Easy Fitness Trackers for Seniors
Fitness is essential for Seniors. Seniors should develop a routine to walk a certain number of steps every day. Regular exercise helps people to slow down the aging process and prevents the development of diseases, especially the positive effects of regular walking on blood pressure has been proven.
In this article we have compiled a few Fitness Trackers that are suitable for elderly people, taking the specific needs of this consumer group into account. We have put together good fitness trackers for seniors that are easy to use, easy to read and, of course, measure accurately.
Recommended Fitness Tracker – No Smartphone needed
Why do seniors need a Fitness Tracker?
An electronic tracker can be a valuable tool to gain more control over the individual daily activities. A Fitness Tracker or Fitness Bracelet helps to build a routine of walking a constant number of steps each and every day.
You hear it a lot:
Walk 10,000 steps per day!
But anyone who has actually walked 10,000 steps a few days in a row knows that this goal is not necessarily suitable for all older people. It can be quite exhausting.
Actually, it doesn’t really matter if it’s 7,000, 5,000 or just 3,000 steps a day.
It is important that you regularly walk an even number of steps.
Define your own goal! A goal that can be achieved permanently! On the one hand, the goal should be challenging, but on the other hand you should still feel comfortable and not exhausted.
What characteristics should a fitness tracker for grandma and grandpa have?
Typical age-related weaknesses require special features of the electronic gadget:
Ease of use
One of the most important features for seniors is ease of use. If you only want to measure the number of steps you take during a day, you will not need a device that measures your heart rate, sleeping patterns, or minutes in motion.
Often it is sufficient to simply display your data on a display on the gadget itself. A cheap, simple and accurate electronic tracker can do the job very well. Ideally, you do not need Bluetooth, a Smartphone App or a Computer to set the tracker up.
What is the point of measuring all this data when the data is presented on a small screen that is hard to read for the elderly? Seniors with failing eyesight need to read the numbers easily and without strain. A tracker needs to have large and readable information.
Most fitness tracker wristbands only work via a Bluetooth connection with a smartphone.
The devices capture much more than just the steps and then present the data on a dashboard on your smartphone. The data is not necessarily stored only locally on your mobile, it can be uploaded over the internet connection of your Smartphone even to a server abroad.
If you are not used to technology, choose something simple, something without bluetooth, where you first need to find out how to connect the device to your smartphone before you can even use it.
If that’s an issue, a fitness band is usually not the best option for you. We have put together simple pedometers that you can carry in your pocket in this article: Simple Pedometers for the elderly
If you prefer an easy to use pedometer watch for elderly without Bluetooth and Internet connection you might want to check out the Willful Fitness Tracker, that is available for under 20 Dollars. More on this further down…
Some more advanced Fitness Bracelets include a Sleep Tracker
The Sleep tracking feature available on many trackers allows users to track how long they sleep and the quality of their sleep, which can be helpful for seniors with insomnia. In this case you need a fitness bracelet and the according app on your smartphone, except the Willful Band that offers sleep tracking without the hassle of connecting the tracker to a phone.
For most of the other products, the data is transferred via bluetooth to the corresponding Smartphone app for analysis and display of the data.
Water and sweat resistant bands are important for seniors, as this keeps seniors from having to take their device on and off for showers. It also prevents the tracker from getting damaged if they get caught in the rain or have an accidental spill of a drink.
Product Assessment: So we are looking for a product with the following characteristics:
- Easy to Set-up
- Easy to see LED screen
- No Computer or Smartphone needed
- Or, secure device from reputable brand
- Splash proof
We start with a simple product that only counts steps, but it does very good! The OZO flagship product is the single function CS1 pedometer. It accurately records your steps.
With its thin profile it is comfortably carried in a pocket all day. It is perfect for those looking for a non complicated step counter with no set up required.
This makes it an ideal choice for seniors and kids. You can quickly zero out the step count at will, with a single button press.
Willfull Simple Wrist pedometer – No Smartphone needed
If you are looking for a fitness tracker that doesn’t need to be connected to a smartphone; check out the GRV pedometer watch. It tracks accurately your daily steps, distance walked, calories burned and sleep quality. It is easy to set up and doesn’t require an app and a phone. You just enter your age, height, weight, and gender and off you go! Ideal for seniors and kids.
LETSFIT Fitness Tracker – App needed
The Letsfit Fitness Tracker has some more advanced features than the Willful. It includes a watch, a step counter, a Heart Rate Monitor and Calorie Counter.
I (in my Mid 50ies) have been using this product for over a year now. The battery life is really good and the step counter is very accurate… and it looks really cool on my wrist, not bad for a fitness bracelet for under 30 USD.
However, if you set it up for the first time. You need to configure the settings via a Smartphone App. You need to install VeryFitPro App on your Smartphone which is available for iOs and Android. With that you have the ability to synchronize your performance data daily with your Smartphone, so it is not lost.
I actually never do this, I just look at the daily steps at night. The tracker then resets the number of steps to 0 at midnight. Another cool feature of this tracker is the work out mode that you can use for special events. For instance you go on a hike and just want to know distance, calories burned and number of steps for that particular exercise. You just press the screen in the “Walk” section when you start and when you return and the device calculates the data for you.
