Today, we publish the 3 best fitness trackers for seniors and the elderly.
We have decided on this because, getting the best activity/fitness tracker(s) for Senior Citizens is a hefty and herculean task both for Senior Citizens directly and for their family/caregivers who are interested in their overall welfare and wish to see them super fit and healthy.
This challenge stems basically from the fact that few fitness/activity trackers are manufactured with the elderly, Senior Citizens or the aged in mind.
However, the list below covers the best 3 activity/fitness trackers for Senior Citizens you can get in the market today – and actually count on to serve the intended purpose.
However, before we mention the trackers and review them for your consumption, it is important to outline some very important facts that you need to know aside the technical details of the trackers.
Article at a Glance
- What is a Fitness Tracker & Why Do Seniors Need Them?
- REVIEW: The 3 Best Fitness Trackers for Seniors/the Elderly in 2017
- Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
- Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker
- Fitbit Charge HR
- Conclusion: The 3 Best Fitness Trackers for Seniors – Which Should you Choose?
What is a Fitness Tracker & Why Do Seniors Need Them?
A fitness tracker is an electronic device designed to help its users stay fit and healthy.
It achieves this by displaying fitness related metrics (such as sleep quality, heart rate, number of stairs climbed etc) and in some cases, probes the user to either achieve more or meet a set threshold; the user him/herself carries the tracker on the wrist or wears them on his/her person directly.
By carrying a constant reminder of very important fitness metrics such as number of steps taken/walked a day, stairs climbed or the quality of sleep users get every night, adjustment can be made, a healthier lifestyle/pattern achieved and importantly, life elongated by the clever avoidance of health challenges associated with a sedentary lifestyle such as hypertension, obesity and diabetes.
However, these realities are closer to the elderly and Senior population than any other population.
With age, the threat of obesity, type 2 diabetes, strokes, rheumatism etc. all become real – and if nothing is done to curtail the threat, will definitely affect at least, 1 out of every 3 member of the Senior community.
It is thus safe to conclude that, while we all need activity and fitness trackers for our overall well-being, the Seniors and elderly persons certainly need them more, especially when their reduced immune systems are also factored.
What to Understand Before Setting out to Select a Fitness Tracker for Senior Citizens
Getting the best fitness tracker for Seniors or the elderly is quite tricky, as earlier stated.
It is particularly tricky because, Senior Citizens or the elderly are particularly special people who are most often less conscious of technology and its requirements as the rest of us. To get an excellent tracker for them thus, you must take careful and particular note of the following:
1. Battery Life: Most of today’s activity trackers are gadgets that are super hungry for power and unfortunately, do not have a corresponding battery capacity/life to support them as the users would want or appreciate.
This is thus the first consideration to understand when shopping for a fitness tracker for an elderly person or a Senior Citizen.
You must make certain thus that your choice will not run out of juice randomly or worse, requires frequent recharges, if you are not to make the life of the advanced user who will be relying on them completely hell.
2. Ease of use/Easy Carriage: Generally, the best fitness devices are made with the singular intention of ease of use or carriage. That is why, the plethora of such trackers come in either a band or wrist design and the rest, an easy way of either strapping them on, clipping them to a dress or generally, carrying them.
However, in as much as the top activity trackers deploy this technology/engineering geared towards ease of use, there are a ton of other trackers that are thoughtlessly manufactured, trackers which are not Senior friendly at all.
Such trackers are to be avoided at all cost, if the elderly are to enjoy them and make sense out of them. For a start, it is best to ensure that the exercise tracker that are fit for the aged should be of the clip, band or wrist design.
3. Water Resistance: While this is not a primary consideration when shopping for trackers that will best suite the elderly, it is important to remember this – and when possible, ensure that activity trackers bought for the aged are water-resistant.
The reason for this is not far-fetched: Seniors can easily forget to take off their exercise trackers when they get into the shower and for models that are not resistant to water, this can mean subsequent malfunction or worse: instant damage
Aside this, it is an added assurance that should water ever spill on the device (as a result of the Senior’s forgetfulness or the actions of a grand-child, for instance), the gadget will still work awesomely and serve its purpose.
4. Durability: Most Senior citizens are naturally careful – and will protect their gadgets with the greatest care and concern.
However, at over 50 years, accidents are more common amongst men and women, especially if grand-children are close or visit often.
