The use of fitness trackers has been increasing exponentially over the past few years. Why not? They are convenient and easy for anyone looking to drop a few pounds to keep track of their progress. An often overlooked side effect of these fitness trackers is that you are continually exposed to low-frequency EMF, or electromagnetic field, radiation. If the word radiation strikes a chord with you, it should. Read on to learn more about the risks that using a fitness tracker poses to your health and learn more about the advantages of using a low EMF fitness tracker.
How Fitness Trackers Work
Fitness trackers are intended to be worn on your wrist non-stop. They can do things like keep track of your daily steps, distance moved, heart rate and even how you sleep. The majority of these trackers sync to apps via Bluetooth technology, but some use WiFi. If you have been following us even a short time, red flags should be popping up here.
Fitness trackers operate at around 2.5mHz, which is in the low-frequency, non-ionizing EMF radiation spectrum. For comparison, most cellular phones operate between 100mHz and 6gHz. Bluetooth radiation pulses from the unit at up to 800 times per second. This means that even in low levels, you are continually exposed to pulsing radiation while wearing these trackers.
Radiation and Your Health
Low levels of this type of radiation exposure has long been thought to be safe for humans, but ongoing studies are showing otherwise. This is especially important because we are almost always surrounded by EMF radiation in our homes and outdoors. Since Bluetooth devices like fitness trackers are often worn for long periods of time in close proximity to our bodies, we are even more at risk of absorbing EMF radiation, which is why getting a low EMF fitness tracker would be a great way to minimize EMF exposure.
Interestingly, EMF radiation can cause a decrease in melatonin production, the hormone our body makes to help us fall asleep. Since many of us wear these trackers to bed to monitor our sleeping habits, we are actually reducing our chances of a good night of sleep. Additionally, exposure to radiation in any amount can alter cell growth in the body. This can cause health issues including:
- Nerve pain
- Tumor growth
Government Regulations on EMF Radiation
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set forth regulations regarding the acceptable amount of radiation these devices can emit. Most devices do fall well below these guidelines called Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is the rate in which radiation is absorbed by the body. The SAR for wireless communications is 1.6 Watts per kilogram (W/kg). Bluetooth devices operate at 0.23W/kg making you believe they pose little health risks.
Fitness Trackers Without EMF: Reducing Radiation from Fitness Trackers
If you enjoy the benefits of using a fitness tracker, you don’t have to ditch it completely. There are some trackers that simply do not have wireless or Bluetooth capabilities, which means you can get a fitness tracker without EMF! Of course, you must then manually keep track of your progress. There are also trackers that allow you to turn off the Bluetooth or wireless functions. It can record your activity, and you can sync your tracker to the app after you’ve removed it from your body.
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Best Fitness Trackers for Avoiding Bluetooth Radiation
Here are a couple of our favorite trackers that allow you to turn off the Bluetooth feature therefore reducing your exposure to EMF radiation.
The Samsung Gear Fit2 has most of the bells and whistles you might be accustomed to in a fitness tracker. It is waterproof up to 50-meters, dust and dirt resistant, and has a continuous heartrate monitor. It can sync to a few different apps giving you a choice of how you receive your information. The battery lasts for up to three days, which is an additional incentive to wear it continuously.
This tracker allows you to sync to your phone so you can receive calls and texts without having your phone on you. Turning off the Bluetooth will keep this feature from functioning, and you will have to later sync to your apps to store fitness activity.
The Garmin Vivosmart Activity Tracker can keep track of your steps, floors climbed, calories burned, workout intensity and heartrate. GPS maps out your workout and distances and can be sent to the Garmin app. This model is a bit more simple than the Samsung, but still poses the same health risks if you do not disable the Bluetooth function while wearing it.
Reducing Radiation While Tracking your Fitness
It is possible to keep up with your fitness progress while avoiding the harmful effects of EMF radiation. Trying out a fitness tracker that allows disabling of Bluetooth like the Samsung or Garmin listed above is one small step (pun intended) toward better health.