Best Fitness & Activity Trackers for Seniors (the Elderly)

If you’re a senior or a caregiver who is looking for the best fitness or activity trackers for elderly people, then you are just on the right page.

This is an objective and detailed review of fitness trackers (for elderly people) that covers all you need to know about these devices and the best models — suitable for seniors — that are available in the market. Read the whole post if you’d like to make the right choice and a well-informed buying decision.

What are fitness/activity trackers?

These are specially designed wristband-like devices that can help track your exercise (by providing details such as resting heart rate and pulse rate during exercise), calories burned during exercise and over time, and sleep cycle. They give individuals a good idea of how healthy they are and how they can improve.

Some fitness trackers also have a stab at tracking runs, cycling, or other hectic workouts via GPS, or integrate with advanced smartphone apps such as Strava and Endomondo.

Why are activity trackers good for elderly people?

It is a known fact that tracking one’s behavior and getting feedback, can help in changing the one’s habit, as proven by a study carried out by Lisa Cadmus-Bertram, an assistant professor of Kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

When an elderly person uses a tracker it does not only help in monitoring their fitness level, but it can also help to predict possible changes in health, such as health decline associated with aging. It can also help to monitor heart rate and quality of sleep as well as boost physical activity and track the number of minutes for which one is active in a day and the calories burned.

What should you look for in a fitness tracker meant for seniors?

When you’re looking to buy a fitness or activity tracker that is perfect for seniors, don’t pull out your credit card until you have carefully checked each option for these features:

  • Ease of use: A fitness tracker should be straightforward and easy to use. It shouldn’t take reading a 10-page manual before you can understand how it works.
  • Distance tracker: Any fitness tracker, especially one for seniors should be able to log your steps and distance over a workout. Higher-end fitness bands offer distance tracking over larger periods of times to assess your fitness progression.
  • Calorie tracker: Most fitness bands will track the number of calories you burn to let you know the precise outcome of your workouts. Some fitness bands also have calorie intake and weight trackers. These allow you to record your food intake and weigh calories burned against calories eaten.
  • Heart rate monitor: This allows you to gauge and control the intensity of your workout.
  • Sleep tracking: This allows you to monitor the length and quality of your sleep. This option is great for anyone looking to improve general fitness and physical health.
  • Display size: Bigger displays provide easy navigation through the different functions of your fitness band.
  • Wireless technology: This feature allows you to quickly and easily connect your fitness band to your wireless devices through specialized apps.
  • Water and sweat resistance: This is important for prolonging the life of your workout tracker.
  • Adjustable band: Bands often have slats or another mechanism for adjusting comfortably to your wrist.
  • Battery life: Some fitness bands are more energy-efficient than others and can be used for longer without having to charge up or replace the batteries.

Review: Best fitness & activity trackers for seniors (the elderly)

Fitness trackers have gained popularity in recent years and the demand is rapidly growing. The market is now flooded with various types, sizes and shapes from different markers, this has made it slightly tough for consumers to select one suitable for their need especially the seniors.

However, to ease your stress we’ve scoured the market for the various models available and assessed each based on its features, buyer opinions, and brand trust.

Here are our top 3 picks:

1. Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband

The Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband is the new successor to the bestselling Fitbit Charge HR and fitness wristband, and as one would expect, it packs even more features. The device, in our opinion, is the best fitness tracker for seniors because it packs everything they need to get a clearer picture of their fitness level and to get motivated to improve their health.

The device sports a large OLED screen that turns on with a tap. Not only does this display show your fitness credentials, but it also keeps you connected with calls, text messages, and calendar alerts, so you won’t miss out on anything important during your workout sessions. The accessory band that holds the device in place on your wrist is replaceable — for fashion lovers who prefer certain colors.

The Fitbit Charge 2 comes with a good number of standout features:

  • Heart rate monitor that lets you in on how fast your heart is beating and how rigorous your workout has been
  • Multi-sport tracking feature that allows you to track specific exercises like weights, yoga, running, etc, and see your stats on display.
  • Connected GPS feature allows you to sync the device with your phone’s GPS (through Bluetooth) to see real time stats like distance you’ve covered and a route map of your past workouts.
  • SmartTrack feature automatically tracks your activity during select workouts, even if you forget to record those activities yourself.
  • Guided breathing sessions feature motivates you to do some breathing exercises based on your real time heart rate.
  • Cardio fitness level monitor that scores your fitness level and gives you a better understanding of what to improve on — if there’s need for improvement.

The device also comes with essential features such as all-day activity tracking, sleep tracking, and reminders to move when you’re getting inactive for too long.

The device’s memory can save 7 days of daily motion data, 30 days of saved daily totals, and heart rate data at 1-second intervals. It’s powered by a Li-Po battery that takes only one to two hours to charge but delivers for up to 5 days or more — depending on extent of use.

