A Journey of 10,000 Steps Starts With One…
I have been a keen Fitbit user for over four years! I have used the device enough to learn it’s quirks, strengths and weaknesses. So often, reviews are written by people who just purchased a product. I thought it might be helpful to post a review from the point of view of a long-time user.
|My Fitbit One with Common Objects to Show Scale|
First a little about how and why I use my Fitbit. A few years ago, I made an effort to improve my fitness and to lose a few pounds. I had already established the habit of consistent exercise and was using a Polar heart rate monitor to track my workouts.
After reading about the importance of NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) for both health and weight control, I decided to track and improve on my non-exercise activity. First I tried an old-school pedometer, but I had a lot of problems with it and quickly gave up. Next, I considered a Bodymedia and spent weeks stalking internet reviews. I came to the conclusion that I would not be consistent at wearing the armband and the key to getting the most out of any fitness tool is consistent use. After learning about Fitbit, I made a quick impulse purchase. Luckily, this is one impulse purchase with no regrets!
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Originally I used the Fitbit for all day activity tracking and my heart rate monitor for my exercise calorie burn. I manually logged my heart rate monitor’s calorie burn estimate to my fitbit.com account. Whatever I logged replaced Fitbit’s estimate so no activity was double credited. This worked well for me and I found my Fitbit calorie burn to be more accurate for me than the online daily calorie burn calculators I had tried. Since then my use has evolved. I noticed that my Fitbit and Heart Rate monitor actually give matching or very similar calorie burn estimates for some activities so I don’t feel a need to manually log much of my activity. For activities the Fitbit that do not involve steps-like motions, it is very easy to manually log activity. It is also easy to automatically log activity through one of dozens of apps or devices that can sync to your fitbit.com account.
Five Benefits I Found With Using my Fitbit One:
- It motivates me to be more active! I think for most Fitbit users this is the main benefit. I find myself much more aware of my activity or inactivity and make an effort to meet the standard I set for myself. I have been known to jog in place, do the “Running Man”, or hula hoop while watching television.
- The main reason I chose the One over other trackers is that it is small and easy to conceal. I usually clip it somewhere on my bra or on my waistband and it isn’t visible if I don’t want it to be.
- Having objective feedback of my activity level is valuable for my health and fitness goals. I recommend just wearing it the first week while you do your normal activity. This will give you perspective of how active you are (or are not). Then set small, achievable goals to improve on your current activity, bit by bit.
- Fitbit’s customer service is fabulous! I lost my previous Fitbit One because it popped out of the holder and Fitbit replaced it free of charge!
- Fitbit is quite accurate for such an affordable device. As near as I can tell, the calorie burn estimate seems accurate for a variety of step based activities. It also gives very similar or matching calorie burn estimates for a variety of step based aerobic activities including jumping rope, Turbojam/TurboKick workouts, jumping jacks, aerobic dancing and many aerobic drills workouts. I have also found the step, speed and distance estimates to be accurate compared to known distances, GPS phone apps, and a treadmill. I did take the time to calibrate my walking and running stride though and that made a difference with the distance and speed reported by my Fitbit device. I will elaborate on that in a future post.
Four Potential Downsides of the Fitbit One That I Noticed:
- The device slips into a holder that clips onto clothing. I found that the holder fits snugly at first but stretches over time. When I lost my previous Fitbit One (after just three months of use), it was because the holder had stretched and it just popped out!
- Some find it easy to lose or forget! Other than the issue I mentioned, I haven’t lost any of my Fitbit devices, but it is common. If you commonly lose or forget small things, a Fitbit Flex or a different tracker might be a better match. My first Fitbit device actually died because I sent it through the washing machine and dryer–twice! I forgot I had clipped it to my sports bra both times.
- It doesn’t track all activities well. I wear my One clipped somewhere on my torso (as suggested by Fitbit), so it does not count any arm movements unless they are large enough to cause my torso to twist. I mention this, because I think wrist worn tracker users may have a different experience. Some activities a Fitbit can not track well: weight lifting or any type of resistance training, swimming or water exercise (the One is not waterproof), yoga, cycling, rowing, cardio machines with high resistance settings, etc. Notice this mainly applies to activities where the intensity comes from resistance and where few “steps” are taken. People who do these activities may need to manually log some of their activity if they want more accurate activity reporting. I don’t mind, but see this would be disappointing for many users.
- There is a bit of a learning curve in using this device, but I find that true of most gadgets and devices.
About this review: This review is for a product that I purchased. This is my honest opinion and I am not paid for this review. I did include an affiliate link below, if you click on the Ad and purchase a Fitbit then I am compensated.
Other Posts That May Interest You:
- Ten Tips To Increase Your NEAT Activity
- How To Measure And Calibrate Your Fitbit Stride Settings
- How to Set SMART Goals For Your Fitbit
Where to Purchase a Fitbit One, Fitbit Zip or Fitbit Flex: