The Visual Weight Loss System - VEEP

The Best Armband Monitor

Print Article   Email to a friend

submit to reddit


Armband monitors can be a very good way to monitor your caloric expenditure. The question is do they work and are they accurate? A new study from the University of Iowa gives us the lowdown with some promising results.

The technical term for an armband monitor is an Accelerometer.  The primary issue with the use of an Accelerometer is the algorithm the device uses to calculate the energy you expend. There are a number of different calibration equations these things can use.

The University of Iowa did us all the favor recently of comparing two of the top devices using the top 2 prevalent algorithms and compared those results against the current scientific benchmark, an instrument called the IDEEA (Intelligent device for estimating energy expenditure and activity)

The two devices tested were the MCI Actigraph and the Sensewear Pro 2. Each device uses a different algorithm and set of calculations. When compared to the IDEEA, The Sensewear Pro 2, proved to be quite a bit more accurate, and within about 10% of the IDEEA. The Actigraph showed a fairly wide range of deviance from the IDEEA, ranging from 10 to 40% off.

If you must monitor calories with an armband….uh, Accelerometer…it looks like the Sensewear Pro 2 is the way to go.