Fitbit Trial

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!

Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    My husband and I both tried the FitBit last year – he received one as a gift for Christmas 2010 and we used it until June of 2011.
    Our experiences were different. I’m a teacher (on my feet all day) and am moderately active with spin, kickboxing and yoga most days of the week, so I didn’t notice a great improvement in my movement (it is, or rather was, just a fancy pedometer) and I was doing most of my calorie tracking on my own. My husband, however, really liked it, and because he works a desk job, found the feedback that he wasn’t moving enough, quite helpful. He really aimed for his movement targets everyday.
    We stopped using the FitBit because it went through the laundry. As nice and small as it was, that was also it’s downfall in our household. We also managed to have it “fall off” several times… resulting in us walking the same walk (sometimes 5-6km) back and forth until we found it.
    It’s nice that there is now an App for it, and that it has a digital way to count calories. We are now using the BodyMedia Fit, an armband, which is more expensive, but it has a great interface and is also a galvanometer as well as a pedometer. In the month I’ve used it, I’ve lost 9 lbs, and I would attribute most of that to the calorie tracking (in versus out).
    All in all, technology is moving fitness in an exciting way… can’t wait to see what Apple has in store with all it’s patents!

  2. Terri says:

    I recently purchased a Fitbit and have worn it everyday for the past 3 weeks. Before the Fitbit I would have categorized my life style as slightly active. What a shock to learn I was sedentary most of my waking hours. I don’t know why I thought I was slightly active when I sit in front of a computer 10 hours of the day. Every day since has been a challenge to do better than the day before. I have a new rule while at work. Every trip to the bathroom requires I walk down to the lowest level of the building and hike back up to the third floor. I can check my progress on the Fitbit throughout the day which keeps me motivated. Another surprise was the accuracy of sleep tracking. The device not only tracks how long you sleep but how well you sleep. When I toss and turn throughout the night, I see it reflected on the sleep graph. I haven’t used the meal tracking function because I use Livestrong and have my meals defined there. As far as Fitbit tracking the fat burning…I have my doubts on the accuracy or maybe I just don’t understand how it functions. All in all, I love my Fitbit and it makes me want to move more.

  3. I have a fitbit and just love it. I wear it everyday, I am a couch potato so I am working on getting fit now.

    BTW- I just joined a gym and hope get myself moving better. I have trouble getting 10,000 steps a day and also use MyFitnessPay.com for logging food.

  4. [...] my original post about my Fitbit trial I had intended to have an update well before this time. As I often say to my [...]