The device’s package contains the tracker, wristband, and charging cable. It’s backed with a one-year limited warranty.

fitbit-charge-2

 

Features at a glance

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Call, text, and calendar alerts
  • Cardio fitness level
  • Guided breating sessions
  • All day activity tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • Automatic activity recognition (SmartTrack)
  • Connected GPS

What we like

  • Far better quality than Fitbit Charge 1
  • Clear large OLED display
  • Easy navigation
  • Inactivity reminder
  • Long battery life
  • Interchangeable bands
  • Works with iOs, Android, and Windows devices
  • Extremely lightweight

What we dislike

  • Not waterproof
  • Text notification doesn’t show whole message at once
  • Lacks on-screen workout feature
  • No music control feature.

buy-from-amazon2. Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch

If you’re looking for a fitness tracker that doubles as a classy wristwatch, then the Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch is your best bet. The smartwatch comes packed with features that provide for enhanced fitness levels and improved overall health.

The Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch sports a touchscreen LCD color display. What makes it stand out from the others on this list is its on-screen workouts feature, which allows you to get step-by-step workout and fitness instructions and coaching from the device. It also gives a quick summary of your activity after each workout session and tells whether you’re getting closer to achieving your weekly exercise targets or goals.

The device’s ability to accurate track your activity, heart rate, and fitness levels is a result of a perfect interplay between its inbuilt sensors: a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, an optical heart rate monitor, an altimeter, an ambient light sensor, and a vibration monitor. The device can save up to 7 days of minute-by-minute motion data, 30 days of daily activity totals, and heart rate at one-second intervals. The device is powered by a Li-Po battery with charging time of 1-2 hours and battery life of up to 5 days.

The device is available is 2 colors (black and silver) and 6 different sizes. Its package includes the tracker watch itself, the Blaze classic wristband, stainless steel frame, and charging cable. It’s backed with a 45-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year limited warranty.

fitbit-blaze

Features at a glance

  • Larger display than those of other trackers
  • All-day activity tracking
  • Sleep tracking
  • Clock
  • Connected GPS
  • Silent alarms
  • Tap-activated display
  • Inactivity reminder
  • Auto activity recognition (SmartTrack)
  • On-screen workouts
  • Call, text and calendar alerts

What we like

  • Multifaceted clock faces
  • Designer accessory bands available (sold separately, though)
  • Great battery life
  • Interchangeable wristbands
  • Syncs with iOs, Android, and Windows devices
  • Scratch resistant
  • Music control feature

What we dislike

  • Lacks Cardio fitness level feature
  • Not waterproof

buy-from-amazon

3. Garmin vívofit 2 Bundle with Heart Rate Monitor

The Garmin vívofit 2 Bundle with Heart Rate Monitor is a great choice for seniors due to its strong build and simple, easy to understand interface. The device sports a fairly large digital display that is brightly backlit, so won’t have to struggle to see it in the dark. And figures are boldly shown, so even seniors with sight problems won’t have issues with it.

Unlike others on this list, the Garmin vívofit 2 comes with a separate heart rate monitor chest strap (included in its package). It also allows for syncing with other mobile devices — thanks to the custom app. You can also use the included USB ANT stick to sync the device with your computer via the Garmin Express software.

The Garmin vívofit 2 sports a simple but classy design. It’s waterproof, so you don’t have to worry too much when it gets wet with water or sweat. It’s most impressive feature is the unbeatable battery life — one year! Although the battery isn’t rechargeable, it would last one year without the need for recharging. So, the device can be worn for prolonged periods. That’s pretty much awesome and just perfect for seniors!

The device package comes with the tracker, heart rate monitor chest strap, USB ANT stick, and documentation. As with other fitness trackers, the Garmin vívofit 2 helps to track distance covered, calories burned, and heart rate.

The Garmin vívofit 2 is very basic when compared with others on this list, but its lack of sophisticated features and the fact that it can be worn for weeks to months without the need for recharging make it a great option for seniors. And it even costs cheaper than others reviewed here.

garmin-vivofit-2

Features at a glance

  • Wearable 24/7
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Inactivity monitor (tells when it’s time to move)
  • Personalized daily fitness goals
  • Time and date
  • Backlit screen
  • Activity timer
  • Lightweight

What we like

  • Quite affordable
  • One-year battery life (no recharge required)
  • Waterproof
  • Accurate step counting
  • Can be worn for prolonged periods

What we dislike

  • Not so attractive design
  • Erroneously counts other activities (gestures, washing) as steps taken
  • Better analysis given by app
  • Sleep tracking is not so accurate
  • No vibrating alerts
  • No manual alarms that you can set

buy-from-amazon

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