Jessica Kennedy, Contributing Writer |
Millions of Americans are turning to accessories to help monitor their fitness levels. One company that produces a line of activity-monitoring wristwatches is Fitbit. The company claims to not only help you track your steps, but also “tracks every part of your day—including activity, exercise, food, weight and sleep—to help you find your fit, stay motivated, and see how small steps make a big impact.” Their products are helpful for having easy access to your fitness stats displayed on their app, which stays updated via Bluetooth. This consciousness of activity levels can help improve daily step-counts, exercise time, and ultimately lead to weight loss and lower blood pressure.
Along with keeping track of your own exercise information, Fitbit also offers the option to start “challenges” with your friends and family who also own Fitbit brand watches. This competitive take on getting a healthy amount of movement in your daily life can be more motivation to get up and move and get the highest step-count of your group. The app linked to the device also has the options to track your food and water intake, menstrual cycles, and can be used as an alarm that silently vibrates on your wrist to wake you up or remind you to do things throughout the day.
Although these fitness trackers can help people live healthier lifestyles in regard to exercise, many scientists are apprehensive to trust the low levels of EMF or electromagnetic field radiation emitted from the device’s Bluetooth, even though cellphones are known to emit higher levels of this radiation. The EMF Academy describes this radiation as an “extremely short wavelength that travels at very high speeds and is extremely efficient at penetrating human tissue and can potentially cause biological damage.” This radiation may cause symptoms including headaches, moodiness, sleep disorders, skin irritation, foggy brain, nausea, and other serious health issues. It is suspected that this may be caused by wearing the Fitbit for prolonged periods of time, such as using its sleep-tracking software at night and step-counting software during the day. This prolonged exposure to older versions of the device “Fitbit Force” has been known to cause skin reactions to the nickel contained in the wristband. The versions of this band have since been recalled and the number of reactions to the Fitbits have decreased a great deal.
Even though these wristbands emit a small amount of EMF radiation, it is up to consumers to decide whether the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle by using a Fitbit watch outweighs the potential risks of the radiation. For reducing the amount of EMF exposure on your body, the EMF Academy suggests turning electronic devices off at night and keeping them away from your bed as you sleep. Taking precautions with your devices at night and using them to monitor your fitness activity during the day can help lead healthier lifestyles with increased weight loss and exercise time.