Fitness bands or Activity trackers are very beneficial, especially for those who wanted to stay motivated and reach their goal, let it be health, fitness or weight management.
Manufacturers have also launched Fitness Smartwatches for users with styling needs.
However, we’re receiving several comments from the people in the recent times with doubts like – ‘does fitness trackers emit radiation?’ or ‘are smart bands safe to use?’ etc…
So, let us discuss all your doubts with scientific proofs in this article.
Do Fitness Trackers have Radiation?
Well, according to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the fitness trackers, like any other wearable device, use low-powered RF (radio frequency) transmitters that emit radio waves (non-ionizing radiation).
This type of radiation generally uses very less energy and has low frequency when compared to ionizing radiation.
The EMF (electromagnetic frequency) or non-ionized radiation is used in almost all the fitness wearables and mobile phones too, in order to communicate with other devices through Bluetooth or WiFi.
Although the RF transmitters use low frequency and power, they do give off or emit some radiation in the form of EMF or non-ionizing radiation.
Unfortunately, we’re already surrounded with electromagnetic frequency in our daily lives.
Say for example – powerlines, electrical wiring and most electrical appliances that we use in our daily lives emit EMF at very low frequencies.
So, whether you’re wearing a fitness tracker or not, you’re already being exposed to non-ionizing radiation or EMF constantly.
Are Fitness Trackers Safe to Wear?
As we said earlier, the fitness bands do emit some radiation, though at low levels when compared to other devices like cell phones.
The radiation emitted by the fitness wearables is pretty low to cause cancer.
But, according to the National Cancer Institute, cellphones emit non-ionizing radiation from their antennas and the place (body part) where you regularly keep your mobile will absorb more of this radiation.
According to WHO 2011 report, the EMF emitted by cell phones can be ‘possibly carcinogenic’. Several studies have also shown that EMF from mobiles is linked with autism, brain tumors, and fertility problems.
Besides, the overheated cell phones may also damage your skin tissue.
So, if your fitness tracker is constantly paired with your Smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi, then it is advised to limit the habit to help reduce any risks of the RF energy.
How to Safely Wear a Fitness Tracker all the Time?
Like we said, the fitness bands do emit some form of radiation when contacting with other devices through Bluetooth or WiFi.
Almost all the activity trackers come with the ability to store your fitness information like steps you’ve taken, calories burned, sleep quota etc… in their internal memory.
It even shows most of the basic information on the wearable display itself.
Only if you want in depth details of your fitness, you’ll need to connect it to your Smartphone via mobile app through WiFi or Bluetooth.
So, try to use the smart band individually and connect it to your smartphone only once or twice a day to see your stats or overall progress.
There is no need to leave it connected to your mobile all the time.
Doing so, you won’t unnecessarily absorb the EMF radiation and still track your daily activities.
Tips to Minimize the Exposure to Radiation
Some people say that the low RF radiation emitted by fitness bands is not harmful and others say vice-versa. So, it is always better to stay safe by avoiding unnecessary exposure to the radiation.
Here are a few tips you can follow to minimize the effect of radiation from your smart wearables.
- Turn off Bluetooth on all your devices, at least when not in use.
- Try to sync your health data with your mobile once or twice a day (morning or evening).
- If you’re an athlete or body building enthusiast, try using your fitness watch only during your exercise time, which is the only time when you really need it.
- Try to use wrist-worn activity trackers instead of clip-on trackers as they’re mostly connected at your waistline, which is not good for fertility.
- If you’ve got good sleep habits, then avoid wearing your sleep tracker as it won’t be necessary. If needed, try to keep your arms away from your head.
- In case if your smart band is getting overheated (which doesn’t happen mostly), contact the service center and get it fixed as it could damage your skin tissues.
Well, these are a few tips you can follow to reduce the risk of getting exposed to radiation, though at low levels.
Finally, it is clear that the fitness trackers have some risks, though not severe, especially when you continuously pair then with your Smartphone via Bluetooth or Wireless Internet.
So, limit the cross connection between the devices or pair only when necessary in order to reduce the risk of radiation from wearable trackers.
Lastly, it is to be noted that the fitness bands are there for improving our health by tracking our activities and not to harm ourselves with health risks. So, use them wisely, in moderation.