How it Works
Simply enter your weight, clip the BioTrainer to your waistband and go...it will measure 'horizontal and vertical body acceleration,' a fancy way of saying your movements, and then convert those movements into calories burned. The display will show your calories burned, activity units used or the timer/clock, depending on which one you want to track. You can also reverse the display so you can see the numbers while you're still on the move.
Though the website professes the BioTrainer is highly accurate, it's hard to know exactly how accurate it is. Though there have been studies done, one showed the BioTrainer overestimated calories burned while another found it was fairly accurate. There is an interesting (and hard to read) study at their site if you're interested in the nitty gritty of how it works.
Monitoring Your Activity
When in the Activity Mode, the display will show three bars, each equal to 2000 Activity Units. If you're wondering what Activity Units are, you can read about it here and I wish you luck in deciphering the formulas they used here. To make it easy, I'll just say that each bar corresponds to 50 calories. Everytime you burn 50 calories, a bar disappears.
When in Calorie Mode, the display will show how many calories you've burned from pretty much any movements you make. It also shows the activity bars as well.
Time in Motion
In this mode, you can view the clock or a timer that starts and stops according to your movements.
The BioTrainer holds up to 9 days of activity and there's also an online service you can sign up for to track your calories in/calories out along with a nutritional program where you can log your calories (the subscription service was not reviewed). The online subscription service is free for a month after you buy a BioTrainer and $9.95 per month after that.
The Bottom Line
- Easy to program: You set the clock, enter your weight and you're done. The buttons are intuitive (click on the 'Calorie' button and, amazingly, you'll see how many calories you've burned!)
- A great wake-up call. We often overestimate how many calories we burn with exercise and, though the BioTrainer sometimes seemed a little off (telling me I burned over 900 calories during a 50-minute run, which I find hard to believe) it can be a real eye-opener to see how many calories you burn throughout the day, especially if you sit a lot.
- Motivating. One morning, the BioTrainer told me I burned 9 calories during an hour of writing and occasional stretching. That just killed me. As a result, I wear the BioTrainer every day and get up much more often just to see that number climb.
- Reasonably Priced. At $49.99, this is a quality purchase if you want new ways to monitor your calories.