I’ve shared my opinion on wearable fitness trackers (like a fitbit) before and how much I advise against wearing them. These devices emit high levels of electromagnetic frequency radiation very close to your body, often all day and even while you sleep.
But you can argue that this type of fitness device has many health benefits as well. So to keep you safe from absorbing radiation while still using a fitness tracker, I have found the Oura Ring to be the best option.
The Oura ring is a small titanium fitness ring. It is the only wearable activity tracking and health tracking technology device designed with EMF safety for its customers in mind, and therefore the safest product on the market.
Like other tracker products out there, it tracks sleep, heart rate, breathing, body temperature, activity and rest time and more.
Not a lot of people know about this tracker, so here is an in-depth look at the Oura Ring, and why I think it is the best option when it comes to Bluetooth activity trackers.
Sidenote: I don’t have sponsorship from Oura. I just like the ring. Everything here (like on all my pages) is simply my own opinion.
How Do these Devices Work?
You may have used one before, but do you really know how fitness trackers work? There are two main features for them to function; sensors and algorithms.
Basically, they measure motion and new models include a three-axis accelerometer to track your movement in all directions.
Some wearables also have a gyroscope which measures orientation and rotation and an altimeter that tracks altitude.
This measures things like how high you climbed and the number of flights of stairs you’ve gone up and down.
After it collects data from the sensors, it transforms it into activity and steps. These measurements calculate your sleep quality and the amount and calories burned.
There are also more complicated sensors that measure your heart rate, blood oxygen level, heart rate variability, breathing, etc.
Do We Really Need Wearable Fitness Trackers?
So I may be one of the few people who have never worn one of these gadgets. Although the idea of them intrigues me, I have stayed away because of the EMF radiation and my own paranoia about data privacy.
Besides, humans have survived throughout history without knowing how many steps they’ve taken, what their heart rate averages on a given day, or how many calories they have burned. So do we really need them?
People may not need them but they are useful for many reasons. It’s pretty amazing that a small device you can wear on your wrist or finger can provide you with so much information about your health and activity.
It can be motivating for people struggling with heart health, their weight, and exercise and can push athletes further in their training.
It helps us to achieve our goals and be better versions of ourselves. Here are some of the many benefits of wearing fitness trackers.
Celebrate Hitting Targets
If you’ve worn one you know about the 10,000 steps target. Health scientists have determined that 10,000 steps a day is ideal for your health, just like 6-8 glasses of water or sleeping 7-9 hours of sleep is best for your recovery and functioning. These numbers give you a clear goal to work towards.
I believe most devices give you a notification (like a vibration and stars or something) if you hit those targets. I know my mom likes to share when she gets her celebration.
It also helps you to analyze and dig deeper into why you’re not meeting those targets. Say, for your sleep data, if you’re not getting 8 hours sleep nightly, you can figure out why that’s happening.
Maybe you didn’t even realize you weren’t getting that much sleep in the first place and that it takes a lot longer for you to fall asleep.
Doing sleep tracking can help you to make changes in your habits and environment – like nightly meditation and reducing blue lights before bed.
The data will then help you to see if your changes have helped you hit those targets. And I imagine those changes will have a positive effect on every aspect of your life.
Having clear visual targets and reinforcement for reaching those numbers helps to connect your actions and habits to your health and lifestyle, creating positive change.
Improves Your Motivation
A 2019 study in The American Journal of Medicine found that fitness trackers improve motivation to exercise and give better progress and results (compared to not wearing one).
Just wearing the devices increased participants’ workouts, performance, and weight loss, which improved their body fat and muscle mass.
There’s also research showing that having wearable metrics helps focus and work towards specific goals, instead of just trying to improve your overall health and fitness.
According to the fitness/science experts, this is a more effective way of making measurable changes in your life.
Sleep Data Insights
Wearing a fit bit or smartwatch is a much better way to analyze your sleep patterns, as opposed to doing a sleep study in a hospital or clinic where you’re observed by strangers and hooked up to machines.
Not only is it more comfortable and faster, it’s also a lot cheaper (depending on where you live).
Sleep is so important for your health and well-being. It’s when your body heals, recovers, clears out all those EMF toxins, and repairs itself on a cellular level.
It’s when brain changes and development occur. Can you tell I’m passionate about quality sleep?
Sleep data will tell you how much sleep you’re getting, how long it takes you to fall asleep (sleep latency), how much you’re waking during the night, and your sleep trends.
It’s pretty amazing technology. It can tell you a lot about your dream cycles too.
Wearing Fitness Trackers Does Come with Risks
The biggest downfall of these devices is the Bluetooth radiation emitted by most of these trackers. Bluetooth (a form of radiofrequency radiation) is used to wireless connect the data to your phone or ipad.
By doing so, it emits EMFs and since you wear it on your skin, your body directly absorbs those EMFs.
And since you wear it most of the day and night, you’re being exposed to a lot of radiation for a prolonged period of time.
