What type of data can fitness monitors collect?

Fitness and physical activity trackers are portable electronic devices that monitor health-related metrics, such as walking or running, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, calorie consumption, and sleep quality. In terms of performance, trackers collect data, such as heart rate and movement, along with other information, such as gender, height, weight, age, etc. Steps and calories are just the tip of the iceberg. If you're looking for a fitness monitor, you're probably looking for a device that can measure statistics related to fitness, such as steps taken and calories burned.

While these are useful metrics for keeping track of when you want to get in shape with the help of technology, you might not realize how many other things portable devices can measure. It probably sounds familiar to you, since just about any activity-tracking device includes step tracking. Activity trackers, smartwatches and many smartphones include accelerometers that can measure your movement and, in turn, provide you with statistics such as steps per day. You're probably familiar with the benchmark of 10,000 steps per day (which equates to a little less than 5 miles).

Practically any tracking device, even the Fitbit Zip with clip, can help you track your progress toward this goal or any other personal goal you've set for yourself. Controlling the amount of calories burned during a workout can be very helpful, especially if you're looking to lose weight. Fortunately, this metric is another basic statistic for fitness trackers, so you should find it in just about every option that appears on your shopping comparison list. Unlike fitness trackers, smartwatches focus on wearing smartphone-like alerts directly on the wrist, so you can see information such as incoming text messages, calls, emails and upcoming calendar events at a glance.

That doesn't mean they can't track activity metrics either. This cardiovascular fitness score is a measure of your cardiovascular status based on your VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use when you exercise at maximum intensity) and can be found in the heart rate section of the Fitbit app.