According to the World Health Organisation, one out of five people suffer from high blood pressure. The number of people that die every year around the globe because of complications due to high blood pressure is over 9 million. This is a very serious issue which not a lot of people pay attention to. We have created a lifestyle which is full of stress, which is mostly mental stress. To cope up with is our body needs physical activity so that our heart pumps up enough blood to our brain to tackle this stress.
Heart health majority depends on your diet and the amount of physical activity and fitness bands help you motivate to do the same. Apart from this, it is also very important for you to check your blood pressure levels on a regular basis. Maybe get a home kit, use a portable one, Go to the doctor regularly (if you have the time to), or use one of the wearable fitness bands.
Yes, now fitness bands can track your blood pressure. But before we understand how exactly the fitness trackers measure our BP, let us look at the Pros & Cons that they have:
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Pros & Cons of Fitness Bands With Blood Pressure Monitor
- You can measure your blood pressure anytime, anywhere. Some fitness tracker apps also allow you to track your BP continuously.
- Most fitness bands that have a blood pressure monitor already have a heart rate sensor in place. This helps you get a more clear picture of your heart’s health. By giving you data about your heart rate and your blood pressure.
- The data can even be shared with your doctor on the go.
- These bands are super easy to use. Even children and senior citizens can use it with ease.
- They keep you motivated to stay active and keep yourself healthy.
- With this device, you need not go to the doctor every time you have to check your blood pressure.
- They are pretty straightforward and easy to use.
- Since fitness bands use sensors to measure the blood pressure levels, the results may be sensitive to movement.
- A sphygmomanometer gives the most accurate reading. For all those wondering what this is, it’s the device that doctors use to measure your blood pressure. We cannot guarantee that the results from the health band will be a hundred per cent accurate.
Now, since we are clear about what the pros and cons are, let us understand how actually the fitness trackers measure our blood pressure.
How do fitness bands measure Blood Pressure
Blood pressure as defined by Wikipedia is “Blood pressure is the pressure of circulating blood on the walls of blood vessels. Most of this pressure is due to work done by the heart by pumping blood through the circulatory system.” In simple terms, it’s the pressure at which our blood flows through our blood vessels called Arteries. Abnormalities in this pressure can cause serious problems for an individual.
The wearable fitness trackers track this with the help of different sensors but it is not 100% accurate. As blood pressure is supposed to be measured from the upper arm, the bicep area and not the lower arm. But it still gives us a pretty good idea about where we stand.
The fitness bands use PPG and ECG sensors combined to get a better and more accurate reading of the blood pressure. PPG is Photoplethysmography, this word literally means measuring a change in volume with the help of light. So this sensor measures the changes in the blood volume with light that penetrates our arteries.
Fitness bands also use ECG to monitor your heart. ECG is Electrocardiography. It measures the activity of our heart with the help of electrodes present on our skin. It sends small electronic pulses which it uses to analyse the heart rate and combine it with PPG to give out Blood Pressure readings.
Fitness Bands Monitor Blood Pressure
For starters, there are not many fitness bands that actually monitor your blood pressure. Here are a few of those:
It’s probably the most popular fitness and one of the first fitness bands with blood pressure monitoring to be launched in India. Here are a few of the most promising features that it has:
- The Blood Pressure Monitor measures your systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Roughly takes a minute to show BP. The user only needs to set the blood pressure range in the GOQii App to measure BP in the tracker.
- GOQi Vital now has a broader OLED colour screen & a gives upto 10-15 days battery life under normal usage.
- It also gives you all the basic smart band functions like tracking steps, notifications, time, smartphone integration etc.
- You can buy this smart on Amazon – GOQi Vital 2.0.
Mevofit is also a fairly new brand which has entered the Indian market. Overall from the reviews, this activity tracker looks pretty promising. Let us look at the features that this thing comes with:
- MevoFit Care Fitness Band comes with latest technology ECG & PPG function. The band will continuously monitor your ECG & Heart Rate. It also tracks your blood pressure.
- The band comes with 4 fitness modes – hiking, cycling, running & walking. It is also IP 67 water-resistant. This means that you can wear this tracker all the time, but you cannot go swimming with this band.
- The band has all the features of a smart band like third party integration, notifications, reminders, alarms, stopwatch, colour display etc.
- You can buy this product on Amazon – MevoFit Drive-Care.
Mgaolo has next to no share in the Indian market with the MI band 4 killing the market. But Mgaolo has been doing quite well internationally. Here are a few features that you should consider before buying this:
- The app has several features oriented towards women like keeping track of the menstrual cycle, Pregnancy, Mum period etc.
- It also has all the functions of a fitness tracker including the Blood pressure monitor which is a plus point.
- The battery life of this device is pretty low at 4-5 days on paper, that may last almost upto 2-3 with regular use in real life.
- To know more about this product check it out on Amazon – Mgaolo Fitness Tracker
Blood pressure trackers are nowhere as accurate as the sphygmomanometer. If you already have a Blood pressure condition then you must consult your doctor and continue with the advice they give. These fitness trackers are only meant to motivate you and not meant to be considered as a medical instrument. Also, the fitness trackers in this article are chosen based on their ability to measure your blood pressure. Their overall performance may vary from the best fitness bands that are available in the market.
Check out our other articles on fitness bands in the “Health” section.