The Fitbit

by Jen on April 27, 2012

Hi, and welcome to Fitness Friday.

I’ve got a new toy.

No, it’s not a new camera lens (although, I would love one of those) or a new car (I’ll be rockin’ the van for a few more years.)

It’s called a Fitbit.  What’s a Fitbit you ask?

Basically, Fitbit is a little device that tracks your activity levels by showing you your steps taken, calories burned, and distance travelled throughout the day.

There are a few devices on the market that do the same thing such as Heart Rate Monitors and the BodyBugg.  I used to wear a BodyBugg.  I wore it for about two years.  It showed me how many calories I was burning and consuming, which really helped me in achieving my fitness goals.  But there were a couple of things I didn’t like about it.

1. It straps around your upper arm.  The strap didn’t really bother me, but in the summer, when I wanted to wear cute tank tops, everyone could see some sort of gadget strapped around my arm.  Plus, it made a temporary indent on my bicep!

2. There is a yearly subscription cost for the web-based program.  I think it was something around $80/year.  It’s not that expensive, but it wasn’t something I wanted to keep paying for every year.

So for the past year, I haven’t been using anything to track my activity.  Not that this has bothered me, but I’m always curious to see how many steps I take during the day and how many calories I burn during my workouts.

One day I was reading about the Fitbit, and I found myself intrigued.  I loved the whole idea of it, but I also loved that you clip it onto your pants or stick it in your pocket so no one else sees it!  And…you don’t have to pay a yearly fee to use the web program.

I’ve been using for a week now, and I love it.

Here is a screen shot of the web program:

fitbit thumb The Fitbit

The information shown is for this past Tuesday.  It was one of my cardio days, so my steps and calories were higher that day.

I’ve realized how hard it is to reach the recommended 10,000 steps/day!  My average steps/day is probably closer to 8,500.  I guess I sit on my bum a lot more than I thought wlEmoticon winkingsmile1 The Fitbit

Another great feature of the program is the ability to log the food you are eating.  You can enter in the food you eat for the day and compare it to the calories you burned that day.  I have yet to use this feature since I don’t track my calories consumed anymore, but it would be great for someone on a weight loss journey.

One other feature of the Fitbit is logging your sleep.  You can wear a little wrist band at night that you secure the Fitbit to and it will track your movements at night to see how efficiently you are sleeping.  Again, I’m not planning on using this feature since I usually sleep fairly well.

So far, I’m very happy with the Fitbit.  I find myself increasing my activity throughout the day to try and get to the 10,000 steps!  I suppose I should stop writing this post and get moving then…

*I was not paid for this post.  It’s just wanted to give my personal opinion on the Fitbit, which I purchased on my own*

pixel The FitbitPrint This Print This

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danelle April 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

Love it! Where did you buy yours, Jen? This may be a gift to myself for working Election Day in Alberta :)

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2 Jen April 27, 2012 at 8:18 am

I bought mine through Amazon…it was a little cheaper than through the Fitbit website :)

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3 Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor April 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

Sounds really cool! My question though is how does it calculate calories burned? It must just be making an estimate based on your height/weight/age and steps taken since I don’t see and heart rate monitoring device?
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4 Jen April 27, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Yes, it’s based on your information such as height, current weight, etc. Then it takes into account your steps. I find it really accurate. It measures similar to the BodyBugg. I find heart rate monitors overestimate calories burned!

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5 Suzi @ Confessions of a Fitness Instructor April 27, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I suppose it depends on the type of heart rate monitor, those stupid ones
on cardio machines over estimate like crazy! I know the chest strap monitors are really accurate (though extremely annoying to wear) and I have a couple people that wear ones with a chest strap, and others with the wrist monitors and they end up with similar calories burned so I think they are both quite accurate.

I think what you’ve got is great – and prefect for someone like you, I was
just thinking about it for use in fitness classes and its accuracy. You’ll
have one person busting it out hard core, and another person doing all the
same moves but without really exerting themselves. If they are the same
age, weight, height, etc. they would both end up showing the same # of
calories burned but their actual calorie burn would be different.

It drives me nuts that everyone will go up to someone with a heart rate
monitor after class and ask, “how many calories did we burn tonight?” as
though everyone will burn the same amount regardless of the effort they put
in (never mind the height/weight difference), people really don’t have a
clue.

I would like one of these guys though, it’s got some many features it would
be neat to see how much sleep I’m really getting!
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6 Jen April 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Yes, I’ve heard those chest strap monitors work well…but that would be really uncomfortable to wear all day! The Fitbit also has a built in accelerometer as well, so it not only measures steps taken, but your motion as well. So I think someone who is not working as hard in a class would not burn the same amount of calories as someone who was working hard. But you are right, people often forget about the significance of weight and height in their calorie burn. We can’t compare our calorie burn to someone else, everyone is different.

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7 Joey Tipping April 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Well, there you go! I just ordered it too. I had a step counter before which tied onto my runners laces but I accidentally stepped into water past my ankles and drowned the poor thing. It’s a great device to make sure that you get in your daily 10,000 steps. Whatever helps, I say. It’ll be interesting to see what it “reads” into my sleep patterns! :(

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8 Jen April 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

You got one? Nice. I think you will like it :)

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9 Brandy @insanemamacita June 2, 2012 at 4:51 pm

I have a few friends who own FitBits and they love them! I am still toying with the idea of buying one. I need to get more active first. And 8,500 steps a day is great!
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10 Jen June 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm

They are a great little gadget to get you moving!

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11 La. June 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I just looooooooooooooove my fitbit! It is CRAZY how much you THINK you do which is ALWAYS higher than reality. Like I walked around IKEA for HOURS!!!! and only walked like 3,500 steps. Um, I imagined it was more like 7,000! Wrong. And food. Holy cow, I love how it takes into account your activity level. AND you can hide it!
La. recently posted..Gym RatMy Profile

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12 Jen June 29, 2012 at 8:26 am

LOL…walking around Ikea is a workout in itself! I know what you mean…it’s harder than I thought to get in 10,000 steps a day!

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13 Mary Poulin July 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Hi. welp I gave in and bought the fitbit. I have to admit, that I first tried the olympia watch that includes the heart rate monitor, watch, and pedometer. It works good so far, assuming the heart rate monitor is correct which I think it is and very easy to use. But, the pedometer realllly stinks. I mean I was standing there washing dishes and it kept increases as if I was walking? and than sometimes it would just stop and not increase when I was walking. When it was working, it would all of a sudden stop working or jump up to too many steps taking and so on. It almost seemed like it would move every time my arm moved, since it’s a watch on my wrist. I could go on and on. There are 3 sensitivity levels and I tried them all. Although I didn’t try it for long, but how long am I suppose to try something hoping it will work. I just did some basic walking around my house stuff. I’m still going to play around with it and I like it for the heart monitor at least.

Anyways, did you take all the defaults for the fitbit, or did you figure out the exact stride length? I have yet to try it. I installed the software and have been reading it.
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14 Jen July 17, 2012 at 8:49 am

Hi Mary! I had the same problems with other pedometers. With the fitbit, I didn’t see anything in the settings for stride length. I think it just counts your movement when you wear it, but perhaps I am missing something?! I love the fitbit! I didn’t realize how hard it is to get in 10,000 steps a day! Sometimes I ask my kids to play tag in the backyard just so I can get my steps in for the day ;) Have fun!

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