Lockdowns and closure of gyms led 24-year-old Mayank Gupta to use Fitbit watches and trackers to track his calorie burns and better understand his sleep quality.
Fitbit watches and trackers are devices that keep track of activities like steps and distance covered, calories burned, heart rate, sleep quality and duration, and breathing rate, etc.
“As lockdowns were imposed and gyms closed, I decided to try a fitness tracker as I heard about it a lot from my friends about its benefits. I liked their features a lot … the best one was heart rate variabilities which indicated my stress levels,” Gupta informed The Observer.
Meha Sharma, 23, said the devices enable her to keep track of her health. “I purchased a fitness tracker online on my friend’s recommendation. The fitness tracker I use updates me about my calorie burn, menstrual cycle and stress levels.” She further added that she even asked her father to purchase one, after he started working from home, in order to keep track of his health.
Ishika Reddy, another user of Fitbit watches, is impressed by its features. “One of the best features for me is the distance covered and steps counted. It monitors my steps in a day and also motivates me to complete my goal of 10,000 or more steps per day.”
Meera Kumar, a housewife whose 15-year-old son gave her a Fitbit during a lockdown, has been using it to know her calorie burns and sleep routine.
“My sleep cycle was disturbed and I had stopped going outside. With this tracker, I look at my calorie burn and try to do exercises so that I complete my target. Also, the sleep tracker feature helps me know about my sleep quality. This technology is helping people a lot,” she shared.
The global demand for Fitbit watches and trackers has increased since the onset of the pandemic. According to a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global fitness tracker market size showed a growth of 19.5 per cent in 2020, and the market is expected to grow from $36.34 billion in 2020 to $114.36 billion in 2028 at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 15.4 per cent.
Fitness trackers in market
The market is filled with a variety of fitness trackers with an array of features..
Sumit Bhatla, owner of Sri Sai Electronics, informed The Observer: “People, especially youths, look for Fitbit watches and trackers which calculate their calorie burns and heartbeat rates. We sell watches ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 7,000 with features like calculating distance covered, heart rate every few minutes, sleep tracking (when you fall asleep and when you wake up) etc.”
The trackers also check other health parameters like the menstrual cycle, blood oxygen level, exercise routine, stress levels, etc.
Ankita Pandey, a fitness trainer, believes that the technology used by these fitness trackers has enabled people know more about their health parameters. “Fitness trackers now determine people’s stress levels and are guided with breathing exercises. They also get to know about their sleep routines and patterns, oxygen levels, etc. This kind of information helps people to get more information about their health. And they can consult doctors if they feel their health is not right.”
Fitness trackers also motivate people to complete their daily targets.
“Suppose you set a goal of… 10,000 steps a day and you try your best to achieve it. After accomplishing the goal, you feel happy… and… more inspired to maintain your health,” Pandey added.
Asked about people using fitness trackers, she said: “Technology has really changed things for us. Now, you can get fitness trackers which tell you about your sleep routine and rapid eye movement. Who would have thought that technology will notify you about your sleep and also monitor your stress levels?”
An article published in The New Indian Express spoke about some of the best fitness tracker bands in India. These include Mi Smart Band 5, OnePlus Smart Band and Oppo Smart Band. They come with features like swim tracker, sleep tracker, pedometer, calorie counter, heart rate monitor and blood oxygen saturation tracker.