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Fitness Tracker Sales On The Rise, But Are They Accurate?

PITTSBURGH (KDKA)- At Club One Fitness in the East End, treadmills and dumbbells are the norm, but so are fitness trackers.

"I wear it for everything," says Jackie Polak. "I put it on the second I wake up in the morning, even before I go brush my teeth, so I can get the steps from the bed to the bathroom."

Deane Watson says he wears a fitness tracker every day.

"I love it. Keeps me motivated. I have my goal set and I know I have to reach my goal on a regular basis," says Watson.

Names like Fitbit and Jawbone lead the market when it comes to fitness trackers. Last year alone, there were an estimated 19 million devices in use with numbers expected to grow. But, how accurate are they?

A study done by researchers at the University of Wisconsin looked at five popular activity trackers. When it came to steps, it found trackers predicted within 10 percent accuracy the number of steps taken.

As for calories, none of the devices were accurate for recording calories burned and researchers concluded the trackers worked best with lower intensity activities like walking.

Researchers also say people are 30-to-40 times more active when they use fitness trackers. Even if they are not 100 percent accurate, they do a good job of getting people up and moving.

Recently, Nike settled a lawsuit claiming the Nike Fuelbands can't accurately tally how many steps are taken or how many calories are burned.

Nike will give partial refunds or gift cards to people who bought a Nike Fuelband in the last three years.

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