To ensure longevity of the tracking device thus, it is a smart move to ensure that all models considered or bought should be extremely durable and if possible, feature removable and replaceable parts, such as the frame. That way, a replacement can be carried out, even if the durable parts give out either because of an accident or as a result of normal wear and tear.
Recommended Reading: Best Bathtubs for Seniors/the Elderly
REVIEW: The 3 Best Fitness Trackers for Seniors/the Elderly in 2017
After carefully treating what needs to be considered when shopping for exercise trackers for Seniors or the elderly, it is now time to take a proper and concerned look at the 3 best fitness trackers for Seniors and the elderly.
Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
The Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band is the most sturdy and durable activity band sold today.
Fitted standard with a battery that lasts a whole year without need for recharging and an impressive water resistance ability, this is the most ideal and most suitable fitness band for the aged gentleman or lady.
The Vivofit, in addition to all the brilliant qualities stressed above, also learns the activity level of the user and assigns a personalized daily goal (or goals) for the Senior using them. This proves quite handy as it acts as a prompt or a simple reservoir of exercise/fitness ideas, especially for the elderly who may not be very used to the reality of using exercise trackers or what they mean, overall.
Further still, it also acts as a traditional wrist watch, displaying time without much prompting or ado, aside displaying supremely beneficial stats and metrics like steps taken, calories burned, distance covered and the quality of sleep the users gets every night.
If you are thus looking for the best fitness trackers for Seniors or the elderly, this should certainly be your first stop/point of call.
What we Love about the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
The Gamin Vivofit Fitness Band is without doubt, one of the best fitness trackers for Seniors available in the market today. Naturally thus, there are many things we particularly love about this ideal fitness bracelet for the elderly/Seniors.
In no particular order:
1. Super Impressive Battery Life: This awesome feature, without doubt, is the Vivofit’s most distinguishing feature – the one that clearly sets it apart from all others fitness trackers available in the market, especially, those meant for Seniors or the aged.
The battery under discussion here can last a whole year – or more!
This means that, you could change the standard coin battery in your Dad’s or Mum’s Vivofit once at Christmas – when you come back yourself and the tracker will continue to work on that single battery for the whole of the coming year.
This is a feature you cannot neglect or ignore, especially when you are dealing with Seniors or the aged and have to bother them to recharge every now and then…The Vivofit, thus, is a clear savior here.
The year-long lasting coin battery (that needs no recharges along the way) is thus, what we love (more than any other feature of this sleep monitor and activity wrist band for advanced users).
2. Water Resistance: While most Seniors will do just fine with a non-water resistant fitness tracking device, this is a handy feature if accidental damage as a result of sudden and unexpected immersion in water takes place. Unfortunately, this takes all the time especially if absent mindedness and the presence of grand kids are factored.
Luckily, the Vivofit is water resistant and can withstand immersions up to 50 meters in water!
This means one thing, clearly: if the aged user of this tracker mistakenly drops it in water, walks into the shower and forgets to remove it or a grand kid dips it into water to see whether it will inflate or not ( 🙂 ), it will still function as awesomely as before. In fact, it will be as though it never got immersed!
This is certainly a feature to take serious on a fitness band for the elderly, whether you directly see its importance now or not. Believe us, it is feature you will be needing sooner than later 🙂
3. 24/7 Wearable Design: Most exercise bands don’t handle everyday use gracefully. As a result, they begin to scratch, peel off or look funny after a period of everyday use.
Not the Vivofit.
This super ideal fitness band, suitable for the aged/elderly is built-in a super sturdy fashion that is resistant to normal scratch and does not wear out simply because of prolonged normal day-to-day use. As a matter of fact, this tracker is designed to be worn on the wrist all the time, except, of course, the user appreciates a moment alone without it.
To make sure of the sturdy and long-lasting design, the bands are made of reinforced rubber – and will likely not yield, even to a conventional blade. They are that good.
With this 24/7 wearable design and impressive engineering, it is easy to see that, the Senior user will have no challenges at all wearing this fitness device all day and night, through Summer or Winter, Autumn or Spring.
4. Move Bar: The major inspiration for a fitness tracker is to get the user to keep fit and active (in this case, a Senior Citizen).
However, for an aged person who has strapped an exercise tracker on his/her wrist for this very purpose, it is still very easy to forget that the tracker is even there, thereby, negating the very essence of the device in the first place.
