Oura Ring Calories Accuracy: How Does it Count Calories?

Since the arrival of the third-gen revision, Oura Ring has become a full-fledged health and fitness tracker. Users can wear it 24/7 and keep detailed track of their heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, body temperature, and sleep stages, as well as the duration, intensity, and type of activities they partake in.

But did you know Oura Ring can also estimate calorie burns? Extensive tests and reports have found the wearable to be highly accurate in tracking calories burned. In a clinical trial, roughly 200 participants had their metabolic cost measured by the Ring and a medical-grade calorimetry machine.

The results showed that Oura Ring had a mean absolute error of just 5.4 kcal/minute. Such a precision level is a significant achievement for smart wearables, demonstrating the Oura Ring’s ability to monitor daily energy expenditure accurately in real-time for all users.

Besides its impressive accuracy, the Oura Ring also takes a user’s variable characteristics into account, such as age, gender, weight, and metabolism levels, to calculate their calorie burns. This personalized approach ensures that the Oura Ring provides the most accurate estimates possible.

Overall, the Oura Ring is an excellent choice for anyone looking to track their calorie burn rate. Its combination of precision and personalization makes it a highly reliable and effective health tracker.

How Exactly Does Oura Ring Estimate Calorie Burns?

oura ring calories

Oura Ring tracks your daily calorie burns by calculating your Metabolic Equivalents (METs). MET is a unit used to measure the energy required and intensity of various physical activities. For instance, an activity with a MET value of 6 means you burn six times more calories than when you are at rest.

You can also express the amount of time you spend on different activities with specific MET values in terms of MET minutes (activity duration x MET value). For example, 30 minutes of jogging with a MET value of 7 equates to 210 MET minutes. Alternatively, a 30-minute brisk walk with a MET value of 3 can be expressed as 90 MET minutes.

One MET is equivalent to your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) or the total number of calories your body burns while resting. RMR is necessary for your body to function while you are awake.

Oura uses a minimum threshold of 1.5 METs for activities contributing to your daily active calorie burn to provide accurate insights. It helps distinguish between calories burned through physical activity and those burned during bodily maintenance while resting.

Check out: Does Oura Ring Track Blood Pressure?

MET Values: Sedentary vs. Physical Activities

MET values for sedentary activities typically fall between 1 and 1.5. Examples include dining or relaxing while watching TV. On the other hand, active calories refer to energy expended on carrying out purposeful tasks or physical activities, such as doing household chores, dancing, or walking the dog, with usually results in a calorie burn of more than 1.5 METs.

Calories burned above 1.5 METs are usually considered active energy burn. By using 1.5 METs as the threshold for active calories, Oura prevents you from accumulating large amounts of active calories from low-intensity activities.

It improves the accuracy of your Activity Score and other metrics on the Oura app’s Activity tab without overestimating the calories burned while you’re sitting idle or taking a rest.

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Oura Ring: Difference Between Active Calorie Burn and Total Burn

Oura’s companion mobile app offers two distinct calorie estimates: Active Calorie Burn and Total Burn. Here’s what they stand for:

Active Calorie Burn

Active Calorie Burn is a measure of the calories burned throughout the day from exercise or other types of physical activity. It includes calories burned from walking, running, cycling, working out, or participating in sports or other high-intensity activities.

Tracking your active calorie burn can be helpful if you wish to maintain an ideal balance between your calorie intake and physical activity output. You can find this information on the Oura app’s Home and Activity tabs, represented as the numeral figure in your Activity Goal Progress card.

If you’re striving to increase your overall activity level or achieve specific fitness goals, we suggest monitoring your active calorie burn. A higher number indicates you’ve engaged in more intentional movement and activity. Additionally, paying extra attention to days when your active calorie burn is higher can help you identify the need for more recovery time alongside proper nutrition and hydration.

If you don’t wear your Oura ring while exercising or participating in physical activities, your active calorie burn estimates won’t be completely accurate. To ensure the number reflects your efforts, you should manually add workouts within the Oura app or import them from third-party apps (e.g., Apple Health, Google Fit, Strava) even if you choose not to wear your ring during certain activities.

Total Burn

Total Burn is the total number of calories burnt over a complete 24-hour cycle, even during resting periods.

Oura calculates your total burn starting at 4 AM every day using your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which represents the number of calories your body requires for sustenance and to perform vital functions such as blood circulation, breathing, and digestion.

As you move and engage in exercise throughout the day, your total burn count increases. You can find your total burn on the Oura app’s Activity tab above your Steps count.

Read also: Best Oura Ring Alternatives

Oura Ring vs Fitbit: Which Offers More Accurate Calorie Readings?

It’s difficult to say which device offers more accurate calorie readings. The Gen 3 Oura Ring and Fitbit trackers use complex algorithms and sensors to track and analyze activity levels, sleep patterns, and other factors affecting one’s energy expenditure.

Although both wearables provide calorie burn estimates, they simply are “estimates,” and the accuracy can vary depending on several factors, including how finely tuned the sensors are, the quality and consistency of the collected, and the individual characteristics and behaviors of the wearer.

In general, it’s worth noting that no smart wearable can provide a completely accurate estimate of calorie expenditure, as many variables can affect the value, and the accuracy of these estimates can vary from person to person.

It’s also worth noting that devices like the Oura Ring and Fitbit provide a rough estimate of burnt calories. The data is unintended for medical or clinical purposes. For an accurate assessment of your calorie expenditure or to create a more holistic picture of your well-being, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or other qualified experts.

Recommended Reading: Oura Ring vs Fitbit: Which One Is Best?

Oura Ring Calories: Final Words

The Oura Ring can estimate the number of calories burned by the wearer – tracking and analyzing the wearer’s activity levels and other factors that affects their daily energy expenditure.

It can also provide other relevant health and wellness data, such as heart rate, heart rate variability (HRV), and respiratory rate, which further contribute to estimating calorie burns.

To increase the precision of your calorie expenditure estimates, ensure the sensor bumps on your Oura Ring are on the side of your finger facing your palm and enter your personal information (e.g., age, height, and weight).

For activities that are harder to measure, such as yoga, manually entering them on the app’s Home tab can help to improve the accuracy of your overall Activity Score.

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