I recently started using a Fitbit One device to track daily activity, and sleep patterns. Iwas thinking about the BodyMedia tracker but I wasn’t to keen on the armband. The One is very small and can be clipped to your waist or some other locations.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from it and I was a little skeptical about its accuracy. Through REI I was able to pick one up for $46 after a coupon and dividend credit, so I figured why not. Not bad for a $100 item.
Unlike most pedometers the One has an altimeter as well as an accelerometer so it can track stairs as well as steps. It computes distance traveled and calories burned. It has a clock as well and timestamps what it logs which helps Fitbit calculate calorie burn when you enter activities like bike riding or exercise at specific times of the day.
Having tracked my activity and food consumption in the past I am fairly familiar with the process. Understanding how many calories you take in and how many you burn is key to losing weight and staying fit. What I learned before basically boiled down to portion control and limiting snacking balanced with daily exercise. I want the One to aid in tracking my activity.
I’ve often wondered how well I’m sleeping, especially when I wake up tired after having a good 8 hours of rest – which isn’t all the time. So I’m also looking to the One to help understand “how” I sleep.
Fitbit also provides great statistics for your metrics. Daily, weekly, monthly, total, average, you name it. The also have a badge program where you can earn badges fir your activity achievements. You can also compete with friends. These may seem silly but they do create some motivation.
After just 1 week I’m impressed with what Fitbit has put together. Coupling the One device with the iOS app and/or web is extremely easy. Both the iOS application, which isn’t designed for the iPad, and the web site are beautifully designed.
Wearing the One has not interfered with any activity so far. In fact, I forget that I have it on. This could be a problem if you toss your clothes in the washer with it still clipped on. The only time I can’t track activity is in the shower since it is not waterproof. It also seems to be pretty accurate, although I’ve noticed it mis-count flights of stairs. The latter could be my fault as I sometimes take stairs two at a time.
The battery life has been excellent as well. I charged it when I got it and once after about 4 days later even though it wasn’t fully drained. Fitbit claims 5 to 7 day battery life, but it looks like it will go slightly longer. How often you activate its display probably has a role in longevity.
After activating a Fitbit web account I was happy to see you can easily track a few other things like weight, blood pressure and glucose. I was surprised to see they also have the ability to sync weight from a Withings scale via your Withings web account. This appears to lag one day behind though. But it greatly simplifies tracking weight. Step on the scale and your done. Fitbit also sells the Aria smart scale which is very similar to the Withings smart scale. Both take weight, body fat, and BMI measurements.
Next I’ll guide you around the Fitbit online account.