Fitness wearables have exploded over the past several years. With devices that can go on our wrist, our chest, our heads, ears, and just about every other part of our body, we certainly have an abundance of things we, as fitness professionals, can measure for our clients. Now that we have the capabilities to measure so many biometrics the next logical questions are; (1) how accurate are these measurements, and (2) even if we can measure it, does it really matter.
To answer these two questions (and many more) we’re joined by Geoff Burns in episode 46. Geoff is a researcher with the Exercise & Sports Science Initiative at the University of Michigan. His research focuses specifically on a number of the wearables commercially available on the market today. Both validating existing devices and building out the technologies of the future. As a researcher, but also a competitive endurance athlete, Geoff brings a unique perspective to this discussion.
As we’ll discuss in the episode, although there has been a proliferation of fitness wearables recently there are limitations to the accuracy of these devices (for some activities more than others). Furthermore, even when there is a high degree of accuracy, the data may not be practically relevant depending on the population you’re working with and what you want to do with the data. Given that the pace of wearable fitness technology development is not slowing any time soon, this is an incredibly valuable discussion. The fitness professional of the future must understand the strengths and weaknesses of tools at their disposal. Don’t miss this master class on wearable fitness tech with Geoff, great insights that will shift your perspective on the wearables ecosystem.
Our Guest: Geoff Burns, Ph.D
Geoff was a recent postdoctoral research fellow with Exercise & Sports Science Initiative at the University of Michigan. He just began a new position with the USOPC to serve as a Sports Physiologist for Team USA athletes and coaches at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.
He received his Ph.D in Kinesiology, studying under Ron Zernicke in the Michigan Performance Research Lab. His work has focused on running and biomechanics, leveraging both a mathematical modeling perspective as well as applied study of patterns within high-performing individuals. Before beginning this work, he received degrees in biomedical engineering here at the University of Michigan and subsequently worked in a variety of engineering roles in the automotive, medical device, and orthopedic research fields. Outside the lab, he also trains and competes as a professional ultramarathon runner and has represented the United States at world championships over the 50km and 100km distances.