Apple Watch Series 6, Other Wearables Show Poor Accuracy While Tracking Calories: Research

Apple Watch Series 6, Fitbit Sense, and Polar Vantage V were selected for this research.

Apple Watch Series 6, Other Wearables Show Poor Accuracy While Tracking Calories: Research

Photo Credit: Apple

Apple Watch Series 6 has an electrical heart sensor capable of detecting detect atrial fibrillation

Highlights
  • Apple Watch Series 6 was highly accurate while tracking heart rate
  • The research was published in the European Journal of Sports Science
  • These Apple, Fitbit, and Polar devices were also great at tracking steps

Apple Watch Series 6 along with Polar Vantage V and Fitbit sense were put to test during a recently conducted research by a team of researchers from the Université du Québec à Montréal. These researchers sought to assess the accuracy of these wearables for measuring energy expenditure and heart rate. For this research, the Polar H10 chest strap and the MetaMax 3B spiroergometer were used as reference devices. 60 young individuals were chosen, which included 30 men and 30 women around the age of 25 years.

The research published in the European Journal of Sport Science was summarised by Stronger by Science. It mentions the accuracy and reliability of the Apple Watch Series 6, Fitbit Sense, and Polar Vantage V for measuring the heart rate and energy expenditure of the participants as they engaged in sitting, walking, running, cycling, and resistance training.

Based on their findings, the research team concluded that these three wearables offer poor accuracy while measuring energy expenditure for all of the five activities. According to the research, health professionals, athletes/ coaches, and general fitness enthusiasts should not consider the calorie readings of these three smartwatches "during the implementation of an exercise training or nutritional programme." These results appear to be in line with previous research papers that have aimed to test the reliability and validity of such commercially available wearables and activity trackers.

On the flip side, the Apple Watch Series 6 was supposedly highly accurate while tracking heart rate across all of the activities. The Polar Vantage V and Fitbit Sense were said to present some form of variation depending on the activity being performed. These wearables reportedly also performed accurately while tracking step counts.


Are affordable smartwatches worth it? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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Siddhant Chandra
Siddhant Chandra is a Consultant Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. This is his first foray into the tech space, having made the switch from travel. He holds a keen interest in keeping up with the latest hardware and software developments in the gaming industry. After work, you can mostly find him playing CS:GO with his buds, where he has clocked over 3K hours. You can reach him at siddhantc@ndtv.com. More
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