Fitbit – Day One

So, last night, I got my Fitbit One in the mail. I’m obviously still not sure what I think about it, since I’ve had it for like, 24 hours, but I thought I’d share my initial impressions. I’ll try to remember to do follow up posts about it, as well.

First, a bit of background. I first heard of these like, a year ago, and immediately wanted one because…OMG STATS…but I couldn’t get past the fact that you have to wear these daily activity trackers (not just the Fitbit) on your wrist/arm/whatever. Perhaps I’m a little vain, but I just couldn’t imagine wearing a plastic bracelet that screams “I’m obsessed with calorie counting” in basically any situation that wasn’t like, sitting around my house or going to Walmart (maybe Target, because they sell them, so it’s less embarrassing, but I’d have to match my outfit).

I’ve been thinking about getting one again because my mom keeps harassing me about them (everyone at her office has one but she doesn’t want to drop the $$ without me trying it out first), and then I found out about the teeny weeny little Fitbit One that you don’t have to wear on your wrist! Luckily, someone at work randomly showed me theirs because I might be known as the weird girl who has no identify characteristics other than being fitness and stats obsessed (no, not an exaggeration at all; I’m fairly certain my coworkers just think I’m some geeky health nut). I was instantly like “OMG LOOK AT ALL THIS DATA THAT AUTO SYNCS TO YOUR PHONE!!!! AND YOU CAN JUST WEAR IT LIKE ON YOUR BELT OR IN YOUR POCKET WUTTTT?!?!”  (also not an exaggeration; I was that excited).

I went home and held off on ordering one for like, a day. The only reason I held off was that I had around $150 available to put towards fitness junk, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted this or a new GPS watch (the connector cable to my Chinese knock off one is broken, and I’m not really sure how to get a replacement part for my Chinese knock off). I was a bit concerned that because I’m already active, the Fitbit, which is basically a fancy pedometer, wouldn’t be that useful.

Honestly, while I love the data I can get from my GPS watch, though, I never use the heart rate monitor because I can never find the strap, so all it really does is save me from having to correct RunKeeper maps that occasionally mess up and using smartphone data (note: the GPS watch also occasionally messes up and needs fixed as well and Kris and I technically have unlimited data). Therefore, it is also not that useful. I might still buy a new GPS watch in a month or two, but after reading reviews of basically how fantastic a Fitbit is for sedentary office workers (it’s possible I’m not as obviously active as I assume – after all, I sit on my ass at work like 9 hours a day) and seeing all those pretty charts, I thought this might be a better investment. Besides, if I end up hating the thing, I’m sure my mom would love it.

Now, on to my actual impressions of the thing. 

The bad(ish):

  1. A little confusing to set up. Part of this was my fault. I signed up using Facebook, then forgot my Facebook password. However, it was also a slow process (as in, it took a long time to load) and there aren’t very good instructions if you aren’t tech-savvy, especially not to sync to other apps.
  2. It handles cycling strangely, but not necessarily in a way that will negatively affect the stats it tracks. It gave a pretty good calorie approximation by estimating that I walked steps equivalent to roughly a third of the distance, and realized I went uphill and gave me credit for climbing “stairs.” 
  3. I’m not sure if I am doing something incorrectly or if the Fitbit is double counting calories burnt. I know it’s not COMPLETELY double counting them because it’s not adding twice as many extra exercise activities as MyFitnessPal, but the TDEE (total amount of food I should eat based off of how much energy I exerted) it is listing for me is like, 300 calories over what I’d expect and mostly consists of me walking to the bathroom at the office (on a side note, I should walk more slowly, as this is apparently counts as “very active minutes” for me sometimes). I think my biggest concern is whether it is counting my cycling “steps” as calories burnt in addition to the logged cycling on MyFitnessPal (even though MFP says it won’t double count if you enter the activity through MFP).

The good:

  1. As I said, it’s super tiny and also pretty secure. I wore it clipped inside a cami under a dress today so it wasn’t visible (I bought the “burgundy” one which is more like bright pink) and it connected easily to my FlipBelt for running.
  2. It syncs to my phone using bluetooth! This is important not because I mind using data, but because my workplace is kind of a dungeon and you should see my holding my phone at all kinds of weird angles trying to get enough data service to sync MFP. This isn’t a pro for everyone, though; only certain devices are supported for this feature.

Here are my calories burnt for the day. The yellow lines are mostly me biking to and from work (the lone green line abut 3/4 through the day is biking up a hill to return to work from lunch; apparently I bike more vigorously at lunchtime). I think seeing my after-work zooming around is pretty interesting, too – the run is obvious, but there is a giant spike of bikehomewalkdogonemilerun4milesnowfindfoodomgnowIcansit that you don’t see anywhere else throughout the day. 

The sleep stats are also awesome! Not sure if I can improve my sleep much if I’m already so efficient, but I think it’s cool to see some patterns. The big pink block at 4am-ish represents a bathroom break; I think it would be interesting to see if I always go at the same time and then get SO RESTLESS afterwards! I vaguely remember waking up again and again and checking my phone to make sure I hadn’t slept through my alarm. Also, fun fact: the other large pink block right before 3 am is a kitty attack. Misty just randomly jumped up my bed and started biting my arm. Hopefully THAT doesn’t become a sleep pattern.


3 thoughts on “Fitbit – Day One

  1. I’ve had one, but lost it and needed to replace it (which I did). It’s the one that goes on the wrist, although i wear mine in my pocket because I use my hands during the day so much that I don’t want it to miscalculate. It’s just another tool, pretty much, but it helps to hold me accountable.

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