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  • Writer's pictureKristen Nickels, MS, RDN, LD

Apple Watches, Fitbits, and Oura Rings, Oh My! A Comparison of Wearable Fitness Technology



In the spirit of American Heart Month, we thought it relevant to explore wearable fitness technology, which includes a variety of devices worn on the body that tracks the user’s physical activity, heart rate, and more. While there have been a plethora of these devices gaining popularity over the years, we’re focusing on a couple of the most loved: the Apple Watch and the Fitbit, as well as a different type of tracker that’s rising the ranks: the Oura Ring.


Each of these brands contains multiple styles; however, it would be overwhelming and redundant to assess all of them, so we’ll focus on the general concept and functions of each for the purposes of our comparison.

Apple Watch

  • Boasts being “the ultimate device for a healthy life” and provides its users “a fitness partner, meaningful health insights, and a connection to the people and things you care about most”

  • Worn on the wrist and displays time, looks like a wristwatch

  • Water resistant to 50 meters

  • Displays information in the corresponding phone App

  • Uses an “activity ring” to show daily movement, exercise, and standing goals and completion

  • Tracks a variety of activities, e.g. walking, yoga, weight lifting

  • Displays information in the corresponding phone App

  • Has advanced capability to keep track of heart rate zones, power, and elevation in workouts

  • Alerts users to irregularities in heart rate and rhythm

  • Includes sleep tracking and mindfulness apps

  • Can notify first responders of user incidents like a car accident, fall, etc.

  • Some styles track blood oxygenation, temperature, and advanced information on heart rhythm

  • Can perform many other Apple device functions, including: texting, calling, listening to music, Wallet, Siri, Apps, and more

Fitbit

  • “Designed to help you live a healthier, more active life”

  • Worn on the wrist and displays time; different styles, e.g. smartwatch, wristband tracker

  • Most styles are water resistant to 50 meters

  • Tracks a variety of activities, e.g. walking, yoga, weight lifting

  • Tracks heart rate, steps

  • Displays information in the corresponding phone App

  • Newer models can notify detection of irregular heart rhythm

  • Smartwatch models can text, call, and use a variety of compatible Apps

  • Owned by Google


Oura Ring

  • “The World’s Best Sleep Tracker”

  • Worn on finger

  • Water resistant to 100 meters

  • Primarily focuses on sleep tracking

  • Tracks sleep quality and sleep stages, keeping a nightly “sleep score”

  • Provides personalized guidance to improve sleep quality

  • Detects naps and need for “rest mode”

  • Tracks blood oxygenation, temperature, heart rate, activity level, and training frequency

  • Tracks a variety of activities, e.g. walking, yoga, weight lifting

  • Displays information in the corresponding phone App

  • The corresponding phone app offers guided meditations, health tips, and more


Of course, there are plenty of ways to address heart health without wearing a device! Make sure to check out our previous heart-related posts HERE and HERE for ideas. And, let us know: do you wear one of these devices? Or maybe a different one? What do you like or dislike about it? Are you considering purchasing one but still have questions? Let us know that, too!

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