Picture this - a vibrant room filled with the sweet sound of innocent laughter, the floor…
*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.
I recently read a study from 2017 that said 75% of Americans prioritize staying in shape. With so many people wanting to improve their fitness, it makes sense why fitness trackers are so popular. Lots of smartwatch makers have included fitness tracking functions in their watches, and some fitness tracker companies have added features that resemble smartwatches.
As someone who has used both a smartwatch and a fitness tracker, I can attest to the motivation they can provide. It’s amazing how tracking your activities and step count can encourage you to be more active and live a less sedentary lifestyle.
I love how these devices can monitor my sleep patterns and give me insights into my overall fitness level. Plus, many of them come with a companion app that organizes all of this information in an easy-to-read format, making it simple to keep track of my progress over time.
Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just looking for a way to be more active, a smartwatch or fitness tracker can be a great tool for staying motivated and achieving your goals.
I often wear my fitness tracker either as a watch around my wrist or clipped onto my shirt or pants. Since I wear it on my body all day, I sometimes wonder if it’s safe given all the data it transmits. Am I at risk for any potential health issues from wearing a fitness tracker?
Is that safe? Are There Any Potential Health Risks To Wearing A Fitness Tracker?
I can’t give a definitive “yes” or “no” to whether fitness trackers are safe because the answer isn’t actually that simple. When I use my fitness tracker, it measures my activity with a gyroscope that senses my movements and detects when I’m walking or running. Thankfully, this part of the fitness tracker doesn’t emit any radiation and doesn’t seem to be risky for me to wear.
The problem with fitness trackers isn’t the fact that they track activity. Rather, it’s the Bluetooth connectivity needed to link up with their companion apps. When the Bluetooth on the watch is turned on, the device is emitting electromagnetic frequencies (EMF).
If you’re a frequent visitor to this site, you already know how harmful EMF can be. But if you’re unfamiliar with electromagnetic frequencies, here’s a crash course: EMF radiation has been associated with male infertility, increased tumor growth and certain cancers, and various other negative health effects, including insomnia, fatigue, and depression.
As someone who has researched the possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, I’ve learned that some of these effects can resemble other illnesses. Additionally, there’s a chance that certain individuals may be more sensitive to EMF exposure than others.
Unfortunately, as a result of insufficient research into the long-term effects of EMF exposure on our health, we essentially become human guinea pigs. If you’re like me and wondering how to protect yourself, keep reading.
Bluetooth And EMF
Studies on Bluetooth radiation are limited, but the existing research suggests that it’s not something to be taken lightly. One study from 2009 discovered that Bluetooth usage was harmful to semen quality, while another found that even weak exposure caused cell death in insects after just six minutes. It’s important to note that Bluetooth devices are much more powerful now than they were in the past, which means that the risks associated with them may have increased over time.
While the government does regulate Bluetooth radiation, there are still some issues with their standards. For one, there hasn’t been enough research on Bluetooth to determine safe levels of exposure. Additionally, the sheer number of Bluetooth-enabled devices in our daily lives means that we are often exposed to higher levels of radiation than what is considered “safe” by current standards.
Let’s consider a specific example: fitness trackers. These devices are worn on our bodies 24/7 and emit EMF radiation near our heads, wrists, and reproductive organs. Without knowing the long-term effects of Bluetooth exposure, it’s difficult to say whether or not wearing a Bluetooth-enabled fitness tracker is worth the risk to our health.
Do All Fitness Trackers Use Bluetooth?
I have some good news for you! If you’re hesitant about the potential risks of Bluetooth-enabled fitness trackers, you don’t have to give up on them completely. After all, these devices offer many health benefits, and most of us could use a little extra motivation to stay active.
Fortunately, there are some fitness trackers available that allow you to disable Bluetooth. This means you can still enjoy all the features of a fitness tracker without exposing yourself to unnecessary radiation. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best options below.
Garmin Vivosmart 4
One of my top picks for a fitness tracker with Bluetooth-disabling capabilities is the Garmin Vivosmart 4. This affordable device can monitor your heart rate and features a step tracker, calorie tracker, and altimeter that can track the number of floors you’ve climbed. Plus, it even has vibration alerts to remind you to stay active throughout the day.
To turn off Bluetooth on the Vivosmart 4, simply navigate to the settings window through the touch screen and select “Bluetooth settings” before toggling it off. It’s worth noting that this device doesn’t have WiFi, which is beneficial from an EMF standpoint. However, you will need to briefly enable Bluetooth once a day to sync the watch with the Garmin app.
Garmin is a trusted brand in the wearable device market, with years of experience producing GPS-enabled devices. If you’re looking for a reliable company known for their quality products, the Vivosmart 4 is an excellent option. It’s perfect for anyone seeking a fitness tracker that can monitor their steps, track their runs, and keep up with an active lifestyle while still providing the option to disable Bluetooth.
