I’ve talked my Fitbit up to everyone I know. I go on and on about how great it is and how everyone would learn something from using one. But when my 14 year old son asked if he could wear it for a day to see how many steps he’s taking around school I….couldn’t do it. But I can’t go a day without it! Having someone else’s data in there would skew my statistics. I mean…um no. Sorry. My Fitbit! Wow, so I’m really, really in love with this little device.
This is the $99 Fitbit and it is one of many body trackers available. I think they all do basically the same thing which is track movement to provide data on your activity level–awake or asleep.
It is a really, really accurate step counter. With most pedometers I found that any movement counted as a step. Shifting around, jiggling, etc. Not so with the Fitbit. I have to be walking or running for it to count. And I am shocked–shocked–at how much walking it takes to get to 10,000 steps per day. I do a lot of walking. Around our 6 story building, and around the campus. I routinely walk 15 minutes one way to a meeting. And yet, without some extra walking I would rarely get 10,000 steps. I would have predicted I do at least that many in a regular work day. Not so. And since being active apart from regular exercise has been shown to be very important, this device is great at keeping it front and center in my mind.
In addition to steps it keeps track of how many flights of stairs (or hills) I have gone up–down only counts as steps not as stairs–each day. Mileage and calories burned are also tracked. I don’t personally keep up with calories in or out so I can’t say how accurate that is.
Finally, it tracks movement during sleep. Mine has a sleeve you wear it in at night and I tell it when I go to bed and when I get up. In the morning it tells me how long I slept and how many times I woke up in the night (based on my movement). You then get a ranking of how “good” your sleep was.
I am very good at sleeping! I think it is pretty accurate but wonder what other people’s logs look like. As you can see, if you forget one night you can add it manually.
Within the website or app you can also add activity, so I can track which days I went to class at the Y or swam or whatever and you can also track your food–which I am too lazy to do in any program but lots of people seem to like this option a lot.
I have the apps for Fitbit on both my Android phone and my iPad. The data syncs magically with my phone or my computer (with the dongle attachment plugged in.)
I say magically because somehow it synced while I was camping and my phone was in the car on airplane mode. Magic!
For $99 dollars I think this little gadget has made a big difference in my activity–and I am pretty active already. You can share and have friends within the dashboard but for me competing against myself week to week is enough.
This is long so I’ll stop singing the Fitbit praises but if you have any questions, ask them in the comments and I’ll be happy to discuss further.