In a statement on the survey, the AIF shared that it had assessed a series of smartwatches and sports straps on elements including functionality, user-friendliness, tracking and data capabilities, comfort, form, versatility and overall performance.
Interestingly, the institute shared that in addition to reviewing the range of devices, the survey also highlighted that the majority of Aussie users of fitness tech are not fully informed on the potential of the devices they use.
The statement read that:
“The survey’s overwhelming consensus was that wearable users could unlock so much more potential to help them optimise their health, fitness and performance, if they were better informed on how to utilise their device.”
In particular, this can be seen in the use of heart rate monitoring tech, the AIF shared. Kate Kraschnefski – Head of Training at the Australian Institute of Fitness – explained there’s a lot to be gained from using this function throughout your fitness journey:
“Many users don’t fully understand how HR [heart rate] training zones – which are a staple of many health and fitness wearables – can provide real-time feedback regarding the intensity and energy systems targeted within their session,” Kraschnefski explained in a statement.
“For endurance enthusiasts, utilising this function properly is like having a personal trainer running right beside you telling you exactly how hard you’re working and whether you need to put the pedal to the metal, or pull the gas off a little.”
So, which fitness wearables came out on top?
The AIF split the rankings into two fields: overall performance and best wearable for key categories. I’ve popped them both below for you.
Top 5 best overall performance:
The Apple Watch has become an increasingly popular piece of wearable tech in recent years. Multiple generations of the watch have spawned since its initial release, with its main features like detailed workout and calorie tracking make it a powerful tool for aiding weight loss. It also comes with built-in Siri, Apple Store and Apple Music capabilities, to connect your life even further.
Aside from its health and fitness capabilities, the Garmin Watch could be a stylish and modern addition to your workout gear. The Garmin can assist in helping your overall wellbeing, by monitoring respiration, menstrual cycles, hydration, stress levels and more.
Choosing which Fitbit will best suit your needs can be quite the task, considering just how many different kinds are available. The most recent watch release, the Fitbit Sense Advanced provides personalised health and fitness guidance with a free 6-month trial of Fitbit Premium, detects electrodermal activity which may indicate your body’s response to stress High and low heart rate notifications alert you if yours seems above or below your average
Samsung phone users will find the contacts, messages and music connectability convenient with the Samsung smartwatch. Its features also include helpful sleep and stress management tools.
The WHOOP Strap collection differs from the rest of the top-rated smartwatch in both design and function. The lightweight and waterproof WHOOP strap 3.0 collects physiological data to provide an accurate understanding of your body.
Best wearable across key capability categories:
- Weight Loss – Apple Watch
- Improving Overall Fitness – Garmin Watch
- Learning to Run/Improving Running Performance – Garmin Watch
- Sleep Monitoring – Whoop Strap
- User-Friendliness – Apple Watch
- Form and Comfort – Apple Watch
- Accuracy of Tracking Data – Garmin Watch
Apple is clearly the leading device here, not only taking out top place in overall performance but getting a nod for its effectiveness in weight loss assistance, user-friendliness, form and comfort. Garmin followed in closely behind (only a 1.7% difference in popularity) taking out second place and gaining recognition for its use in running improvement and the accuracy of its tracking data – not bad!
The survey found that the three most valued features in fitness tech are long battery life; user-friendly display and heart rate monitoring capability. While they didn’t pick winners in those categories specifically, they were considered in naming the top devices in overall performance.
So, our question here is: do you agree? Is the Apple Watch the king of the smartwatches, or are you a fan of a different kind of device?