Along with the launch of Charge 5, Fitbit has announced something called a Daily Readiness Score. Here’s everything you need to know about the new metric.
Charge is Fitbit’s best selling fitness band range. With each successive generation it introduces better health and fitness functionality. The fifth generation Charge brings bigger improvements than some of the previous iterations. Amongst these are a beautiful colour display, a ECG sensor and a EDA sensor.
Essential reading: Fitbit Charge 5 vs Charge 4 – should you upgrade?
There is nothing particularly new about the sensors as we’ve seen them on Sense. But this is their debut on a Fitbit activity band. What is new is a metric called the Daily Readiness Score.
Daily Readiness Score explained
The clue is in the name. The Daily Readings Score assesses how fatigued you are on a particular day. It lets you know whether you are ready to exercise or if you should take it easy that particular day. You will be able to see the metric each and every morning after you wake up.
As important as exercise is, getting adequate rest is just as crucial. Rest allows your body to recover – it is the best solution for injury prevention. You will even find that your fitness results will improve more as compared to working out all the time. This has been proven time and time again by scientific research. Pushing yourself to the limit each and every day is not a good idea. Make sure you are increasing your exercise load gradually.
The Readiness metric is on a 100 point scale. A high number is an indicator that you are ready to engage in more intense activities that day. You can make the decision yourself on what exercise to pick, or let Charge 5 spit out suggestions. For example – on a day where you are not sufficiently recovered, the device might recommend some light stretching or yoga. It all depends on your Daily Readiness Score. The hope is the new metric will help you optimise your fitness routine.
Fitbit will even go so far as to provide you with a daily Active Zone minutes goal based on your Score and fitness level. That way you can gradually build on this and improve your baseline.
How the Daily Readiness Score is calculated
You’re probably wondering how the metric is calculated. Fitbit actually taps into several different readings to arrive at these estimates.
- Activity: the level of your activity level is important. Here we are not talking about a simple step count. It goes beyond that. The Daily Readiness Metric takes all your recent activity and will assess your 24/7 heart rate readings to estimate your exertion. Recommendations are that you should be exercising at a moderate to intense level at least 3 times per week. But you don’t want to overdo it. Fitbit calculates your normal exertion levels and then tracks whether you are above or below that.
- Heart rate variability (HRV): a number of Fitbits have the ability to measure HRV. This is an assessment of the time interval between your heart beats. Rather counter-intuitively, the more irregular this interval the less tired you are. This is another metric where you have a base-line level. Fitbit will figure out what this is and compare with your daily HRV values.
- Recent sleep: We all know sleep is important. It allows our body and mind to recharge. Some people aren’t aware of the risks of sleep deficiency. Even with limited or poor-quality sleep, they may still think that they can function well. But this is not the case. Although 7-9 hours is recommended, we are all different. So Fitbit will, once again, compare your daily sleep against your personal baseline.
Once the update goes live you’ll be able to add a new card to the Fitbit smartphone app dashboard showing your Readiness. Click on that and it will take you through to the Readiness page. This will allow you to view the daily and weekly values. It will also show on a sliding scale how the score was influenced by your Activity level, Recent Sleep and HRV.
What about the competition?
The metric sounds comparable to Garmin’s Body Battery. It even uses pretty much the same metrics to arrive the values. Polar’s Nightly Recharge is also something along these lines. There is clearly lots of competition out there and Fitbit is, in a sense, playing catch-up here. Having said that, the Apple Watch does not yet have a Readiness estimate.
Some press articles are even going as far as saying that Fitbit is going after Whoop with this new metric. We wouldn’t go that far. Popular amongst professional athletes, Whoop is a wearable that is more focused on estimating your recovery than your activity. To this end it collects data on heart rate, HRV, electro-dermal activity, ambient temperature and 3D acceleration 100 times per second 24 hours per day 7 days per week. The high sampling rate allows it to dish out statistics with great accuracy.
But this comes at a cost. You are required to fork out for a monthly subscription of $30 for a minimum of 6 months. Fitbit presents a much more cost effective solution to the problem.
The feature will be bundled into Fitbit Premium
The Daily Readiness Score will be available in 18 languages when it makes its debut in the coming weeks. The good news is that will not just be reserved for Fitbit Charge 5 owners. Those with a Sense, Versa 2 and 3, Inspire 2 and Luxe will also be able to access the readings. All of these have the ability to track HRV.
But it is not all good news. The bad news is that you will need a Premium Subscription to access the Daily Readiness Score. This currently costs $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year.
Fitbit Charge 5
To sweeten the deal, a Charge 5 purchase includes a 6 month Fitbit Premium Subscription. You can pre-order it on Fitbit’s website and Amazon in a number of different colour options.
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