Fitbit EMF Radiation—What Are The Risks?
Fitbits are very popular devices that are meant to make it easier to be more active and get in shape. There are countless benefits of wearing one and they offer users a wide range of features. With that being said, a question has begun to come up in the minds of some of those that are wearing them or are thinking about purchasing one. Do Fitbits emit radiation? And if so, can this cause any harmful effects to the health of the person wearing one?
In this article, we will take a closer look at Fitbits and discuss whether or not they emit radiation, as well as if radiation, in general, is harmful to you. We’ll also go over some tips and tricks for protecting yourself against radiation so that you feel more confident if and when you are exposed to it.
Do Fitbits Emit EMF Radiation?
So first of all, what is radiation? There are a few different types of radiation, but the one we’ll be referring to in this article is called EMF radiation. EMF radiation is short for electromagnetic fields or electromagnetic frequency radiation. Emf radiation is naturally occurring within our environment. It can be found being emitted from the sun, our ionosphere, and is constantly being emitted from the planet itself.
Being a naturally occurring phenomenon, you would think at first glance that EMF radiation is not something to really be concerned about, and in most cases, it’s not.
However, with the rise in our daily use of technology and modern devices, we are being exposed to EMF radiation much more often and at higher levels than what we would naturally be exposed to from the natural sources.
Sources of unnaturally occurring EMF radiation include household appliances such as refrigerators, desktop computers, laptops, microwaves, televisions, radios, baby monitors, and so many others.
EMF Radiation is broken into three types: electric field, magnetic field, and radio frequency.
Just about any electronic is going to emit some EMF radiation, electric or magnetic field. While things that are able to connect to wifi or work wirelessly usually emit some RF radiation as well as electric and magnetic field.
Now, this isn’t meant to cause alarm. In many cases, the amount of emf radiation that these devices and appliances emit isn’t enough to cause harm or worry. Although, it’s still good to be aware of how much radiation is being emitted by certain things that you frequently come in contact with or plan to be nearby often, including Fitbits.
And that brings us to the question, “do Fitbits emit radiation?”. In a short answer, yes they do. Fitbits emit EMF radiation in the forms of radio frequency, magnetic field, and electric field radiation. Although it emits only a moderate amount of EMF radiation, the extremely close proximity to the body does make it potentially harmful.
Now, it’s important to understand how much radiation is being emitted from these devices and what this means for you and your health.
Fitbit watches emit non-ionizing rf and emf radiation. Prolonged exposure to either of these types of radiation has been shown in some cases to increase the risk of developing cancer.
Dangers of EMF Radiation
There are actually quite a few dangers when it comes to overexposure to emf radiation. Some of those include damage to the reproductive system, cardiovascular health effects, damage to the functioning of the nervous system, decrease in immune function, vision impairment, and others.
One of the major components associated with EMF radiation effects is inflammation. This tends to be the catalyst for many other illnesses and diseases to develop. EMF radiation, when absorbed, creates a very inflammatory response within the body.
It is now known that EMF radiation creates oxidative stress within cells that can lead to an overproduction of free radicals. As we know, free radicals do harm to the body when in excess, which can lead to premature aging as well as the development of various diseases.
EMF radiation is also known to cause a process known as thermal heating within the body which is the heating of your internal organs and cells that cannot physically be felt. This heating does damage on a cellular level which over time can cause damage to sensitive organs such as the eyes and brain.
Chronic exposure to thermal heating goes on to create chronic inflammation in the body which paves the way for inflammatory-based diseases to develop.
A few examples of inflammatory-based diseases include Crohn’s disease, arthritis, stomach ulcers, and various autoimmune diseases.
Many of the effects of EMF radiation seem to take effect over time as the organs and cells take on cumulative damage. This is why most people that use devices like cell phones and smartwatches that emit radiation, don’t seem to notice any issues or health effects right away.
The effects are cumulative, meaning they build up over time. Our bodies are resilient and can, therefore, take on a lot of damage before we start to notice the effects as the radiation damage accumulates.
