how to use a fitness  tracker to reach  your goalsFitness trackers now are equipped with everything from pedometers to heart rate monitors and nutrition logs. But just how accurate are they? A recent study in the kinesiology department at Iowa State University put the newest, wrist-worn fitness monitors to the test.

The study was coordinated by Yang Bai, a third-year Ph.D. student at Iowa State University, and supervised by Dr. Greg Welk, professor in kinesiology and lab director.

The team collected data over the course of two months on students and community members ages 18 to 65. Participants wore fitness trackers during 20 minutes of resting, 25 minutes of aerobic exercise and 25 minutes of resistance exercise. Nothing about the workout was scripted. Individuals performed aerobic activity on either a bike or treadmill and did resistance exercise on various machines with different amounts of weight.

“We wanted to simulate a real-world workout...