Would you like to encourage your senior loved one to be more active? Are you looking for a suitable wearable tracker that can help them easily, accurately, and reliably track their activity levels? If so, you have come to the right place. In this article, you will learn more about fitness trackers for seniors and which is the best tracker for older adults.
According to research findings, senior adults can benefit greatly from the increased and consistent activity and exercise levels. However, to ensure that the fitness tracker you choose for your senior loved one actually gets used, the tracker should be accurate, easy to use, and comfortable to wear – among other necessary features.
As you can see, finding the right fitness tracker for your elderly loved one can be somewhat of a challenge. To help you make the best buying decision, after shopping around, we have come up with a comprehensive guide to finding the best fitness trackers for seniors, complete with several recommended trackers plus a list of the best options that seniors should consider.
Without wasting any time, read on below to find some of the best fitness trackers available out there for seniors.
Video Guide: Fitness Trackers and Pedometers for Seniors
What Are The Best Fitness Trackers for Seniors?
Here are my top recommended fitness trackers for older adults, whether you are looking for a tracker for yourself or a senior you love!
1. Vive Health Mach V Fitness Tracker Watch
The Vive Health Mach V Tracker Watch is a comprehensive activity and fitness tracker that monitors and records key statistics of a senior’s health. It accurately measures steps, sleep patterns, and exercise levels.
This is a great choice for seniors who want just basic fitness and activity monitoring. This watch has a simple touch interface and records steps, distance, and calories burned. It also records your pulse, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels for cardiovascular health.
All this data too stored in the app for identifying problems and patterns and syncs with the accompanying app that is available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
The sleep monitor lets you know how much sleep you get during the night and even breaks it down into light and deep sleep times. Perhaps more importantly, it records how much time you spend actually sleeping versus tossing and turning at night.
Finally, the watch will last seven days between charges and quickly recharges in only 2 hours. I like that it has a magnetic charger, so older adults don’t have to use a plug to charge it. Just set the watch on the charger, which grabs hold using magnets and begins charging.
The Mach V is water-resistant and can be worn in the shower, when washing your hands, etc. So, no reason to worry about misplacing it because you should only need to take it off for charging. It comes in 2 colors and with a 60-day Satisfaction-Guarantee on this product so you can try it risk-free.
As the name suggests, the Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch is a powerful, accurate, multifunctional fitness tracker for seniors. It’s a great tracker for seniors that want to stay active and monitor their fitness while still enjoying an unrivaled level of connectivity.
Designed to look like a sleek watch, this Fitbit fitness tracker comes with a built-in GPS, automatic sleep tracking, continuous heart rate monitor, and text and call notification features, among others. This is one of the best choices for seniors looking for a feature-rich tracker – as it gives them access to all the information and notifications they might need – right on their wrists.
One of the best selling points for seniors of the Fitbit Surge Superwatch is its clear and easy-to-read OLED touchscreen display. Seniors can easily read all their fitness information on the screen, on the go, while also enjoying convenient and easy-to-use touchscreen controls.
Furthermore, if your senior loved one engages in various exercises, such as walking, hiking, jogging, and even riding an indoor exercise bike, you will be happy to note that this tracker comes with multi-sport support.
Simply put, the Fitbit Superwatch has everything you need to track your fitness packed into one sleek package!
However, it is worth mentioning the fact that this tracker requires a bit more care and cleaning than some of the other options described here.
If you are looking for the best overall fitness trackers for seniors, you should consider the Garmin Forerunner 35. This stylish-looking fitness tracker comes with various useful features, perfectly suited to active seniors, and a large and easy-to-read screen.
You would want your senior loved one to have this fitness tracker for many reasons. For starters, the watch is considered to be one of the most accurate step counters out there. Your loved one will definitely enjoy the accuracy of this high-quality tracker.
Secondly, the Garmin Forerunner 35 also supports a variety of sports modes. As such, seniors can use it to track their steps and activity levels when engaging in other sports, including cycling and even swimming. The watch also has a heart rate monitoring function for those that want one.
The large, easy-to-read screen is perhaps the best reason that the Forerunner 35 is the best fitness tracker for seniors. Reading all your fitness information is simple and effortless with this tracker. More importantly, the tracker comes with a panic button feature that makes it possible for seniors to call for help in case they are injured by sending an alert with their location to a specified contact.
