Researchers launch hunt to find the most accurate physical activity tracker

Researchers from the Diabetes Research Centre have launched a hunt to find the most accurate physical activity tracker.

Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, Polar Loop and some cheaper devices are all going head-to-head in the study.

The project aims to test the accuracy of several leading consumer physical activity trackers for measuring exercise, particularly the number of steps taken per day.

It comes as a response to the recent explosion in commercial wearable activity trackers, with a reported six million people in the UK now owning a device which enables tracking of steps, moderate activity, calories and sleep.

Dr Charlotte Edwardson, an Associate Professor in Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Health at the Diabetes Research Centre, who is leading the research, said: “Despite the popularity of these new activity trackers, there is very little research on the accuracy of these trackers for measuring outputs such as steps taken per day.

“The results from this study will help us to understand how accurate the new consumer wearable physical activity trackers are."

The Leicester Diabetes Centre is an international centre of excellence in diabetes research, education and innovation led by Professor Melanie Davies CBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti.