One big thing I have invested in this time around to assist my ‘get healthy’ plan is the FitBit One which is a device that records your daily activity. It measures steps, miles, stairs, and calories burned. I am really loving it. There are a lot of different gadgets you can get and you can check out Lindsey’s post about it here for more detail. And to be honest, since she had one and already did all the research, the Fitbit One was the one I bought too. Plus it is so much better to have support when going through a health transition, whatever your goals.
Fitbit has a few different gadgets, but the One clips onto your clothing and unlike the wrist band versions, this one can count how many stairs you do in a day.
When you buy it comes with a rubber holder clip, a usb charger, a Bluetooth sync bud thingy and a thin armband that will hold the Fitbit One when you sleep.
There are 3 different interfaces I reference when using the Fitbit: device, app, and website. You can do the most on the website, but the device and app are useful throughout the day when you want to just check your stats. In addition to your stats, the website is where you can set weight loss goals, record your food intake, add exercise activities, review your sleep report, and connect with your friends through forums.
Website version (click on image to enlarge)
Phone App Dashboard (click on image to enlarge)
Some of my favorite features:
- you can see your counts in real time right on the device, as well as a time of day
- the app has a nice simple interface that also shows your counts in real time because it syncs using Bluetooth technology
- Fitbit gives you badges when you have reached certain milestones, ie: “50 floors BEST IN A DAY” It is a simple thing but it gives a sense of accomplishment and that is always encouraging.
- You can see your activity over days, weeks and months
- The food database is custom and you can add foods to the database as needed
- You can log activities and food using the app or website
- Sets your intake calories against your calories burned and that is the most useful to me in helping curb my eating.
Some things they could improve on:
- The App
- Right now you can only see your friend’s average daily steps on the app which is pointless when the goal is to encourage each other daily. We really need to see real time, daily steps. Right now the only way to see this is to get onto the website, go to their page and place your cursor over their step bar-graph for that day.
- Messaging friends
- You can send messages to friends on the app, but you can’t see the whole conversation. It can get confusing if there is a long break between question and response.
- Notifications are not working correctly for the group forums. It would be nice to be notified when your friend posts a topic in our group forum.
Overall I am really getting a lot out of the Fitbit. I use it almost everyday. I say almost because some mornings, rarely, I will forget to clip it onto my clothes before I leave the house. It is very light, easy to wear. I can even clip it to my yoga pants and it doesn’t weigh the material down. It makes it really easy to keep track of how many calories I am eating and encourages me to do more activity or steps when it is needed.
Fitbit is also based out of SF so I really feel glad to support a local business.
I haven’t had to use them yet, but I have heard great things about their customer service. The mother of an acquaintance accidently washed her Fitbit and they sent her a new one. Was it as simple as that really? I have no clue, but I will believe it until I hear otherwise.
Overall the Fitbit seems like it is first and foremost made for the individual and then the community support is second/third tier. The biggest problem seems to be they are growing at a greater pace than their website tech people can keep up with (on the community/friend interface side of things). Hopefully they will fix these things soon and then it will really be great.