This fitness tracker comes with one of the best battery lives – it will go for up to seven days between charges!
However, it is important to mention that this tracker does not support text and call notifications like some of the alternatives described in this article.
For seniors and older adults who prefer a compact, lightweight, and low profile wrist-worn fitness tracker, the Garmin Vivosmart HR Activity tracker is one of the best. In addition to being an accurate fitness tracker with two separate move reminders, the tracker also comes with various features that further enhance its usefulness for seniors, especially those who want a more feature-rich tracker.
Bearing a sleek low profile design, this tracker comes with a clear, easy-to-read display that supports horizontal and vertical modes. The screen can be easily read during the day, in direct sunlight, and also comes with a backlight feature for easy reading in dark or poorly lit conditions. While the screen is smaller thanks to the device’s low profile design, setting it to the horizontal display makes the print larger for easier viewing.
To make for easier use, the Garmin Vivosmart HR fitness watch can be set only to display the features the user is interested in. This means that you can set it only to show the fitness information that the senior user wants to see, thus, minimizing any chance of confusion.
Last but not least, the tracker also supports various smartwatch features, including displaying text and call notifications and weather information.
A multi-functional fitness tracking smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 6 is definitely one of the best tracker options available to seniors. This feature-rich tracker comes in a sleek design that will make it feel more like a fashion accessory than a fitness tracker. Simply put, your elderly loved one will love wearing and using this product!
As one of the best fitness trackers available today, this product has much going for it. To begin with, this fitness tracking smartwatch comes with a crystal clear touchscreen display that is easy to read, thanks to its large size. The touchscreen feature on the always-on display is highly responsive, making it easier for the user to swipe through various screens. This effortless control makes it a great option for seniors with weak or arthritic fingers.
As previously mentioned, the Apple Watch 6 is a multi-functional tracker that will help a senior user track various activities, including walking, jogging, running, cycling, and dancing, among other exercises. As such, your loved one can track their activity levels regardless of their preferred activity. To ensure that the user gets their best activity level, the watch also comes with sedentary alerts that remind seniors when they need to move around.
Other important features found on this smartwatch include a fall detector with an emergency calling feature, calling and messaging, and a variety of health-focused apps.
On the flip side, the Apple Watch Series 6 is quite costly, and buying it for your senior loved one will save you a few hundred dollars. This tracker is also considered to have a relatively shorter battery life.
Another lightweight, compact, low profile fitness tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4 Tracker is a great option for seniors who consider the watch-like options described here too bulky for their liking. This sleek tracker is considered to be highly accurate when it comes to tracking the wearer’s fitness levels and heart rate.
This Fitbit waterproof tracker model comes with a built-in GPS that tracks your movements all day and the ability to track the temperature of your skin.
While it is true that the Fitbit Charge 4 is one of the options with the least amount of features, it has a few important selling points that make it one of the best options for seniors. For starters, this tracker comes with an easy-to-read screen. While it seems narrower than some of the options on this list, the screen is wider than other similar options. The screen characters are also larger and clearer thanks to the high contrast.
This tracker, which has the most important fitness tracking features, also comes with a long-lasting battery that will serve you for just over seven days in between charges – depending on usage.
An affordable option to some of the costly multi-functional fitness trackers out there, the Uwatch3 Tracker comes packed with all the features you would want in a fitness tracking smartwatch. With the tracker on your wrist, you can track your performance in various activities, including walking and running. Your senior loved one will also enjoy the watch’s connectivity to their smartphone, allowing them to check call and text notifications conveniently. This tracker also comes with a heart rate monitor and sleep tracker.
To accurately track your activity levels, the tracker connects to your smartphone’s GPS on all 9 of this tracker’s activity modes.
A large and easily readable touchscreen display is one of the best selling points of this tracker. With the large display, seniors can clearly see the screen characters. The watch also has an easy-to-use brightness adjustment setting that helps seniors set the display’s brightness to their preferred level. Furthermore, touchscreen controls make it fairly easy to use.
Depending on the usage level, the Uwatch3 tracker battery can serve you for up to ten days on a single charge. This means that your loved one does not have to keep worrying about the battery dying all the time.
