Before we start looking into the fitness tracker element of this post we want to say how much we appreciate the work that nurses do around the world.
Nursing is a rewarding and challenging career that comes with its fair share of highs and lows. The satisfaction that comes from helping others is tempered by the downsides. Often, you may face difficult situations involving patients, colleagues, emotions. Couple this with long hours, stress and extended periods of being on your feet that involve physical aspects of moving people and equipment.
What if you could monitor some of these aspects of your job with a fitness tracker? We’ve taken a look at the options currently out there to try and find the 3 best fitness trackers for nurses
Fitness trackers for nurses break into 2 different categories:-
- Worn on the wrist where the tracker is similar to an old fashioned wrist watch. Price determines the features you get. Typically, as a minimum you get step tracking and calories burnt.
- Clip on where the fitness tracker is worn either round the belt loop. These are useful if you have a policy such as in the UK where nothing should be worn below the elbow. Typically, these have a more restricted feature set.
Fitness trackers for nurses
For nurses, the following features will help you get the most out of your fitness tracker:-
- Reasonable battery life to cope with long shifts
- If wrist worn an always on display so that you can measure a patient’s vitals easily without needing to touch the watch if you have gloves on
- A fitness tracker that is good for both your home life and your work life
- Ability to measure metrics such as steps taken throughout shifts
1. Fitbit Versa 2
The successor to the highly successful Fitbit Versa. The Versa 2 builds on the solid foundations with some additional functionality. Key for nurses, will be the ability to configure an always on display. Although, this will require more frequent charging. If not using the always on display battery life is around 4-6 days. Other key features are a heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, 24/7 step tracking, waterproof, smart phone notifications and if you have an Android phone the ability to respond to messages via Alexa.
If you’re not concerned with owning the latest versions the original Versa is still an excellent value for money fitness tracker. It is a hybrid of smart watches and an activity tracker whilst still not being as expensive as an Apple Watch or as advanced as a Fitbit Ionic. Water resistant with features like a heart rate monitor and sleep tracking which you can monitor through the Fitbit app.
You can also customise it using custom watch faces available from the Fitbit App store such as this one called Medical Professional. It is specifically designed to make it easy for medical professionals to take vitals.
2. Garmin Vivomove HR
The Garmin Vivomove HR falls into what are know as hybrid smartwatches. The advantage is that the watch face looks like a traditional watch with a seconds hand. In reality, the watch face is actually a touch screen giving you access to more advanced features such as all day stress tracking, smart phone notifications and silent alarms. The watch face is a great idea but there are some reports that in certain light conditions it can be difficult to see.
If you’re not sure the Garmin Vivomove is for you we look at some other options in our post fitness trackers that look like watches
3. Fitbit Zip
The Fitbit Zip is small compact and limited in functionality towards some of the wrist worn trackers. However, if you need to comply with a bare below the elbows policy it is a good choice and the best Fitbit for nurses. The Zip fits in a silicone sleeve which you wear on your person typically over your belt loop.
Functionally, it is very simple with most of the data being available on the screen. Tapping on the screen will cycle between different stats including distance travelled, the time, steps taken and calories burnt (all between midnight to midnight). Due to its simplicity it uses a watch battery giving a battery life of 4-6 months. The downside of this is you miss out on a lot of features of the other trackers such as alarms, sleep tracking and heart rate monitoring. It also isn’t waterproof.
If you’re not sure about the Fitbit Zip check out alternative suggestions in our post on the best clip on fitness trackers.
Last update on 2021-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API