Activity trackers are all the rage these days, and for good reason. Since you wear the devices, the technology inside is constantly collecting and analyzing data like number of steps walked, calories burned and even sleep activity throughout your day. With all the holiday office parties, festive happy hours and family get togethers this time of year, these fitness trackers can keep you from totally derailing your healthy lifestyle.
With the number of activity trackers on the market, it can be pretty overwhelming to find the one that’s best for you. Not to worry, we’ve done the heavy lifting and come up with four of the best on the market today.
Debuting this past October, the FitBit Force is the first of its kind to include an OLED display so you can use it as a watch and activity tracker in one. Like earlier versions of the Fitbit line up, this device tracks steps and sleeping habits. Unlike the older versions, this one includes an altimeter that can track the number of stairs you climb throughout the day. The feature we found most helpful is the new Active Minutes tracker. The Force benchmarks your active minutes against the CDC recommendation of 20-30 minutes per day. The company also states that in a near firmware update, iOS7 users will be able to receive call notifications on the device when their phone is nearby. MSRP: $130
The low-priced Fitbug Orb is a tiny gadget that you can wear a variety of ways to track sleep and activity including step count, distance travelled, calories burned and speed.The data then syncs (via Bluetooth) to a free smartphone app so you can track your progress over time. MSRP: $49
The second-generation UP band tracks activity, sleeping and eating habits, then communicates wirelessly with Apple mobile devices to make recommendations about pursuing healthier lifestyles. The Smart Alarm and Power Nap functionality wakes you up in the optimal moment of your sleep cycle so you wake up refreshed. A customizable Idle Alert, which notifies you if you’ve been inactive for too long and the Insight Engine round out this very impressive tool. MSRP: $150
By far the most elegantly designed activity tracker on the market, the Misfit Shine tracks your fitness and sleep habits and can be worn in a variety of ways that doesn’t shout “I’m wearing a fitness tracker!” MSRP: $120