To further sweeten the deal, this tracker offers a one-year money-back or replacement guarantee on this product.
Another budget option, the WYZE Smart Watch Tracker, has all the features you would want in an accurate tracker at a fraction of the price of most of the alternatives mentioned in this article. This waterproof tracker can count steps, monitor heart rate and sleep, and have several useful smartwatch features.
Right off the bat, you can see that this tracker comes with a massive 1.75-inch TFT touchscreen. This means that your senior loved one will always easily make out the display characters, from the fitness information to call, text, and even email notifications sent to the watch.
On top of the highly accurate step counter, this tracker also comes with an activity reminder, sleep monitor, heart rate monitor, and weather notification feature, among others. The watch also has a massive battery that will last about 60 days in standby mode.
To match the user’s preferences and style, the WYZE smartwatch, which is iOS and Android compatible, comes with a customizable watch face feature that can be controlled via the Wyze app. As such, you can set the watch to display the information that your elderly loved one actually prefers to have readily available.
However, it is worth noting that this product is quite chunky, especially given the large screen. And even though it is built from a highly durable and lightweight aluminum alloy case and band material, seniors who are not accustomed to wearing watches may need some time to get used to wearing it.
If you aren’t looking for a full-fledged fitness tracker, click here to see my list of the best pedometers for seniors.
A Note To Seniors With A Shuffling Gait
It is important to note that seniors who walk with a shuffling gait might encounter issues when using fitness trackers. Simply put, it is hard for fitness trackers to pick up on seniors’ movements that barely lift their feet off the ground when walking. To register a step, most of the accelerometers used on these devices must pick up a given level of up-and-down foot movement.
To overcome this issue, it is recommended that you opt for step counters that are GPS enabled. This feature enables the devices to register the distance covered by the user, even though the step count may be slightly off. With this added feature, seniors can monitor their activity levels in more than one way.
Read about the best shoes for shuffling gait in this guide.
How to Choose the Best Fitness Tracker for a Senior
While it is hard to pick out a fitness tracker that is great for everyone, it is important that you find one that matches the exact needs of seniors. You should talk to your loved one and find out if they have any preferences. Involving them in the selection process also helps get their buy-in, ensuring that they are willing to use the tracker you end up getting.
Here are some of the considerations to keep in mind when choosing fitness trackers for seniors.
Should Seniors Buy a Separate Tracker Or a Smartwatch With Fitness Functions?
Some smartwatches also double as fitness trackers. If your loved one would like a fitness tracker that also gives them the convenience and connectivity of a smartwatch, then consider a smartwatch as the best option. However, if seniors only want a device that tracks their fitness levels, then a simpler tracker may be the best option.
Look for Fitness Trackers That Are Easy to Use
If you want to make sure that seniors use the tracker you buy, get something that is easy to use. Fitness trackers are highly advanced devices, and seniors may not be used to such technologies. To minimize any confusion during use, the best choice is easy to operate with simple controls. Seniors should be able to access the features they want to use with minimal hassle.
Seniors and Older Adults Will Appreciate a Tracker That Has A Large Display
Advanced age and weakened eyesight go hand in hand. An easy-to-read display is one of the best features in any tracker designed for use by seniors. As such, be sure to look for a tracker that comes with a large display and crystal-clear characters. The screen should also be easy to read outdoors in direct sunlight and indoors or in low-light conditions. Simple and straightforward screen settings also help make devices more readable.
Look For A Tracker That Will Prompt a Senior to Move
Even the slightest exercise levels can be monitored using an activity tracker. To increase the likelihood of seniors meeting their daily fitness and exercise goals, look for a tracker that comes with an activity reminder. These reminders signal whenever the user needs to engage in an activity, even a simple walk around the living room, after being sedentary for too long.
Fitness Trackers With Extended Battery Life Make Charging Easier
If you want your loved one to wear their new activity tracker most of the time, it must come with a long-lasting battery. Otherwise, some seniors may forget to put it back on if it needs to be removed regularly for charging purposes. A tracker that requires regular charging is also quite inconvenient.