The steps are counted very accurately. The tracker will start counting after only 35 steps to avoid jerky hand movements or shaking while driving. Also cycling over cobblestones does not add any steps. The modern 3-D sensor technology is very accurate.
Once you reach your daily goal, the Fitness Tracker vibrates on your wrist! Done for the day!
The display is very easy to read even in sunlight.
The Letsfit fitness wristband is additionally equipped with a heart rate monitor. It is not 100% accurate but good to go if you just need to monitor your workout performance.
Once in use, you can switch between the following information on the touchscreen:
- Time and date
- Number of steps and miles traveled
- Active minutes and calories burned
- Current heart rate
- Event mode
In the Event Mode it has Walk, Run, Bike per default. Other sports such as soccer, running, cycling, hiking, mountaineering, badminton, fitness, dynam. Biking, treadmill, yoga, basketball, tennis, dancing can be added via the App.
The sleeping behavior is also monitored and displayed over time. I did not test that, because at night all electronics are turned off and banished from my bedroom.
The Letsfit Fitness Bracelet can be charged at any USB port. You can plug it to charge into an USB port of your laptop or use any mobile phone charger (Android). For this, only the bracelet is removed at the end with the “0”.
If you choose to use the App, the synchronization is automatic. As soon as you have activated Bluetooth on your smartphone, the tracker is recognized and the data is synchronized. It is important to first activate Bluetooth on the smartphone and then open the app. Then it works automatically.
Another useful feature is the remote activation of the smartphone camera. For selfies you can activate the feature in the app. Pressing the touch screen will trigger the camera.
Problem: The photos do not appear in the normal picture gallery but in the folder vifit2.2/DCIM/VeryfitPhoto in the file manager of your phone.
Update 2021: YAMAY Fitness Tracker -App Needed
Another interesting product is the new Yamay Fitness Tracker that comes with a heart rate monitor. It looks really classy and has a very precise Step Counter. Much more precise than previous models,actually better than the Letsfit we’ve introduced above.
You can read a full review here: >>>Yamay Wrist Pedometer with Heart Rate Monitor
Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
The GPS pioneer Garmin entered the market of fitness bracelets with the Vivofit Activity Tracker series. The entry-level model from Garmin is the Vivofit. If you think of Garmin you think of GPS. But the Vivofit does not support GPS.
The intelligent fitness bracelet follows the daily activities and motivates to more exercise. It records the daily pace, distance, calories, and heart rate when a chest strap is worn, and stores that data for over a month on the device.
For most other activity trackers, you have to enter your goals yourself. The Vivofit is intelligent and can set the goals automatically based on the individual movement profile. It also facilitates the gradual achievement of goals by automatically setting smaller achievable goals. Whether you are an experienced older athlete or a beginner at old age; the Vivofit adapts.
Another useful feature is the inactivity notification feature. Like many other intelligent activity trackers, it warns you if you stay too long without movement. But unlike the competition, which is usually only humming, the Vivofit shows a red bar, which grows slowly, as long as you only sit around. To get rid of the beam, you just have to get up and move until it disappears.
The activity tracker from Garmin also includes a sleep monitoring feature. It is not as sophisticated as some of the other Fitness bracelets, but it provides a solid record of the duration of sleep and can clearly distinguish between sleep and waking phases. In addition, the Vivofit offers the ability to measure the pulse, in combination with a compatible chest strap.
The actual device is in a robust rubber band and is waterproof. The bracelets are available in different colors and can be reordered if required.
Very impressive is the life of the battery. Due to the energy-saving e-ink display, which dispenses with a backlight and the absence of constant synchronization of the Vivofit comes for a year according to the manufacturer with a CR1632 button cell battery. Many comparable activity trackers with battery need to be recharged regularly.
Sync with Garmin Connect at the touch of a button. Like with the higher-priced versions like the Vivofit 2, the Vivosmart or even the Vivoactive with GPS the synchronization takes place automatically.
Garmin Connect is Garmin’s online fitness community. There, the data can be evaluated and displayed graphically. Garmin Connect can be accessed through the browser or via iOS and Android apps. This platform also allows data to be linked to other Garmin devices.
However, you need a smartphone of the newer generation with Bluetooth LTE. Garmin Vivofit is not compatible with older Android devices or older iPhones (iPhone 4S or earlier). However, it can be connected via a USB stick with the PC or Mac and the data can then be evaluated via the web interface.
- Steps and distance
- Daily target and inactivity index
- Calorie consumption
- Date and Time
- waterproof up to 50m
- Synchronization via ANT + Stick for PC or Bluetooth Smart
- Battery life of over a year
- supports iOS, Android, Windows and Mac OS (via Garmin Express)
- With chest strap (optional), the heart rate can be recorded
It is not easy to find suitable fitness tracker bracelets that suits all the needs for older people.It depends on how tech savvy you are. If you want a regular check of your data over time you need a smartphone or computer. If you would like a bracelet but without a smartphone or a computer need the Willful is an excellent option. If you actually don’t need a bracelet and ae happy to put a simple pedometer into your pocket, you might want to check out: Easy to use Pedometers for the elderly – No Smartphone needed