, including heart rate, steps taken, calories burned, and sleep quality. They can also provide reminders to move, drink water, and take medication. There are many different types of smart health bracelets on the market, ranging in price from around $50 to $200. Some of the most popular brands include Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple. Smart health bracelets can be a great way to stay motivated to reach your fitness goals. They can also be helpful for people with chronic health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. By tracking their health data, people can make informed decisions about their lifestyle and make changes that improve their overall health. Of course, there are also some potential drawbacks to using smart health bracelets. One concern is that people may become too focused on their data and start to obsess about their fitness goals. This can lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as overtraining or eating disorders. Another concern is that smart health bracelets can be expensive. While the initial cost of the device may be affordable, the cost of replacing the bands and charging the battery can add up over time. Overall, smart health bracelets can be a valuable tool for people who are looking to improve their health and fitness. However, it is important to use them in a healthy way and to be aware of the potential drawbacks. Here are some additional perspectives on smart health bracelets:
- Perspective of a fitness enthusiast: I love my smart health bracelet! It helps me stay motivated to reach my fitness goals. I can track my progress over time and see how I’m improving. I also like the fact that it can track my sleep quality and heart rate. This information helps me make informed decisions about my lifestyle.
- Perspective of a person with a chronic health condition: My smart health bracelet has been a lifesaver. It helps me track my blood sugar levels and heart rate. This information helps me manage my condition and stay healthy. I also like the fact that it can send alerts if my blood sugar levels are too high or low. This gives me peace of mind knowing that I’m always being monitored.
- Perspective of a privacy advocate: I’m concerned about the privacy implications of smart health bracelets. These devices collect a lot of personal data, including our heart rate, sleep patterns, and location. I’m worried that this data could be used to track us or to target us with advertising.