The Garmin Vivofit offers a brilliant solution to this challenge: a red move bar that displays after one hour of inactivity and grows in length for each 15 minutes of that continued inactivity.
By this awesome presentation, it is easy for the advanced user to be drawn to the bright red line displayed on the screen and take action appropriately. Smartly, the entire red line vanishes once the user gets up and takes a few steps. It resets and does not appear again until after a whole hour of inactivity.
If any user is going to be reminded of the fact that he/she needs to keep on walking or keep active generally, there is no other tracker that does the job better than the Vivofit – and we particularly love the tracker for this awesome function.
5. Sleep Monitor: As people grow old and advance in age, it is only natural for sleep to become a challenge and particularly, for insomnia to become all too common.
This makes sleep appear to be a luxury and this makes it more imperative to track and measure. The Vivofit is, fortunately, empowered with a sleep tracker that with a simple configuration, takes into note the quality of the sleep of the user. This information can be used to make the next sleep better, especially if the variable that made the current one unpleasant can be controlled directly.
In one piece thus, you have a time piece, an exercise tracker, a heart-rate monitor and importantly, a sleep monitor. Honestly, there is nothing more we could ask for; we couldn’t also possibly be more pleased with this device for this awesome feature.
Now, let’s take a look at what we don’t particularly like about this fitness tracker.
What we Don’t Like about the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band
For such an impressive band as the Vivofit, there is very little to hate. However, we still do not like two things about this exercise tracker:
1. No Back-light: The Vivofit design does not include a backlight function for the display screen.
This means that, you will need to rely on another source of light if you are to use the tracker in the night or in areas where the lightning condition is poor or tricky.
This, it is clear, is the price to be paid for such an impressive battery life. Remember, more backlight, less battery juice.
2. No Vibrations: This fitness tracker, to further save its battery, does not come with the vibration feature.
This means that, if you are very conversant with vibrations and would prefer your fitness tracker to come with one, or would love the model you are getting for your loved one to feature this silent notification feature, you will certainly be disappointed.
However, as earlier stated, this is done with the sole intention of saving the battery and prolonging its lifespan/service time. It is thus a completely necessary evil.
Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker
The Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker is a water-resistant, tight clip holding tracker that tracks steps, distance covered and calories burned.
It is a super simple tracker and is quite easy and forward to use, especially when Senior Citizens are put into perspective.
Further, it is additionally beneficial to the aged because, like the Garmin Vivofit right above it, this awesome and super impressive fitness tracker comes with a battery that lasts for more than 6 months (straight) without any need for recharging.
Seniors can thus benefit immensely from this awesome device without the often cumbersome reality/task of looking for a charging port at any given point in time or worse, bothering with mobile power.
Despite its awesome simplicity, the Fitbit Zip has impressive features that even the elderly user will not have any challenge falling in love with: goal setting ability, viewing of progress and earning of badges, for instance.
What we Love about the Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker
1. Impressive Battery Life: We cannot say this enough: the elderly should not be bothered with charging a device every few days!
The reason for our position is simple: it bores them to the ends of the world and worse, they may forget (as is usually the case 🙂 ) Sadly, when this becomes the case on more than a few acceptable occasions, the entire use of the gadget may even be forgotten/ignored, thus negating the very reason why it was bought and put to use in the first place.
Luckily, the Fitbit Zip was made with this thought in mind and properly covers this reality.
Powered by a CR 2025 3V Coin Battery, this ideal tracking device for Senior Citizens can last more than 6 solid months of daily use without needing a charge.
For the aged user thus, he/she would simply need to pick up the device and attach it to the body or clothing article and the tracking will proceed in earnest.
Who would not appreciate such simplicity, especially the elderly?
2. Ease of Use/Operation: We have devotedly written about the aged and Seniors for quite some time now.
In those years of service, if there is anything we have learnt and mastered, it is that the elderly do not appreciate being bothered with anything that makes their lives harder, especially if it can be easier.
This is why, we instantly fell in love with the clip design of the Fitbit Zip.
The clip, positioned right at the back of the tracker holds on tightly unto any article of clothing it is attached on; so tight it holds that it is virtually impossible for it for fall off during brisk walking or even running (if the Senior using it still has desire to run).
