Since I knew something was going on with my body, my doctors grounded me. I haven't been able to exercise. The list of can'ts was really, really long. But, one of the things that I can do is walk. I walk everywhere I can. Given I wasn't really feeling up to running I have been looking for ways to just get myself up off the couch. As if you didn't know, I am a gadget person. Enter, the fitbit.
I first saw the fitbit around the holiday season and remember contemplating purchasing it when we were back in Indiana. I passed on it at the time. Then, well, it was time to get back into my work wear and see what my recovery has done to the rest of my health. I had a gift card (for three years) for a chain electronic store so I used that to purchase this nifty device.
How it works
Basically, the fitbit tracks your activity and your sleep. Both things that I am interested in learning more about. It measures steps, distance walked, calories burned and your activity level through a motion detector in the device that is simular to what you would find in a wii remote. I have found it to be pretty accurate. I was wondering how it would handle metro and, so far, I haven't seen it counting metro jolts as steps.
The little device can be hidden really easily. So far, only the people who know about it know I am wearing it. Most of the time I hook it to a belt loop or put it in a pocket. It may get interesting when I bust out the summer dresses though. You can wear it when you sleep too! It comes with a wrist band and I hardly notice it. Though, I can tell you the sleep portion isn't that accurate. It only really monitors when you toss and turn. If you are like me and lay still and start counting sheep; it is going to count that as sleeping.
I have found that I want to be more active when I wear the fitbit. The trainers at fitbit set a goal of 10,000 steps a day which I usually get close to and really want to beat. I've only surpassed that once so far. For a regular day, with an effort placed on walking a bit more, I hit 8,500 steps. On Saturday when I didn't have access to a car I walked around DC, took metro home, walked into Old Town; then walked home. All together that was just shy of 13,000 steps. I probably would have caught a cab on the final leg home if I didn't have the fitbit. Partly, because I wanted to prove I could beat the 10,000 mark now.
The Needs Improvement Part
I've had syncing issues with the device. Based on the forums, it doesn't seem to matter if you are on a Mac or a PC - they are all having some issues. The good news is that the fitbit staff are responding to issues and trying to come up with solutions. I also noticed that Wednesday morning I started the day with 495 steps. Which is odd because the fitbit slept on my bathroom counter that night. But, since I forgot to put it on after I got out of bed, and in the process walked about that amount, I wasn't worried.
Would I buy it again?
Now that I have owned the cute little gadget for almost a week, even with its flaws, I really like it. If I hadn't had the gift card I don't know if I would have spent the money on it (I can be cheap like that) but I'm glad I did. (If I hadn't gotten it, I most likely would have annoyed Joel enough saying I didn't want to spend the money that he would have gotten it for me.) There are online parts to the fitbit that I haven't talked about which are sufficient for what I am doing, it basically charts your data, and you can learn more about that on the fitbit website.
*In case you missed it in the post, I bought the fitbit & wrote the review because I chose to.