Since these symptoms take a while before they begin to show themselves, individuals and doctors may have a difficult time pinpointing the root cause of a disease that has developed as a result of being exposed to emf radiation overtime.
Do Fitbits Affect Your Sleep?
Now that we know that Fitbits do in fact emit radiation, it is important to understand how that radiation can have an impact on your sleep. If you intend to wear your Fitbit to sleep every night, then this is something that you definitely should be aware of. Let’s go over some of the effects that emf radiation exposure can have on one’s quality of sleep.
As we know, sleep is a critical part of the body’s renewal system. Getting a good night’s sleep helps us feel better on so many different levels.
It’s now said that the average person will sleep for approximately 230,000 hours of their lifetime. This is a huge amount of time and it accounts for roughly one-third of your entire life. That alone shows the sheer magnitude of its importance.
Since we’ll spend so much of our lives sleeping, it’s important that we get the best quality of sleep that we can, considering this is our body’s nightly opportunity to repair and revitalize us from our day’s work and stresses. Getting a good night’s sleep can help vastly improve your overall health and wellbeing.
Our productivity, cognition, and concentration levels for the next day are all determined by the amount of time and quality of sleep that we had the night before.
That’s why after a night of interrupted or short duration of sleep, we wake up feeling groggy, unrested, and in some cases, worse than we felt before we even went to sleep.
Wearing a Fitbit smartwatch to bed every night can increase the chances of you waking up feeling unrested or sluggish the next day due to the consistent levels of EMF radiation that is being emitted from it. Emf radiation has been shown to interrupt our natural sleeping patterns.
This happens because your body actually reads the electrical nature of the EMF radiation as a type of light. Sensing this light, your pineal gland produces less melatonin (the hormone that our bodies produce to regulate our sleep and wakefullness), which ultimately causes us to get poor sleep.
In fact the University of Melbourne in Australia found exactly this in a research study, concluding that:
“…the results show the significance of disruption of melatonin due to exposure to weak EMFs, which may possibly lead to long-term health effects in humans.”Study on EMF radiation’s impacts on sleep at the University of Melbourne
Emf exposure at night has been shown to have a greater impact on one’s quality of sleep than exposure during the daytime. This is likely due to the fact that at night, your body is trying to wind down into a resting state, while the emf radiation you’re being exposed to is keeping the body more alert and in an inflamed state.
Poor sleep quality has been linked to lower levels of concentration, irritability, tension, and higher levels of anxiety and depression.
Over time, a lack of good quality sleep can even shorten your lifespan. The poor sleeping habits may also be tied to the fact that emf radiation frequencies interfere with our body’s natural brain waves. Our brain waves can change throughout the day and at night they are in different phases as well.
Theta waves are the brainwaves our brains operate on during the time we are sleep. These can be interrupted by the frequency waves of emf radiation and cause us to wake up more frequently throughout the night.
Theta waves are also produced by the brain during deep meditation, so you may find that while wearing your Fitbit, you find it harder to get into that relaxed, quiet mental state that you would normally get while meditating. Theta waves are also necessary to facilitate learning, increased memory, and intuition.
Can Fitbits Cause Cancer?
Fitbit’s themselves do not cause cancer, but the EMF radiation they emit can definitely pose a risk. You’re not likely to get cancer from being exposed to EMF radiation for a short period of time. The hazard comes in when you are exposed to emf radiation for an extended period of time.
This is unfortunately how we interact with devices like Fitbits. We wear them on our wrists for extended lengths of time. Some users opt to never take them off.
Prolonged usage and exposure to EMF radiation in that manner can increase the likelihood of developing some form of cancer.
Wifi routers, cell towers, and cellphones, for example, emit a far greater amount of emf radiation than fitbits do, making them seem more dangerous.
However, a Fitbit is worn directly on the body for extended lengths of time. This direct contact is what increases the risk of developing cancer from Fitbit watches.