However, attaching the tracker to the users article of clothing takes barely a second – without thought. It can thus be carried on the person without any conscious thought and is so easy and fun that even a 130 year old man or woman would never complain about it.
What other feature could excite more than to see that your tracker (or the tracker of your loved, elderly one) is made in such a manner as to make your (or the life of your loved one) actually fun and a ton more easier?
3. Water Resistance: This is not the first time we are getting excited over the ability of a fitness tracker to actually resist water if it is to be used by an elderly person.
However, this is certainly one function we will never cease getting excited about for the sheer reason that many fitness trackers used by Senior Citizens are damaged well before they have been put to productive use because the user forgot to remove it at the right time or a grand kid dropped it right into water!
With the Fitness Zip however, getting soaked in the rain, fording a stream, going out in the snow and actual immersion in water will not cut down the lifespan of the device or affect its function: it’s practically water-proof!
This function certainly made us love it to the skies 🙂
4. Ability to Motivate the Senior User: The whole world relies on motivation and inspiration to make things great.
While this is most apparent in kids, we all embrace our curious minds and personalities once we begin to grow old. It is in this area that the Fitbit Zip has proved itself to be a tracker that clearly understands the needs and deepest psychological needs of its primary audience, the elderly.
Programmed in a manner that facilitates goal setting, the viewing of progress and the earning of badges, this is sure a HUGE motivation for many elderly users who may simply be interested in earning a badge by meeting up to the set goal, thereby brilliantly helping themselves in the process by always keeping fit.
Personally, we spent a healthy amount of time setting goals, viewing our progress and then, breaking our own records without much ado. This, is not just fun, it is personally gratifying and will certainly keep the Seniors who will be using the tracker not just interested but SUPER interested.
5. Easier to Carry Discreetly: While many users do not exactly care how they carry their fitness trackers, most Seniors do…and for many of such Seniors, the wrist is way too obvious, especially for cultures that still look at fitness devices/gadgets as unnecessary signs or appendages of wealth.
Fortunately, the Fitbit Zip can be carried discreetly or exactly as the user deems fit.
For example, the tracker can be placed in a pocket, hooked unto a hip pocket or attached to a dress; the options are virtually unlimited.
6. Solid, Super Sturdy Design: The last trait that endears us completely to the Fitbit Zip is its solid, super sturdy design.
Designed to last a lifetime (if need be), the Fitbit Zip is solid and properly built. This can be observed at first sight or felt when one touches it.
The device is built to withstand falls and accidental drops and in most direct accidents, may quite well come out with minimal damages, except, maybe, a scratch on its body.
It is quite rare to find any tracker this sturdy and solidly built-in the market today. For Seniors thus, this is just the right fit, any day or time.
What we Don’t Like about the Fitbit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker
Unfortunately, there is nothing that we do not love about the Fitbit Zip; we absolutely adore this fitness tracker and we sincerely believe it to one of the very best available in the market today for Senior Citizens.
Fitbit Charge HR
However, the Charge HR is not mentioned here today because it is manufactured by Fitbit or because it is one of the best-selling trackers of all time. Rather, it makes the list here because it easily qualifies as one of the most suitable/best trackers for Seniors.
Unlike the Vivofit above, the Charge HR has the unique ability to monitor sleep and wake the user up with a silent alarm, facilitated by a soft, gentle vibration.
The fitness tracker itself tracks workouts, heart rate, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes and steps taken. Aside these sweet functions, it is also important to note that the device is sweat, rain and slash-proof, covering the basic occurrences of everyday life and use an aged man or woman is likely to encounter.
The charge HR also syncs automatically and wirelessly to tablets, computers and 150+ leading iOS, Android and Windows smartphones using Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, giving the user the rare ability to be able to glimpse the insight only comprehensive data affords.
What we Love about the Fitbit Charge HR
The Fitbit Charge HR comes standard with many exciting and captivating features that will make any Senior interested in technology and the process of tracking fitness in an instant.
However, its most impressive features are documented right here:
1. Water Resistance: Before we proceed, it is a smart idea to inform you that the water resistance level of the Charge HR is not total or as impressive as the Vivofit or Zip.
However, sweat, splashes and rain are covered. For an aged man or woman who us using a fitness tracker to monitor fitness metrics, this is a very important feature and is well better than ‘no resistance’ models.
