For decades technology has made our day-to-day life easier. Whether it is using a GPS, searching up something, or tracking your fitness. While some believe that technology will be the downfall of all humankind because it ruins their health and makes them lazy.
However, that’s not completely true. Yes, technology and all these gadgets tend to affect some people, but others use it to their advantage.
Whether it’s Apple or Android, almost every brand and every gadget have updates and applications that allow people to track their fitness record.
Many people (including me) start as a wake-up call to show you how much you lack in the fitness area. This wake-up call starts to act as a source of motivation for some. And then from there, tracking distance, steps, all the calories burned, etc., becomes a habit. Easy right?
For some, yes, for others, not so much. These apps and gadgets tend to cater to people without any disabilities. So, others, mainly people in wheelchairs, are at a disadvantage because they cannot track their fitness, which is not fair, especially for people who use wheelchairs for the long term or even for their entire life.
Even with so much development, a lot of technology is still not catered towards people with disabilities and people who use wheelchairs. Like, COME ON, it is 2021, what are you waiting for.
But if you are here, you are clearly looking for fitness tracker apps accessible to people with wheelchairs. So do not worry, I got you.
This article will go through some of the best fitness tracker applications and gadgets for people who use wheelchairs. Remember, all of these come with pros and cons, so do not expect something perfect (because there REALLY isn’t any yet!)
Best Fitness Tracking Apps and Gadgets for People That Use Wheelchair
1. Wheelchair Fitness Using Apple Watch for Apple Users
Even after a decade, Apple has been the leading technology brand of this generation. From iPhones to iPads and Apple watches, they have it all. But today, we will focus on its famous Apple Watch.
People love this gadget as it makes everything a lot easier, especially for those people with a tight schedule that hate fiddling with a phone. However, the Apple Watch is also great for those people who are interested in fitness.
It tracks all your physical activity in real-time by acting as a pedometer. Whether you are running, swimming, hiking, or rowing, it does not matter. All the stats are shown in real-time, which means that the time elapsed, calories burned, your steps, your distance, and your heartbeat are displayed while exercising.
But one downside of the Apple Watch was that it was not fit for people who use wheelchairs. But they redeemed themselves by backtracking AFTER they released their Apple Watch. They spent more than three thousand hours and more than three hundred wheelchair participants to make this device accessible to people who use wheelchairs.
All the users had to do was download the Watch OS3 operating system that had added features and fitness trackers for wheelchair users.
No hardware updates were required for this update, and the installation of the operating system is all free. The users can put in their seat’s size and wheel size, so the data collected can be more accurate to users specifically. One of the best parts about this system is that it also measures your calories burned based on the terrain.
The calories burned shown on the watch when on a smooth road will be different from that of a person using their wheelchair on rocky terrain. The system also notices the difference between uphill and downhill efforts. Adding to this, it also had a GPS to calculate the route.
Whether you need your phone for the GPS or not depends on the series you have. For example, people with series one need their iPhone for the GPS to work, whereas people with series two can use their GPS without their iPhone.
Although all these features are great and accessible for people who use wheelchairs (I mean, they also changed their alerting message from ‘Time to stand!’ to ‘Time to Role!’, Which makes a lot more sense in this context), an Apple Watch is really expensive.
Meaning not everyone can afford it. So, it is not really practical to say that people should buy an Apple Watch just for its wheelchair feature. On the other hand, if you plan to get an Apple Watch and want something accessible for wheelchair users, this is a great pick.
You can read more about it in my post – Best Smartwatch for wheelchair users.
2. Fitbit Flex 2 and Application For iPhone And Android Users
The next one on our list is the Fitbit Flex, which is the watch and the Fitbit application, available for Android as well as Apple users. Granted, this isn’t THE MOST well-rounded and not the best app for fitness for people who use wheelchairs.
BUT it is something that helps many wheelchair users in their day-to-day life and their fitness, so it is safe to say that it is a viable option. Fitbit flex counts any movement as a ‘step,’ which also includes any arm movement used to move the wheelchair.
Your sleep pattern, distance moved, calories burned, and all the active minutes can be monitored through the Fitbit app.
Again, although many wheelchair users are satisfied with its features, others say that Fitbit can use some updates, so they fit and be more accessible to wheelchair users.
As of now, there haven’t been any updates to do so. But even with that, Fitbit is a great mid-range AND an affordable option for iPhone as well as Android users.
3. BrioGo For Apple and Android Users
BrioGo is an application that is SPECIFICALLY made for people who use a manual wheelchair. Many of its features are the same as those of the Apple Watch, except in BrioGo, you do not have to break your bank to access them.
With this app, you can calculate the basic yet essential measures, which include the distance, the rolling time, the calories burned, the effort, and speed.
You can also route map for every session you have, and if it is a route you plan on taking again, you can save it and even share it with your friends and family if you want to.
Moreover, BrioGo has focused on the fact that this one app fits the needs of each individual WITHOUT being ‘one size fits all. Meaning you can add your personal profile details, such as your weight and height so that the analytical data can fit you more accurately.
Adding to this, you can also add details about your wheelchair. This feature once again makes all the data collected more accurate and more specific to you.
So here you go. Three different options. All with their ups and downs. Although the market is vast and diverse, it is only recently that manufacturers have decided to cater to a market other than non-disabled people.
Although it will take a lot of time to see gadgets and applications as commonly as you see for non-disabled people, people with disabilities, and those who use wheelchairs, all good things come with time.
4. Invictus active trainer
The Invictus active trainer is a revolutionary fitness device and app for wheelchair users to improve their strength, balance, and mobility.
It is basically a treadmill for wheelchairs with a great interactive app that will record your fitness stats, compare them with other users, and will show you beautiful virtual tours for a perfect fitness experience.
Don’t just sit on the sidelines. Get more out of your life with Invictus active.
Today, you are struggling to find fitness trackers accessible to wheelchair users, who knows, tomorrow you might be struggling to choose from all the available options. So meanwhile, stay fit and stay healthy.