Activity Tracker Accuracy: How Important Is It?

FullSizeRenderIn January of 2014, I purchased a Jawbone UP24. It was a bit of a splurge; $150 for one of the more advanced activity trackers on the market at the time. Fast forward to almost a year and a half later and after one replacement band, I’ve already moved on to the more petite Jawbone UP Move.

Why did I decide to switch? Well first of all, I could already tell that my replacement band was on its way out. The button at the tip was already compressed far into the band and it would occasionally have a tough time syncing.

Only a few days into its usage and I think it’s already won me over.

One thing I have noticed about it though is that it seems to record a lot more steps than the UP24 band. Does this mean my Jawbone had been recording less activity than what I was actually doing?

It poses the question of activity tracker accuracy: when it comes to steps, does accuracy even matter? Or is it more about trend data?

Here is an example: let’s say you took 8,032 steps one day, 6,533 the next day, and then 9,378 steps the third day.

I think it’s more important to note that there was a decrease from day one to day two (negative change), but then there was a significant improvement on the third day (positive change).

So rather than mull over whether or not a trip to the bathroom is 30 steps or 40 steps, I think it’s more important to note the change in how many trips you take one day over another day. Thoughts?