Other Fitness Tracker Features That Are Important for Seniors
In addition to tracking a user’s activity levels, a good tracker should also track other metrics, including sleep and heart rate. Both of these metrics give the best information on seniors’ overall health. For elderly people who suffer from balance issues, you should look for a device that also comes with fall detection capabilities. Such devices not only detect falls but also send an alert to an emergency contact for immediate assistance. This can greatly improve a senior’s safety at home and in the community.
Seniors Can Wear Water Resistant Trackers Longer
For durability purposes, look for a water-resistant device. The best tracking devices will be able to continue working perfectly, even if the wearer is caught in the rain, spills a drink on it, or even takes a shower while still wearing it. Both the device and attached bands should be waterproof for the best level of protection. And, they won’t forget to put it back on if they don’t have to take it off in the first place.
Find a Tracker That Fits in Your Budget
It is always important to consider the price of the devices that you are looking at, especially if you are working on a budget. When shopping around, you will discover both expensive and affordable fitness trackers for seniors. While the more expensive options are more feature rich and considered to be more reliable, you can still find a tracker that comes with the specific features you are looking for at the best price you can afford
Use an Activity Tracker to Encourage Overall Fitness
Seniors use a variety of activities to exercise and improve their fitness and overall health. With the right fitness tracker, seniors can track their performance. The best devices also prompt seniors to start moving after being in a sedentary position for too long. Furthermore, devices with smartwatch features make the work of checking call, text, and even email notifications simple and effortless by sending them directly to their wrist.
With the above information in mind, you should be able to find the right fitness tracker for seniors that they will actually want to use!
Do you have a fitness tracker you used with a senior or elderly person? Feel free to share your recommendations and opinions in the comments below. If you think someone you know would benefit from this article, email or share it on your social media page with your comments!
40 thoughts on “Best Fitness Trackers For Seniors: Choosing a Fitness Tracker a Senior Will Actually Use”
Just passing this along for others considering buying one of these:
There may be an effectiveness limit related to stride-length. I just purchased a FitBit Charge 2 for my 87-year-old father. He walks both with and without a cane, but he has a short-stride, shuffling step. I can’t get the FitBit to register any of his steps, even setting the stride-length down to 2 inches.
It will record his trips up/down stairs, but I don’t think it’s worth the cost just for that and heart-rate. Also, although you can change the daily-steps goal, you can’t change the hourly one, and 250 is a lot for him.
I’m hesitant to try the other two on this list, because I’m afraid they will have the same problem. It may be that there isn’t a good technological solution for him.
Hello Blair – thanks for bringing this to my attention and for helping my readers. What you have said makes sense His steps may not be enough to trigger the accelerometer in these devices so that his steps are counted. I am going to research this further and I will report back what I find. Thanks again – Scott
I second Blair’s comment. My mom is 88 and moves with a walker. Despite what the salesman said (!), the Fitbit Charge 2 didn’t register her steps. I’m looking for a tracker that will give her that gentle encouragement to get out of her chair and take a turn around the room, and maybe give her the reward that Fitbits give you when you reach your step goal.
Hi Suzanne – thanks for your comment. I have been researching this and have even checked with some of my therapist friends but I have not found a tracker I can recommend for a senior with a shuffling gait. (I updated this guide too). I did have one therapist say that they felt the pendant-worn trackers seemed to work better overall because they are free to move even if the arm is stationary like when someone uses a walker. But, I haven’t been able to verify this. Thanks again to you and Blair for bringing this to my attention so that I can share it with other people in the same situation.
I too am looking for a step-counter type device for my 83 yo mother. She uses a walker and we need to be able to encourage her to walk more by being able to count her steps plus a counter will give her a solid view of what she is really doing. She thinks she is walking a lot but in actuality she isn’t. She uses both a walker and a cane so the short, shuffle steps are an issue with her too. Hoping you have some luck so we can find one for her too.
Thanks Elaine – I am on the hunt for one – I will report back here when I find the solution to this problem. If anyone out there knows of one that works, don’t be shy – let us know! –Scott
I work with a 92 year old woman and she has a pedometer from 1985 it’s small and metal. I was shocked to see it because I didn’t know they were even around until the 2000s.
My problem is trying to set it up due to arthritic fingers. What is the easiest pedometer to set up for an 80 year old with severe arthritis?