Samsung Gear Fit Pro 2
If you’re searching for a watch that offers a range of features and allows you to disable Bluetooth, I highly recommend the Samsung Gear Fit Pro 2. This popular watch boasts water resistance of up to 50 meters and features a heart rate monitor, step tracker, GPS tracking, and long-lasting battery.
To disable Bluetooth on the Gear Fit Pro 2, simply swipe left from the home screen to access the settings window. From there, scroll to Bluetooth and uncheck it to disable. As with the Vivosmart, you’ll need to enable Bluetooth or WiFi once a day to sync the watch.
Although Samsung is a relatively new player in the fitness tracker market, the company has been making smartwatches for years. If you’re looking for a durable and water-resistant tracker that allows you to disable Bluetooth, the Gear Fit Pro 2 is an excellent option to consider.
All of those features sound great, but maybe you literally just want something to count your steps. If you’re yearning for simpler times, fear not — pedometers are still a thing. Best of all, most pedometers are Bluetooth free, meaning you can wear one without worrying about EMF exposure. You don’t have access to all the features of a fitness tracker, but you don’t have the potential health risk, either.
Best Budget Pedometer: 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for a pedometer, I would say the 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer might be the perfect fit. With this device, you can track your steps, calories burned, and mileage, and even check the time. It stores data for up to 30 days, but you can manually input the information into another platform if you want to keep track of your steps for a longer period of time.
The 3DTriSport Pedometer doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity, which means you won’t have to worry about EMF radiation. Its display is large and easy to read, and it attaches securely to your clothing. This pedometer is a great option for anyone who wants to save some money while still keeping track of your daily steps.
Best Basic Pedometer: iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer
If you want a simple device that counts your steps and won’t break the bank, the iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer may be the best option for you. Unlike other pedometers, this device doesn’t come with any bells and whistles. It doesn’t have Bluetooth or any complicated buttons. It does one thing and it does it well- it counts your steps.
This pedometer is also a great option if you’re concerned about EMF radiation. The iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer is EMF-free and has a battery that lasts up to a year. The carabiner attachment also makes it easy to clip onto any belt loop or necklace.
One great feature that I like about this pedometer is that it begins tracking your activity automatically, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it on or press start. If you’re looking for a simple and affordable way to track your steps, the iGANK Simple Walking Pedometer is definitely worth considering.
Best Advanced Pedometer: Ozo Fitness C 3D Digital Pedometer
If you’re like me and prefer a pedometer with a few more features but still without the potential health risk of Bluetooth connectivity, then the Ozo Fitness C 3D Digital Pedometer is a great choice. This pedometer not only counts steps, but also lets you set step goals, track mileage, and monitor calories burned.
The Ozo pedometer stores activity data for up to 30 days, so you can keep track of your progress over the course of a month. It even has a cumulative count that tracks the number of days since the device was activated, as well as the steps taken, miles traveled, and calories burned during that time.
With no Bluetooth or app to deal with, the Ozo Fitness C 3D Digital Pedometer is a straightforward and user-friendly option for anyone who is concerned about potential EMF exposure from fitness trackers.
What If I Already Have A Bluetooth-Enabled Fitness Tracker?
You can get some of the benefits of wearing a fitness tracker without having it on all the time. One suggestion I can give is to wear the tracker for a week each month, collect data, and spend the rest of the month adjusting your daily routine. When you wear the tracker again the next month, you can see how your numbers have changed.
For instance, if you notice that you’re already taking 3,000 steps a day without any effort, you can set a new goal to walk for five minutes every hour during the workday. Next month, see how your steps have increased. Then, increase your walk to ten minutes every hour. This enables you to gradually increase your steps over time, and you still benefit from the motivation of wearing a fitness tracker. You can also create your own chart to visualize the data, similar to an app.
As someone who values staying active and likes to be aware of my activity levels, I think fitness watches can be a great tool. However, it’s important to remember that some of the same features that make them useful also come with potential risks to our health.
While the long-term effects of Bluetooth exposure aren’t fully understood, early research suggests that EMF radiation could be harmful to fertility, promote the growth of certain cancers, and contribute to various health issues. It’s important to be mindful of this and take steps to minimize our exposure.
One way to do this is to look for fitness trackers that allow Bluetooth to be disabled or to opt for a less feature-rich pedometer. This can help protect us from the potential harm of EMF radiation. Hopefully, as more studies emerge on this topic, manufacturers will offer more options for consumers to choose from.
In the meantime, the devices mentioned in this article provide a great alternative for those of us who want to track our activity levels while minimizing our exposure to potentially harmful radiation. If you’re looking for a top-notch tracker with great features and the option to turn Bluetooth on or off as needed, I highly recommend the Garmin Vivosmart 4. If you’re looking for a simple and affordable step tracker, the 3DTriSport Walking 3D Pedometer is a great choice.