5 Important Things to Look for in an Activity Tracker

Last Updated on September 23, 2020 by Ellen Christian

Do you have an activity tracker? Did you consider things to look for in an activity tracker when you were shopping? Or did you choose based on style or price alone? I’ve used several different activity trackers over the years. Some I’ve liked more than others so before buying one, I wanted to make sure I chose one that would really work for my lifestyle. This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

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5 Important Things to Look for in an Activity Tracker

Things to Look for in an Activity Tracker

There are a wide variety of activity trackers that can track everything from steps alone to flights of stairs, heart rate, distance, and rate of improvement. If you choose to get an activity tracker that integrates with your smartphone, you’ve opened the door to calories, water consumed, sleep, and mood. You can join challenges, make friends and integrate your tracker with your home.


While most fitness trackers are worn on your wrist like a bracelet or a watch, some can be clipped to your shirt or your show or slipped into your pocket. Decide which option works best for your lifestyle. I’ve tried the ones you add to your pocket, but I find myself forgetting about them when I change clothes.


Battery life

A fitness tracker won’t track if the battery is dead. Remember that while your fitness tracker is charging, it won’t be tracking your movement. I’ve used trackers that need to be charged every evening but that means it won’t track my sleep movements when it’s charged in. I chose the Fitbit Alta because it lasts me about four days before I need to charge it again.


If you enjoy swimming, you’ll want to consider an activity tracker that is waterproof so it can keep track of your swims. If not, you can probably go with an activity tracker that is water resistant which is probably enough to handle a sweaty workout or light rain shower.

Heart rate

Do you want your activity tracker to monitor your heart rate? If you are concerned about your heart rate or really trying to push your cardio, you may want a tracker that can monitor your heart rate. If you’re just looking for a tracker that will remind you to move more, this may be a feature you don’t need.

Screen size

How high tech do you want to go? Do you need your activity tracker to show you your text messages? Do you need a color display so you can monitor your fitness goals on your tracker? Or is it OK if you can only monitor your goals through the app on your phone? Keep in mind that a large color display will make your tracker more expensive.


Do you need your activity tracker to work with other apps or hardware? Is it important that it monitor your weight by integrating with a Withings scale? Do you want your Amazon Echo to be able to tell you how you’re doing on your fitness goals? I love that my Fitbit Alta will work with my Amazon Echo so I can keep on top of my goals.

Which activity tracker did you choose and why?


4 thoughts on “5 Important Things to Look for in an Activity Tracker”

  1. I’ve wanted an activity tracker for the last few years. Everyone has one now; it's all the rage :) The features that are most important to me are waterproof and integration. That Fitbit Alta Gold Wireless Activity Tracker looks pretty stylish
  2. I missed the activity tracker bandwagon and then started reading all the problems people were having, so still considering them. I saw on a news show how they vary widely in accuracy and not sure I want yet another electronic field messing with my body. I love fitness so I'm sure I get plenty! I may want to track it someday though, so I still read posts like these. I could see tracking my low blood pressure with it. I do that already but during exercise would be interesting.

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