This is the very first feature we love about this tracker we seriously believe belongs to the best fitness trackers for Seniors. The other features and specs will not disappoint you too 🙂
2. Ability to Sync Wirelessly: Most tracking devices sync with either others – or computers…this is therefore no interesting feature in its self.
However, there are few fitness tracking devices that sync wirelessly (via Bluetooth) to accommodate PCs, tablets and more importantly, over 150 leading smartphones!
This is exactly what the Charge HR brilliantly and effortlessly achieves.
Synced to these wide array of devices and gadgets, Seniors who are passionate about technology will definitely enjoy better insights into their overall physical performance and importantly, will be able to either pat themselves for performing brilliantly or will adjust accordingly as the need arises.
3. Exercise Mode Feature: There is also another very important feature that we particularly love and sincerely appreciate on the Charge HR: the exercise mode feature.
Here, workouts can be recorded to get real-time and importantly, see post workout summaries.
Now, this may seem like another feature that is irrelevant or simply inserted to bother the aged user. This is far from it.
This is because, Seniors, more than anyone else, need constant exercise to keep fit. Unfortunately, because of their constantly failing health and reduced immunity, are often forced to remain inactive so as not to fall prey to the numerous challenges and health hazards that come with a wrong exercise routine.
The ‘Exercise Mode’ makes certain that real live stats and post workout summaries are got in a flash.
With these stats, it is easy to share with an instructor or any one else who is knowledgeable about exercise routines and get classic and profitable advice, suitable for their age in life.
With this function, it is impossible to keep on exercising as an elderly man or woman without guidance: you will certainly know exactly what to do and the right amount that would prove just great for awesome results.
4. Auto Sleep and Silent Alarm Function: The Charge HR comes with a 4th feature that we are thoroughly in love with: the unique ability of the Charge HR to proceed on auto sleep mode and its silent alarm function.
The auto sleep function ushers in a tracking session that monitors how well and sound you sleep, reporting every bit of information and giving the elderly user the unique opportunity to change either sleep patterns or alter the variables that account for unproductive sleep.
The silent alarm function works in vibration mode to wake only the wearer and not anyone else in the room. This means that, if grandpa is fast asleep in the same room with grandma, only the Senior actually wearing the fitness exercise will be alerted when the silent alarm goes off.
This, certainly, is a feature we passionately love 🙂
What we Don’t Like about the Charge HR
The Charge HR is certainly one of the best fitness trackers for Seniors available today. However, that doesn’t meant that we particularly love all its features…
Here are the points about the exercise band that we do not particularly like:
1. The Band Could be Better Made: While the band on the Charge HR is good, there is certainly room for improvement.
Some users of the activity tracker have opined that, unless used very carefully, the band is likely to be needing a replacement after the first year of use.
However, the majority of users seem not to have this problem though: it all bears down to the overall maintenance culture of the user, in our estimation.
If the band is thus going to last, you’ll need to take proper care of it – or ensure that the elderly user who will be needing the tracker actually takes care of it to ensure longevity.
2. Tiny Device Screen: The screen of the Charge HR is tiny and displays only the most basic information on-screen.
This means that, you will need to sync it up with another device: a smart phone, a tablet or a PC if the Senior who will be relying on it is going to make sense out of the entire unit.
This will naturally be a challenge for the elderly who are not particularly in love with smart devices and would rather have nothing to do with smart tech. If you are buying thus, make certain that the elderly user who will be relying on the tracking device is comfortable with technology and smart devices 🙂
Conclusion: The 3 Best Fitness Trackers for Seniors – Which Should you Choose?
At just under 5,000 words, this is quite a detailed and thorough article. At this length, you sure need a quick summary to enable you decide or make up your mind, here we go:
- If you are a Senior (or are shopping for a Senior) and would rather avoid technology at all cost and would appreciate a water-proof fitness bracelet that would not require recharging for a whole year, your best bet is the Garmin Vivofit.
- If you are an elderly person (or are shopping for an elderly person) and would not want a fitness tracker that goes on the wrist, hate technology and would appreciate at a water-proof tracker that does not require a charge for at least 6 months, the Fitbit Zip is the right choice for you.
- However, if you are an aged person (or are shopping for an aged person) who is comfortable with technology, would not mind charging his/her activity tracker every week and is comfortable around smart phones, tablets and PCs, then, the Fitbit Charge HR is the way to go.
We wish you happy shopping 🙂