Getting your child a fitness tracker is a fun way to encourage keeping active. Children aged 5 to 18 should be getting at least one hour of exercise every day but many don’t, not least because watching TV and playing video games is often more appealing.
If your child is interested in tech and often wants to ‘have a go’ with your fitness tracker, you might consider buying them a gadget of their own.
Like the adult versions, kids’ fitness trackers monitor movement, recording your child’s daily step count and nudging them when they’ve been sitting still for too long. They offer the option to compete against friends in sporty challenges and win digital badges for reaching goals. Many also track sleep quality.
Smaller sizing aside, the key difference is that most children’s fitness trackers don’t track calories, so you won’t need to worry about them developing an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. They also won’t reveal the location of the wearer.
The data can be synced to a smartphone belonging to either the child or their parent, so that they can see how active they have been that day and monitor their progress.
How we test
We asked three children aged six, seven and eight, to wear each fitness tracker for a week at a time. The testers and their parents were asked to comment on comfort, simplicity of use, accuracy, battery life and any extra features.