For example, studies have found that in some cases, cellphone usage correlated with the development of a type of cancer called glioma that develops on the same side of the brain as the side that the user most commonly places their cellphone.
This is because the radiation was focused on a single area and overtime led to the development of such cancer. Most people use their phones in direct contact with their head when taking a call.
Now imagine taking your cellphone and holding it to your head all day and all night long, over an extended period of days or weeks. This obviously isn’t practical nor is it safe.
Even though the cellphone may emit higher amounts of radiation than the Fitbit, they both pose the same risks when kept in contact with the body over a prolonged period of time.
SAR Levels and Fitbits
There are regulations put in place regarding safety levels for products and devices emitting EMF radiation that are meant to keep the user safe from being exposed to harmful amounts of emf radiation.
These FCC regulations have been criticized in the past regarding their safety limits for emf radiation, given that they are actually far below what many experts and scientists believe are the true, safe emf exposure levels.
With this in mind, SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, indicates the levels of emf radiation that are absorbed by the body when using any such device that emits emf radiation.
Fitbit as a company uses this data to base the safety levels of its products on. But there are a few issues with SAR measurements that are worth noting if you plan to use a Fitbit and are concerned about it being within the safe level of emf radiation emissions.
The major issue with these regulations is that they aren’t close to what most other nations would consider being the safe limits.
Manufacturers in other countries are held to much higher standards in order to put the safety of their consumers at the forefront of the development of their products.
This helps to minimize the risks posed when using devices that emit emf radiation because they are kept within truly safe levels.
How to Protect Yourself From FitBit EMF Radiation
Now that we’ve gone over many of the issues with devices that emit EMF radiation, including Fitbits, it’s time to take a look at some of the ways in which you can protect yourself from some of the negative effects.
In today’s age, it is nearly impossible to avoid being exposed to at least some level of EMF radiation (which again, is usually not harmful in small amounts).
But there are ways we can increase our protection when we do find ourselves in an environment in which the EMF radiation may be a bit higher or if we want to continue to enjoy the conveniences that devices emitting emf radiation offer us.
It’s important to remember what we talked about earlier, that the real danger of EMF radiation is the cumulative effects. This means that any time we can reduce our exposure we’re also improving our health.
1. Limit Usage
One of the easiest and simplest ways to reduce your exposure to EMF radiation is to simply limit your usage of whichever devices are emitting it, in this case, your Fitbit smartwatch.
Even though Fitbit watches are meant to be worn for extended periods of time, you don’t have to keep yours on continuously in order to get the same benefits of wearing one.
Try wearing your Fitbit only when you’re expecting to do a bit of exercise for the day. If you wear yours to primarily keep track of how many steps you’ve taken throughout the day, consider removing your watch while you’re at home relaxing or on the couch watching TV.
Remember, the issues begin to arise with prolonged exposure to the emf radiation, so wearing your Fitbit for short bursts of time should not cause any issues or cumulative damage.
2. Consider A Digital Pedometor
Another step you can take if you want to avoid being exposed to emf radiation at all, but continue to keep track of your steps, is to use a digital pedometer to track your activity levels instead of a Fitbit.
Sure, they may not have all of the bells and whistles that a Fitbit watch would have, but they are far safer if that is your main concern. They don’t emit emf radiation or Bluetooth, so you’ll be safe to keep them on all the time if you’d like.
For some people, more drastic measures may need to be taken if you’d like to continue using devices that emit emf radiation. There is a disorder that has been gaining more attention recently by the name of EHS or electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
3. Research Protection Products
For those that suffer from this disorder, handling emf producing devices can be noticeably uncomfortable and produce symptoms that can actually be felt by the user.
These individuals are highly sensitive to the effects of emf radiation and experience symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness when handling the devices. In situations like this, it is advisable to use products meant for blocking the radiation from being absorbed by your body, such as emf shielding gloves.
