Fitbit helps NFL sideline reporter catch her boyfriend cheating

Fitbit helps NFL sideline reporter catch her boyfriend cheating
That now-infamous Peloton ad, the one that knocked a billion dollars off of the company's valuation because many consider it to be a sexist commercial about a controlling husband who wasn't happy with the weight of his already thin wife, has led to an interesting story about a cheating boyfriend who was busted because of the Fitbit he once bought his girlfriend.

NFL sideline reporter Jane Slater was responding to the Peloton ad when she disseminated a tweet about a Fitbit (via Business Insider) that an ex-boyfriend once bought her for Christmas. Slater said that they both synced their wearables in an attempt to get motivated to work out more and lose some weight. But one night at about 4 am, the reporter noticed that her boyfriend's physical activity levels had spiked briefly while he was out of the house; the peak occurred suddenly indicating that he wasn't out running, or at the gym. As Slater put it, "Spoiler alert: he was not enrolled in an OrangeTheory fitness class at 4 am."


We wonder whether this will be a new feature that will be included in ads for Fitbit's fitness trackers. The company is now owned by Google with the latter purchasing it for $2.1 billion in a deal announced last month (actually the deal still needs to be approved by regulators) and the company might publicly announce its ownership of Fitbit by introducing "infidelity mode." After all, according to Alex Koch, professor of exercise science at Lenoir-Rhyne University in North Carolina, sex does show up on a fitness tracker. Sexual activity would tend to produce a spike on a Fitbit's heart rate monitor said the professor. And the accelerometer on a Fitbit would also show the vibrations that occur during sex. Professor Koch has first-hand experience (so to speak) with this subject matter. He once left his Apple Watch on when having sex with his wife, and the timepiece thought that he had climbed several flights of stairs. "There's definitely going to be a substantial rise in heart rate from resting, depending on how energetic you are," Koch said.


The problem with using a Fitbit to accuse your partner of cheating is that not all peaks in physical activity are a result of sexual activity. Even at 4 am, Koch says that a Fitbit can produce a false signal. "It [detects] any kind of movement, so there could be some innocent explanations," the professor noted. Such a reading could be caused by sleepwalking, a nightmare or gastrointestinal distress like vomiting. Koch says that the suspicious partner needs to have some "context clues" to help explain the sudden jump in physical activity levels.

Considering that Slater's then-boyfriend is now her ex, it would seem that her accusations were spot on.

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