The Apple watch, android model, and wearable trackers all have the same problem. It’s recommended that EMF devices are kept at a distance from your body.
You have to wear it to function, but you don’t want the EMF exposure, especially when the point of the device is to improve your health. A little counterproductive, right? So, what do you do? I believe the solution is an Oura Ring.
What is an Oura Ring?
The Oura Ring is a titanium ring that resembles a wedding band. It’s a state-of-the-art health and activity tracker just like the fitness trackers you are familiar with except that it goes on your finger instead of your wrist and it emits minimal EMF radiation.
There’s a lot of buzz around this new gadget and it has become very popular with celebrities like Jennifer Anniston, Prince Harry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Diplo, Kim Kardashian, among others, and professional athletes. Tons of people are ditching their high end smartwatches for the Oura Ring.
Features and Benefits
The Oura Ring is pretty fancy. The ring is lighter than a conventional ring, weighing 4-6 grams. Made of titanium, it’s lightweight and durable, and has a battery life of 4 to 7 days.
A free sizing kit is available to make sure you have the best and most comfortable size.
It uses research-grade sensors that take body temperature and deeper measurement readings. A reading from the arteries in your finger is a lot more accurate than the top of your wrist.
The data gets converted into three types of scores that you can see in your mobile app and answer three different questions about your life. The scores include;
The sleep score analyzes how well you sleep and is one of the most sophisticated algorithms on the market, according to experts in the field.
It meets the gold standard for the sleep laboratory test (PSG) and collects data on total sleep, sleep efficacy, sleep latency, REM, and deep sleep.
You get feedback from the app based on your information, on how to wind down at night, based on the nights you’ve had the best scores.
The activity scores help you to see if you are balancing your activity, rest, and inactivity periods, giving you a full picture of how your lifestyle affects your health/body. It helps you to set and achieve activities and training goals.
It measures activity similar to other trackers (in steps), in that the more you move, the higher your score. You can also choose whether to monitor calorie burn.
In your account, you will see a daily movement graph which shows low-intensity movement (ie walking) and high-intensity periods.
Recovery time looks at your balance of high and low intensity activity, to prevent injury and allow for muscle and mental recovery. This is great for experienced athletes who put a lot of stress on their body.
The readiness score combines your sleep and activity stats to calculate your readiness for the day. It’s unique to you and gives you insight or a prediction about what kind of day you’re ready for (one with big challenges and intense activity or a recovery day). It’s based on three areas; body stress, activity, and sleep.
Heart Rate Variability (HRV)
This option is unique to Oura Rings. HRV measures the regularity and irregularity of your heart rate between the pulses. It’s a possible indicator of stress (both emotional and physical).
It’s a sign of your training capacity, how your activity (like running) is affecting your recovery period, and can help you to manage your stress.
Female Cycles and Fertility
An amazing feature for women, far superior to other devices, is the ability to monitor, see changes in your cycle and better understand them. It’s also helpful with fertility tracking.
You can monitor your temperature for conception. Oura has actually partnered with a companion app, Natural Cycles, a type of birth control app and is being used in innovative research on fertility.
There are so many features of this ring, you’re going to have to check out the manufacturer website. However just briefly this ring;
- Comes in silver, gold, stealth, or black
- Charges in 20-80 minutes
- Can sync to Apple Health or Google Fit
- Works with ios and android apps in many languages
- measures Sp02 (blood oxygen) levels while you sleep
- Water resistant to 100m (Don’t think I’d go swimming with it)
- Helps monitor hydration
- Comes with a one year limited warranty
- You gain a community with your membership
- Oura Teams; availale for professional teams, companies, and organizations
What Matters Most – EMF Emissions
Researchers confirm that the Oura Ring generation 3 is EMF safe. It emits significantly lower RF radiation than other devices, and actually emits a fraction of the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) standards.
Testing shows it emits 0.0003 W/kg while the acceptable limit is 2.0 W/kg for the head and body.
An amazing feature is that you can control Bluetooth functioning through Bluetooth Low-Energy mode.
You can choose for the Bluetooth to only be active for short periods during the day, syncing your data for you but not pinging a signal out constantly. Even better, you can disconnect entirely in Airplane mode completly eliminating your emissions.
Even though your Oura ring is monitoring you, you are absorbing minimal EMF radiation for very short periods of time, and hopefully you set it up so that it won’t emit any while you sleep.
I would recommend that you keep it in Airplane mode as much as possible to be as low EMF as possible.
Wrapping it Up
There’s nothing like this ring. I’ve never been a fan of fitness trackers and even I want this device.
Oura gives you so much insight into your own patterns of behaviour, sleep, and activity, helping you to make healthier choices and improve your lifestyle. This is valuable information for anyone.
If you’re going to use one, then the best choice is a low EMF option to keep you as safe and healthy as possible. There’s enough radiation around us everyday, you want to try and take steps to minimize the exposure you can control, starting with anything close to your body, especially worn for long periods of time.