Emf shielding gloves will block the radiation from being absorbed by your body, therefore preventing any pain or discomfort. This will allow you to continuously use your Fitbit device, as long as the gloves you purchase are able to protect your wrist where the watch will be resting as well as your hand.
The main downside of this would be that if your FitBit also has a pulse oximiter, or way to read your heart rate, this will likely not work through the gloves.
Another product that is gaining a ton of popularity, that I talk a bit about in my article on Apple Watch Radiation is something called the EMF Harmonizer Band. I won’t go into a ton of detail in this article about it, because the way it works can be a bit complicated.
However, essentially it’s a wrist-band that you would wear next to your Fitbit that can offer some protection against electromagnetic radiation from the device and from the area around you.
I can’t be certain that this product works, but the reviews and research look extremely promising, and honestly, I’ve heard some really good things from people I know and trust.
How do EMF Shielding Products Work?
Emf shielding products such as the gloves work by a process known as attenuation. This process works by initiating a reduction in the force and effect of the radiation itself.
Because of this process, emf protection gloves are able to drastically reduce the force, as well as the effect, of the radiation that is put out by a Fitbit (or any other device), that would otherwise be directly absorbed by your body.
These gloves can be made out of a variety of materials, as long as they contain some sort of emf blocking metal like copper, aluminum, or silver (silver being the most common material used).
These metals are woven tightly within the fabric and help to create a barrier that further blocks out the radiation, reducing the amount that ever reaches your skin.
The point of the fabric and metal combo is to be woven tight enough so that it is smaller than the smallest wavelength of the radiation itself.
This disallows the emf radiation wavelengths to pass through the fabric, which is what protects you. Emf radiation comes in a range of frequency, ranging from ELF (extremely low frequency) waves, which are less than 1 Hz, on up to an extreme of hard gamma rays.
These are normally at or over 300 EHz and more than likely you won’t ever come in contact with radiation at this level, so it isn’t something to worry about.
Again, the emf radiation that Fitbits put out is nowhere near this level. It is the prolonged exposure that poses the risk, and for more sensitive groups, things like emf shielding gloves may be the best solution, that is, if you want to continue using the products.
Are Some Versions of Fitbits Safer Than Others?
With the many different variations of Fitbits available, the question arises, “are some of their products safer than others?” To start answering this, it’s important to note that each of the models still emits radiation and it is a common misconception that the smaller the device is, the less emf radiation it emits. This is simply not the case. For example, if you think about my article on Airpod EMF Radiation, this is a great example of a very small device emitting a fairly large amount of EMF radiation.
Each Fitbit device has its own pros and its cons. The Fitbit Alta, for example, is one of the smaller versions of the Fitbit. This device still produces enough emf radiation to pose a risk to the user’s health over time.
Some users of this device have complained of feeling light-headed, dizzy, or having persistent headaches that do not subside, even after medication is taken.
In more extreme cases, some users reported having heart palpitations or other heart rhythm disturbances. Users also noted difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night, which left them feeling tired and sluggish the following day.
The Fitbit Charge is another popular version. It’s one of the larger models that tracks your heart rate, steps taken, and even the amount of calories you have burned during your workouts.
The newer models are also made to be waterproof, which is great for those that want to track calories burned while swimming.
The downside to this version is that users reported experiencing static shock while wearing their devices and when they came in contact with something even after they’d taken the device off. It was also common for users to develop a rash on their skin and a tingling sensation on the wrist where the Fitbit had been.
No matter which Fitbit version you choose to go with, there will be pros and cons that go along with each one. As long as you take the necessary steps needed to provide you with protection from the emf radiation they emit, you will be able to lower the likelihood of ever developing symptoms of harmful EMF exposure, all while being able to continue to enjoy the benefits, features, and convenience devices such as the Fitbit offer us if you choose.
The bottom line is, Fitbit devices do emit EMF radiation, but with knowledge and the tips in this article you can reduce your exposure.
Here is a helpful video showing how much radiation Fitbits emit: