senior man walking on beachA few weeks ago, I was discussing my blog with a physical therapist friend of mine. He works with geriatric patients at a rehab facility. Anyway, we got around to talking about how important it is for seniors to stay aware of what’s going on with their bodies. If they recognized small changes in their health, some diseases could be caught earlier. At one point, he jokingly mentioned that he wished there was a magic pill. One that once ingested, could monitor the health of the seniors on a 24/7 basis.

That got me thinking.  And gave me an idea for research and another article. In my research, I learned more about fitness trackers. In some ways, these are the digital equivalent of that magic pill. But the best fitness trackers for seniors and the elderly cannot be too complicated. If they are easy to use, they could be ideal for seniors to keep track of their health.

Fitness Trackers Suitable for the Elderly

As people grow older, there is a need to monitor certain health conditions on a regular basis. Things like blood pressure, cholesterol, heart conditions and sugar levels are the most common. Tracking your own behavior with immediate and constructive feedback helps change their bad habits. Fitness trackers like Fitbits are great tools for this. But, because they are usually marketed for people leading a very active and adventurous lifestyle.  So, we forget that they are really just a way to monitor your health and well-being.

Using a fitness tracker is a very easy way for seniors to maintain their health levels in top condition at all times. In fact, for seniors, using a fitness tracking device helps track their current well-being levels. Maybe more importantly though, they help predict a decline in health caused by aging. By storing previous readings and comparing them to current ones, downward trends are caught early.

elderly woman in a fitness class
Courtesy Wikicommons, Bill Branson, Photographer

Choosing a Fitness Tracker for Seniors

Of course, not just any fitness tracker will do for monitoring senior health. The senior using it needs to buy into the process and understand what is going on. There are a few key features to consider:

  • The most important point for a fitness tracker for seniors is ease of use. Let’s face it. Some seniors aren’t used to technologies like this. If using it becomes a hassle, they won’t use it!
  • A big, easy to read display is also a key factor. Seniors with failing eyesight need to read the numbers easily and without strain.
  • Most fitness bands have an activity tracker. These keep track of the number of calories burned in a day. This is important to see how active the user is during the day.
  • Sleep tracking feature available on many trackers allows users to track how long they sleep. They can also score the quality of their sleep.
  • Water and sweat resistant bands are important. This keeps seniors from having to take them on and off for showers. It also keeps the tracker from getting damaged if they get caught in the rain or have an accidental spill of a drink.
  • Finally, look for an energy-efficient fitness tracker with a long-lasting battery. The fewer times the tracker has to come on and off, the better!

My Recommendations for a Fitness Tracker

While doing my research, I found out that there are hundreds of fitness trackers available today. And the price range is crazy – from less than $20 to over a $1,000! It also became quite clear that not all trackers are suitable for seniors. Some have too much technology. Many have too many features. A lot of them have those tiny, little buttons for accessing features. These buttons are usually too small for many seniors to see and press. However, there were a few trackers that did stand out. They offer the right combination of features with ease of use. Their navigation is simple which makes them suitable for the elderly. Here are the ones that made my list.

Comparison Chart: Best Fitness Trackers for the  Seniors and Elderly

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large (US Version)
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large (US Version)
X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large (US Version)
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large (US Version)
X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...
Easy to use fitness tracker with heart rate monitor and sleep tracker that automatically tracks without having to be activated.
Good looking fitness tracker with heart rate monitor and sleep tracker that doubles as a large faced watch.
Heart rate monitor Blood...Simple to use fitness tracker that looks like a watch but monitors several different health
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large (US Version)
Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large (US Version)
Easy to use fitness tracker with heart rate monitor and sleep tracker that automatically tracks without having to be activated.
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large (US Version)
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large (US Version)
Good looking fitness tracker with heart rate monitor and sleep tracker that doubles as a large faced watch.
X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...
X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...
Heart rate monitor Blood...Simple to use fitness tracker that looks like a watch but monitors several different health

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-17 at 01:42 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Tracker

X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...

B01K9S260EThe successor to the Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Charge 2 is ideal for the elderly. It really packs in a lot of features to get seniors motivated to take care of their health. The device has a large, easy to see LED screen, which is a big plus for seniors. It even keeps you connected with your calls, messages and calendar alerts when paired with a cell phone. This keeps you from missing out on any important notifications. It has 24 hours tracking, sleep tracking, and will even send you a reminder if you have been inactive for too long.

