Many fitness-conscious people make counting calories and exercise a part of daily life. It’s easier to count the calories you take in than it is to count the calories you burn. But some devices are being developed to help you do just that, including arm bands that count calories burned.
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Arm bands that calculate calories burned use advanced technology to track skin temperature, heat flux and galvanic skin response, which is the measure of electrical conductivity in your body that changes as you sweat. The device uses all of that information, and preprogrammed equations calculate calories burned.
In a Wall Street Journal article, Patty Freedson, the chairman of the kinesiology department at the University of Massachusetts, is reported as cautioning that the accuracy of these types of monitors can be off by 20 to 30 percent, based on the individual. Other clinical studies have shown that some of these monitors actually underestimated calorie burn by 5 to 9 percent.
In a three-month study, scientists found that people using the armband with weight counseling lost more weight than those in another group that just used counseling. Scientists believe that using these devices can act as motivation, because the person exercising sees progress in real time.