The world is increasingly becoming obsessed with fitness trackers. And why not? These devices are helping people adopt healthy habits by tracking everything that’s happening in their body, from heart and breathing rate to calories levels.
But despite their popularity and benefits, a critical question still lingers: Are fitness trackers safe to wear? In this piece, we will answer this question and also address other FAQs about fitness trackers and safety.
Are Fitness Trackers Safe?
Yes, fitness trackers and the technology behind them are safe. There is no evidence or study whatsoever that shows that the wearable fitness-tracking devices are unsafe to wear.
Sure, like most of our readers, we have also seen articles that suggest trackers are not safe and even list the negatives of fitness trackers. But we advise you to take them with a grain of salt because so far none of them is backed by scientists or reputable research institutions.
That said, like most electrical devices, fitness trackers produce non-ionizing waves (commonly referred to as EMFs). According to the World Health Organization’s, these waves can be harmful and can cause skin irritation and other health issues, including sleep problems, headaches, and migraines.
But that should not worry you. Why? Well, the non-ionizing waves that most trackers produce are usually at very low frequency and, therefore, can’t cause any harm. Your smartphone produces non-ionizing waves that are at a much higher frequency than trackers, and many scientific-based studies show they are safe to use.
Do Fitness Trackers Give off Radiation?
We have seen this question pop up many times in fitness forums, and it’s time we addressed it. So, do fitness trackers give off radiation? Before we answer this question, let’s first tell you why most people ask this question.
The reason is that most people assume fitness devices monitor fitness activities using a type of power similar to the electricity used during electrocardiography. This type of electricity leads to the emission of radiation that can potentially cause health problems.
But that not entirely true. That’s not how most smartwatches and fitness tracking devices monitor fitness activities. Instead, they utilize an LED light, and safe frequencies and electricity to track your movements and body functions.
With that said, fitness trackers emit some levels of radiation. But some emit more radiation than others, so you have to be careful when purchasing a fitness tracking device to ensure you buy a device that emits low levels of radiation.
Are the LED Lights Used on Trackers Harmful?
Yes, the LED light is safe. Some articles claim that the LED light used in fitness trackers emit harmful waves when tracking heart rates. These claims are baseless and not scientifically proven.
The LED light is very much similar to the lights in your home. It’s extremely low powered, non-thermal, and, therefore, poses no dangers (short-term or long-term) whatsoever to your health.
How does the Led light track heart rate? The LED light tracks your heart rate by monitoring the blood flow in your veins.
Are Bluetooth-Enables Fitness Trackers Dangerous?
The reason why most people ask this question is that there have been claims that a particular type of Bluetooth connection emits EMF radiation. EMF radiation is harmful and can lead to health issues. However, the Bluetooth connections used in most fitness devices are safe.
However, there are fitness trackers out there that utilize a type of Bluetooth connection that could damage your DNA or cause health issues. When buying a fitness device, make sure you buy from a reputable brand.
Devices from reputable brands come with safe Bluetooth capabilities and are usually made with high-quality materials that can’t cause health problems.
Is It Safe to Wear a Smartwatch While Pregnant?
Well, smartwatches, particularly those made by reputable brands, are safe to wear while pregnant. No evidence that wearing a fitness device or smartwatch is harmful in any way. If anything, it’s advisable to wear a smartwatch or fitness device while pregnant. Why? It will help you keep a keen eye on your body and pregnancy and notify if anything is wrong.
Are Fitbits Safe to Wear?
Is wearing a Fitbit dangerous to your health? Is it safe to wear a Fitbit every day? Is it safe to wear Fitbit to bed? According to Fitbit, Fitbit devices produce extremely low radiation. Third-party and regulatory authorities have also confirmed this claim. For this reason, we can say Fitbits are safe to use every day and even while sleeping.
Tips to Minimize the Exposure to Radiation
It is clear that all fitness tracking devices, including those made by big brands, emit small levels of radiation. This radiation is mostly unharmful, but that does not mean you should not protect yourself from high exposure. Here are tips that can help you minimize the exposure of radiation when using a fitness tracker or smartwatch.
1. Avoid Trackers That Transmit Information 24/7
Don’t buy a device that continuously transmits information to your computer or phone. Instead, choose a tracker that requires you to plug it to your computer or manually sync it with your computer or smartphone to transmit data. That way, you’ll be sure that your fitness device will emit radiation only when you plug it into a computer or manually sync it with your phone.
2. Remove or Turn Off the Tracker When Not Using It
If you are not tracking any activity, it’s always a good idea to remove your fitness tracker and keep it in a place that you can easily access it when you need it. If it’s a wrist fitness device, you can switch it off when not in use. This will reduce radiation emission and the production of signals that would harm you.
3. Avoid Trackers That Are Designed to Be Worn Around the Midsection
Don’t buy fitness tracking devices that require you to wear them around the abdomen or near your breast or reproductive organs. Such trackers can expose your breast, stomach and reproductive organs to a radio-frequency electromagnetic field that can lead to health
4. Make Use of Your Device for No More Than a Three or Four Days a Week
Some people will tell you to wear your tracker seven days a week to monitor your activities more efficiently. But that is not necessary. Three or four days are enough to give you data that you can use to improve your fitness routine and achieve your health goal.
Make use of your device for no more than three or four days a week. This will help you minimize the exposure to radiation.
5. Turn Off Bluetooth
If you are not using the Bluetooth connection of your device to transfer data, switch off Bluetooth.
6. Avoid Wearing Your Tracker When Sleeping
If your sleep pattern is right and you have no sleep issues, then avoid wearing your smartwatch or tracker when you sleep. Only wear your tracker if you have a sleep problem. And even then, you should try to keep it away from your head or reproductive organs.
Best Trackers That Emit a Very Low Radiation
Due to the dangers of radiation, it’s in your best interest to ensure you choose a smartwatch or fitness tracking device that is known to emit very low radiation. Here are some of the best fitness tracking devices that emit a very low amount of radiation.
Some of these devices have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but they can be easily disabled, making the device free from radiation. Here are the devices.
1. Garmin Vívosmart HR Activity Tracker
The Garmin Vívosmart HR Activity Tracker emits very low radiation, and you can wear it for days without worry of exposing yourself to harmful levels of Garmin watch radiation. This device has Bluetooth capabilities, but you can easily switch your Bluetooth off when not using it. The design of this unit is excellent. It’s gorgeous and made to last long. This MRI safe fitness tracker also feels comfortable on the wrist. The only problem is that it doesn’t have smart coaching.
2. Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro
This is another tracker that does not emit very low levels of radiation. Similar to the Garmin unit highlighted above, the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro has Bluetooth, but it can easily be turned off when not in use. This Samsung unit has a great design and even offers offline Spotify support. Not many devices have this capability. What we don’t like about this device is that it is not easy to setup.
3. Fitbit Versa 2
This Fitbit emits extremely low radiation, so you can be sure it won’t cause any kind of health issue. But low radiation is not the only thing that makes this Fitbit stand out. The Fitbit has a gorgeous and lightweight design made to last for years.
The device also comes with advanced trackers that can help you keep an eye on your fitness activities more accurately and in real-time. However, this device doesn’t sync with some third-party apps.
Are fitness trackers safe to wear? Generally, if you buy a tracker from the top-rated manufacturers, then they are safe to use. Avoid trackers from unknown brands; they may not be safe to wear. The leading companies always ensure their products meet the required safety standards.