Image source: Max Pixel

Get your kids moving: best fitness trackers for teenagers

Carrying extra weight and obesity are a major public health concern in developed countries such as the US. This is not a problem just for adults but for the younger generation, as well.

The latest statistics show that obesity prevalence totaled 18.5% amongst Americans aged 2-19 years. This goes up to more than one in five for the teenage generation.

Essential reading: Top 10 fitness trackers for kids 2109

Physical activity guidelines suggest that teens need at least an hour of cardio each day. This is not really that much. They can easily get a good heart workout by playing sports, walking, dancing or even kicking a footbag in the driveway!

Kids sometimes lose interest in physical activity as they enter their teen years. Let’s face it – with the advent of technology there are lots of distractions.

You can help your teen get active by buying them a fitness tracker. Educate them early on the importance of health and fitness and this can help prevent heart disease, diabetes and other medical problems later in life. If you have a fitness tracker, too, it might even promote some healthy competition.

Here are some good choices if you’re looking for a fitness band for your teen.

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Fitbit Inspire HR | Xiaomi Mi Band 5Garmin Vivosmart 4Withings GoFitbit Ace Amazfit Bip S

Fitbit Inspire HR

The new Fitbit Inspire and Inspire HR are for corporate customers only
Image source: Fitbit

Inspire HR is a budget-friendly fitness device that comes from the most popular activity band maker in the world. The gizmo doesn’t bring too much new to the table, but takes everything offered by its predecessors and packages it in a slim and attractive form factor.

All the essentials are there. This includes steps, distance, calories, heart rate and sleep tracking (Light, Deep, REM). The only thing that’s missing is an altimeter for counting floors. Not a deal-breaker for most.

For those that are interested, Inspire HR will even link to the GPS on the smartphone to provide more precise data on pace and distance when running. Smart functionality ends at call, text and calendar notifications so your kids have no excuse they’ve not seen your message.

The water-resistant device is a good option for those starting to track fitness as it covers the basics without overloading with data. It’s sturdy and does what it does well. Inspire HR is probably one of the best value for money fitness trackers in Fitbit’s range right now.

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Xiaomi Mi Band 5

Huami reveals Xiaomi Mi Band 5 is already in development
Image source: Xiaomi

Mi Band 5 is the updated version of one of the most popular budget fitness bands around. The much anticipated wearable has been selling like hot cakes since its launch a few weeks ago.

The look of the fourth generation tracker is very similar to that of its predecessor, with a module that can be removed from the strap. However, now the wearable comes with a larger, AMOLED display.

Mi Band gets the basics right and with its lightweight, slick, water-resistant design and fitness tracking smarts. There are some non-fitness functions, too, such as smartphone messages, Caller ID, weather, alarm and more. The fitness tracker has awesome battery life and can stay on for up to 20 days between charges.

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Garmin Vivosmart 4

Vivosmart 4 is another great option. This fitness band is perhaps the most advanced on this list due to its impressive list of sensors. The thing will even monitor blood oxygen levels at night, allowing you to better understand your kids sleep quality. This can potentially be used to identify sleep conditions such as apnea, although Garmin will not diagnose these.

Which Garmin fitness tracker should you buy?
Image source: Garmin

The other features include the usual step, distance, calories, floors, heart rate and advanced sleep tracking. Like many other Garmin wearables Vivosmart 4 will also keep tabs on stress, VO2 Max, reps and sets in the gym and connect to a smartphone’s GPS.

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Amazon | Garmin*

Withings Go

Withings Go: the affordable fitness tracker starts shipping

This is another little wearable that fits in the budget category. It was designed to assist just about everyone in embracing activity tracking.

A little different than other devices in this article, Withings Go comes in the guise of a device that can be worn on the wrist, the pocket, the belt or the shoe. Simply attach it and you are set to go.

The most novel aspect of the gizmo is its e-Ink screen. This is always-on to show a user’s progress via 88 segments with the middle icon switching from a stick person to a star when your daily goal is achieved. When you press on the center of the display the tracker will switch to a standard watch display.

There’s automatic 24/7 activity tracking for walking, running, swimming and sleeping, as well as recognition of a variety of daily activities. At night, Go can distinguish between light and deep sleep cycles.

Another benefit of the e-Ink screen is that its not very power-hungry. Withings Go runs on a coin cell battery that you’ll only need to replace once every 8 months.

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Amazon | Withings*

Fitbit Ace

This is an option that can be used for younger children, too, considering it is designed for those 8 and above. Fitbit’s first ever fitness tracker for kids automatically tracks steps, active minutes, sleep and encourages the younger generation to be active. No heart rate monitor, though.

Because it has an OLED tap display, your kids can see their progress in real time. Fitbit’s family account lets parent customize what their little ones can see on the screen. It also provides parents with the option to choose who their kids can connect with.

What is the best Fitbit for your kids?
Image source: Fitbit

For a bit of extra motivation, the tracker spits out rewards for moving with celebratory messages and fun, collectible badges. Measuring only 15mm in width, the shower-proof device has up to 5 days of battery life and comes in a choice of vibrant colors.

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Amazfit Bip S

CES 2020: The best health & fitness wearable tech we saw this week
Amazfit Bip S | Image source: Huami


The Amazfit Bip S looks very much like it’s very popular predecessor. The upgrades include proper water resistance (5 ATM), an improved GPS chip and heart rate monitor, new exercise modes and more.

Battery life, the big selling point of its predecessor, is still awesome at 30 days (22 hours with GPS switched on), and the watch is even lighter now coming in at just 31 grams. There’s a transflective color display on-board which has the benefit of having decent readability in bright, outside conditions, and being always on.

You’ll struggle to find a smartwatch that packs so much for such a low price.

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