Calorie Calculations in Fitness:
Calories have become one of Fitness’s most prevalent metrics that users use to benchmark their net progress. Due to its popularity, incorporation of calorie calculations exists on anything fitness related both software and hardware. Everything from Apple Watches to treadmills in gyms display calories, but organizations do not share the same calculations, which leads to discrepancies between the personal wearables and the equipment they use.
Calorie calculations are programmed into the firmware of fitness equipment and—at a base level—consider difficulty of the workout. Higher distances, speed, incline, resistance equates to a higher caloric expenditure. Modern fitness equipment uses these variables to estimate the rate at which caloric burn increases, however if the unit does not have bio-metric information (Body Mass Index, height, weight, age) then those calculations are not refined and catered to that specific user. Discrepancies between consumer wearables and fitness equipment can stem from this missing data—the wearables have the owner’s biodata to help refine the calculation.
An inherent hardware difference between fitness equipment and a consumer wearable can also lead to discrepancies in calories displayed. Consumer wearables calculate calories by measuring heart rate. An IR sensor in Apple Watches (for example) are constantly monitoring heart rate and blood pressure through the wrist to better understand energy expenditure. IR sensors read HR through the muscle, fat, and tissue in a person’s wrist which also introduces calculation variability. For example, if a user were to wear two smart watches (same brand), and one watch was on top of their wrist and one watch was on the bottom the odds are high that the calorie calculation would be different!
While calorie calculations are always backed in science, there are numerous ways organizations can choose to capture and calculate that information. While Cubii does it’s best to calculate caloric expenditure while working out, we are missing key information that consumer wearables capture. Please make sure to download our app where you can input more information to refine that calculation.
Finally, we suggest you read about your wearable to understand the tips they to make your wearable as accurate as possible: