I’ve been looking at a couple different activity trackers lately and decided to test out the Fitbit. It’s a tiny little device that clips onto your belt, pocket, bra, etc. and can be used to track your activity throughout the day. It measures steps taken, floors climbed, miles walked, and calories burned. It also measures your sleep quality which is one of the measurements I am most interested in.

At $99, it’s a pretty cool little device that could really help motivate people. This potential happens to be a main reason why I’m testing it out. I want to see 1) how accurate the data can be 2) how it could be integrated as part of the measurements of my private clients and 3) how well it can work in a corporate environment with large groups of people.

With #1 I’m usually pretty skeptical about these types of things. The steps and miles is pretty simple, but I’m not a firm believer in things that calculate calorie burning. Many times it’s a simple algorithm that uses basic data points and I just don’t trust the accuracy of the absolute value. However, like a scale, I assume that as long as I keep using the same device and track the value over a period of time, I can get something from the relative value. This leads to #2 and if it can be a useful tool for some of my clients that need a little more daily motivation.

#3 however is what I’m most excited about. I am currently developing a corporate fitness mentoring service where I can coach an entire company without actually having to go on site. This frees up a lot of time and resources for the company. More detail on this service will come shortly, but for now I just want to see what types of tools can be used in this environment. The feature Fitbit offers in this realm is the ability to share your information with friends and even create groups and challenges. I’ve got a few friends that also have the Fitbit but I’m still waiting to see if they are willing to challenge me.. :)

My testing started about a week ago. So far I haven’t dug into all of the features it has to offer but I am impressed with the web interface and the ease of syncing. I hope to give a more thorough report in a couple of weeks once I have some better data.

If you have a Fitbit, let me know your experience in the comments below. Perhaps we could even connect and have a challenge or two!