What to Like about the Fitbit Charge 2

  • Heart-rate monitor to inform you how fast your heart is beating, or how rigorous your workout has been
  • Smart Track feature to track important activities automatically even if you forget to activate the tracking manually
  • Supervises cardio fitness levels to let you understand what areas you need to improve on
  • Multi-sport tracking to track specific exercises like Yoga, Weight Training, Running, etc.
  • Clear, LED display for clear reading
  • Simple navigation for ease of use and understanding
  • Long battery life for less frequent charging
  • Changeable wristbands to enhance personal style
X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...
189 Reviews
X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...
  • Various Features: Time & Date Display, Movement Monitor(steps, distance, calories), Blood pressure monitor, Heart rate monitor, Sleep monitor, Find my...
  • IP67 Waterproof: Washing your hands, getting caught in the rain will not damage X-CHENG Fitness Tracker watch.
  • Fashional Design: Circular HD Display and Touch Screen Surrounded by Metal Rim;Health Bracelet Charges fast and lasts very long; About 1.18 inch OLED...
  • For Android / Iphone Smartphones: Compatible with iOS 8.0 or above & Android 4.4 or above, and Bluetooth 4.0. It can support all the function in the...
  • X-CHENG Fitness Tracker makes keeping active and reaching your goals effortless. It goes wherever you go, offering a perfect tracking on your fitness....

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-17 at 01:42 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch

Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large (US Version)

The Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch doubles as both a  wristwatch as well as a fitness tracker. It comes packed with a ton of features to enhance your fitness levels and overall health. The touchscreen LCD color display gives step by step workout and fitness instructions right on the screen. It accurately tracks your activity, heart-rate and overall fitness levels. This tracker also saves up to 7 days of motion data and the heart rate at one-second intervals. Powered by a Li-Po battery, the watch runs for about 5 days on a single charge. And, charging only takes about 2 hours.

What to Like about the Fitbit Blaze

  • Larger display than most other trackers for easy to see readings and navigation
  • Tracks activity all day long
  • Sleep tracking for more restful sleep
  • Doubles up as a good looking watch to be a little more discreet.
  • Silent alarms for discreet notifications of inactivity
  • Display and menus are activated by simply touching the screen
  • Features on-screen workouts that walk you through each step
  • On-screen call, text and calendar alerts when synced with a cell phone
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large (US Version)
8053 Reviews
Fitbit Blaze Smart Fitness Watch, Black, Silver, Large (US Version)
  • See simplified heart rate zones for quickly checking exercise intensity during workouts with PurePulse(TM) continuous, wrist-based heart rate...
  • Use multi-sport tracking to track runs, cardio, cross-training, biking and more. Effortlessly and automatically record other workouts to your...
  • Enable connected GPS to map your routes and see run stats like pace and duration on display (when your phone is nearby)
  • Track steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes. Stay connected with call, text & calendar alerts and notifications from...

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-17 at 01:42 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


X-CHENG Fitness Tracker

Timex Men's Easy Reader Large Dial Watch

The X-Cheng Fitness Tracker features a lightweight and comfortable fit plus elegant looks. It has a circular, rather chunky looking display but it’s easy to see. The band is a rubber strap which can be tightened on a wrist of any size. This wrist watch/tracker combination device features an easy to read screen that displays your steps walked, calories, blood pressure, walking distance and sleep quality. It remains on standby for 7 days with a battery that stays charged for several days.

What to Like about the X-Cheng Fitness Tracker

  • Looks like a stylish watch for more discreet use
  • Main screen displays the time, day and date in large easy to see print
  • Movement monitor records steps, distance & calories burned
  • Checks and records blood pressure
  • Waterproof to handle rains and splashes with ease
  • Compatible with iOS as well as Android smartphones for call and text notifications
X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...
189 Reviews
X-CHENG Fitness Tracker- Activity Monitor and Sleeping Management - Heart rate monitor Blood...
  • Various Features: Time & Date Display, Movement Monitor(steps, distance, calories), Blood pressure monitor, Heart rate monitor, Sleep monitor, Find my...
  • IP67 Waterproof: Washing your hands, getting caught in the rain will not damage X-CHENG Fitness Tracker watch.
  • Fashional Design: Circular HD Display and Touch Screen Surrounded by Metal Rim;Health Bracelet Charges fast and lasts very long; About 1.18 inch OLED...
  • For Android / Iphone Smartphones: Compatible with iOS 8.0 or above & Android 4.4 or above, and Bluetooth 4.0. It can support all the function in the...
  • X-CHENG Fitness Tracker makes keeping active and reaching your goals effortless. It goes wherever you go, offering a perfect tracking on your fitness....

Images, Product Info, and Ratings from Amazon Product Advertising API - Last update on 2018-01-17 at 01:42 - contains affiliate links (see footer).


Summary and Recommendations

Seniors are turning to exercise for increasing strength, improving their balance, and overall health. Many take walks, ride bicycles, use treadmills and even use exercise bikes. As you can see, fitness trackers help seniors by tracking more than their activity. Some models also monitor heart rate, sleep patterns, and even blood pressure. For elderly who also use a cell phone, these little gizmos even give call and text notifications.

Just make sure that you find one that is easy for seniors to use. They are going to want a simple interface with large display and print. Buttons and menu controls should be easy to understand, activate, and use. Keeping these in mind will make help ensure the senior actually use the device.