Hello Mary – I recently updated this article so I am not sure if I had the 2 new pedometers on it when you asked this question. But, the Ozo model above would be the best pedometer above for arthritic fingers. The buttons are larger than most and easy to press – they require very little force to engage them. Hope this helps! – Scott
Are you aware of an application for iPhones that sends an alert to a family member if the owner of the phone has not used it for 24 hours? I live alone and that phone inactivity would mean I was not functioning properly. Thanks!
Hi Ann – I’ve looked for about 30 minutes now and haven’t found anything. I’ve searched the App store, Google, Quora, and the Apple website – nothing! Have you found anything. That sounds like an awesome idea that someone should develop.
Ok. So I’m 33, but have Postural orthostatic tachycardia and likely ehlers danlos syndrome. I found this because I’m looking for an accurate step counter. I definitely move gingerly and have a slight shuffle gait when doing housework. But I want those steps to count because it’s hard work. Hopefully you are able to find a winner and can share if you have! I have a Garmin vivo smart hr+ and I know it’s missing steps!
Hi Scott, thanks for a great review. Would be great if you could consider reviewing including some of the less well-known brands that are also on the market. I’m thinking e.g. Xiaomi etc. not because I am affiliated with them, but their price point is usually half that of the top brands, but in general seem to offer some decent functionality for the money. At a time when the economy is not doing a great, better value for money is also on people’s minds too. I am on the look out for a fitnerr tracker for my older relatives, hence came across your post. Thanks.
Hi Flic! I am working on a similar thing right now… I have an article in the works about less expensive pedometer options for seniors who just want to count steps. Hope to have it up by the end of the week and I’ll post the link here for you. Thanks for reading my article about senior-friendly fitness trackers and for your compliments.!
Thanks Scott, will look out for your next article and would also like to suggest swimming as a separate expansion/section for your excellent reviews, as assume seniors are more likely to gravitate towards activities that are less harsh on dodgy joints. I also have to apologise for the appalling grammar/typos in my last comment *facepalm*. I am currently looking at The Amazfit per your recommendation 🙂 thanks again!
Hi, what a great review, and great discussion! My parents liked to take long walks for fitness, but now years have passed, and on some days it is difficult to even take one step. I was looking for info about these fitness trackers, thinking about that a tracker might give some encouragement. Those short steps might be an issue, as said here.
I need to get a tracker for my fitness regime. This was useful information.
Good! I try to provide as much detailed information as I can. Let me know if you end up buying a fitness tracker and which one you get!
Thank you for this review, I’ve been looking into getting a tracker and this will help a lot.
Awesome Micheline! Make sure to check back and let me know which one you end up getting!
Awesome pedometers that will help seniors stay fit this year.
Great Darren – glad you liked the reviews!
Really like the idea of this for my elderly neighbor who needs something to realize how little activity he is getting most days
Thanks Thomas – hope this info helps you find the right tracker to help you senior neighbor boost his activity. It is very important to stay active at any age!
These activity trackers are so easy to set up !
Thanks Heather – I hope the article helped you!
This would be great for this senior that wants to get into a walking routine
You are right Lillian. Keeping seniors active is very important for their overall health – physical and mental! Check out my guide to walking shoes for seniors too! Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for the info. I use my phone but sure wonder about it’s accuracy. Maybe one I am wearing and don’t have to remember to turn on would be the way to go.
Phones can be helpful but I agree with you about the accuracy. Personally, when I am exercising, I prefer to leave my phone in the car or home. It’s too distracting when I want to concentrate on my activity. That’s why I use a separate wrist activity tracker. Thanks for reading the guide.
Thank you for the chance to learn more about pedometers for seniors
No problem Donna! Thanks for stopping by!
Ive been doing research on trackers, your article helped a lot. thank you
You are very welcome!
I am looking for a fitness tracker, thank you for an informative article.
You are welcome!
I have a senior in my life that is looking for an easy fitness tracker to use. I enjoyed reading your article and suggestions.
Glad the information was helpful Jennifer!
MY DAUGHTER HAS THE OLD FIT BIT THAT YOU PUT IN A DEAL THANKS FOR ALL THE TRACKERS YOU POSTED
Now this is something that I really need. It would really help. Thanks