6.29.2015

To FitBit or Not to FitBit?


We are all well aware of the FitBit trend by now, right? But what is the REAL inside scoop on FitBit? Some bloggers, like Amber, LOVE their FitBit and swear by it while others think it leaves something to be desired.

I own the FitBit Flex which claims to track steps, distance, calories burned, and sleep. I have had my Flex for nine months now. This has given me plenty of time to formulate my own thoughts on the device, including some pros and cons.

PROS:

1. It gets me more active. Although I am active most days, I started to notice that I did VERY little on my rest days. I have found that my FitBit gets me moving even on these days. I have also noticed myself choosing further parking spots, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and taking my dog on two walks a day. Every step counts!

2. Sleep tracking helps overall sleep hygiene. As is the case with tracking things in general, I have found the sleep log really helpful for getting better rest and becoming more aware of my sleep habits overall. I can start to think about what I do leading up to bedtime that helps or hurts my sleep quality. 

3. The app and dashboard. The FitBit app is so easy to use and I love having all of my data in one easy to access location. I check the app (or dashboard) multiple times a day to see where I am at with my goals. The app is also great because you can join challenges with friends and see how your seven day step count matches up to others!

FitBit 30 day steps
4. Convenience and comfort. I love that the Flex is a simple, lightweight band that goes on your wrist. I know some worry about the "look" of it, but I have found it easy to pair with most any outfit. On the rare occasion I get really dressed up, I take the tracker out and place it in my bra or purse.

CONS: 

1. They're unreliable. Since getting my Flex, I have had the band replaced twice and the entire device replaced once. The bands break easily and it is not unusual for your tracker to just stop working for no good reason. If it weren't for the great customer service and free replacements, I would definitely have more negative things to say about this. However, whenever I have had a problem, FitBit has been great about sending me replacements quickly.

2. It can become easy to obsess. You MUST remember to give yourself grace on the days you need a day off. For me, whenever I am sick I really struggle to rest because not meeting my step goal for the day drives me crazy. It's all about balance.

3. Inaccurate tracking. I have found that my FitBit distance and calories burned do not always match up with my other trackers such as Garmin or Strava.

4. Lack of bike/swim tracking.  I knew the Flex would not track these things when I bought it, but so many of my active minutes include these activities. However, you can manually input swimming and biking fairly easily.

In conclusion, I really do love my FitBit. For me, the pros outweigh the cons, especially when you consider the cost.

Do you own a FitBit? What has your experience been like?

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45 comments :

  1. I love it because it definitely raises my awareness of my own exercising but at the same time it gives me some complacency too if that makes any sense. I can get tons of steps in at work and meet my goals but am I truly exercising? Not really.

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  2. My and is breaking hardcore! Did you tweet them? How did you get replaced?

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  3. I tweeted them like crazy and also contacted customer service via their website!

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  4. I can totally get that! I try to aim for active minutes over steps :)

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  5. I go back and forth with love and hate.... and it is annoying how the eliptical doesn't pick it up sometimes. But I just have to know that I am getting in extra steps and exercise regardless of what it says. Of course that is when I remember to put it on and charge it! ;) hahaha!

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  6. You can always manually log that! Hahaha you're so funny. Mine barely needs charging at all so I always have it on!

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  7. I was just talking to my SIL about this. Her and all of her friends have the fitbit and it's a competition every day to see who can get the most steps (since you can track others). They are obsessed! But, I brought up the point about swimming/biking/lifting too! I currently have a garmin HRM, and was looking to upgrade to a better one, but now I want a fitbit too ;) haha! Good to hear you share the pros and cons!

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  8. I love my Garmin but I feel like wearing it all the time is less convenient than my FitBit and I generally know how much I am burning when I do the activities it doesn't track, so I think just being willing to be flexible when you don't meet all you goals is necessary, especially if you DID workout that day and it didn't track it! I'm not super competitive with others, just myself, so I don't get too tempted by the friend comparison. My husband doesn't want one because he is competitive and doesn't want it to become and idol because it definitely can, especially if working out is already an idol for you (and it definitely has been for me)

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  9. Great info! I've considered getting one but am not sure that it would motivate me. I like that you can "challenge" your friends who have them.

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  10. I have one too, but my problem is remembering to put it on in the morning. I have to set it near my purse so that I remember to put it on (I don't use mine for sleeping because it feels so bulky to me).

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  11. It is fun! I think you would like it!

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  12. Ah gotcha, I love the size of mine. So easy to use!

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  13. Well, crap. I have been talking about getting a FitBit for MONTHS and was on my way to picking one up this week... until I read your Cons. haha. Christian has talked about getting the iWatch (um, clearly more of an investment - hello, Christmas) but I'm curious about those Cons as well.

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  14. Ok question, when you replaced the device, did you buy it yourself or contact Fitbit? We got Fitbit Charges in January and mine works great still but Joe's is falling apart (the band which isn't as cheaply replaced for charges since it's not interchangeable, it's part of the device). I'm trying to decide if it's best to just repurchase or if we contact Fitbit and see if they'll trade it out at a discount or something. That's a lot of money to spend every six months for a new one...

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  15. Love mine and in 18 months I only had one strap break ( plus I accidentally dropped it in the hot tub for 24 hours and she still works perfectly ( its a she lol) I do have extra straps as I love to switch the colours. I sleep with mine on and rarely ever remove it ( just to charge, it has occasionally froze but there is a quick fix for that)

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  16. My husband recently got me a FitBit Charge HR, and I'm obsessed! I've heard about quality of the Flex's strap, and you're not the first person to complain about it and have it replaced. Mine's so far great, and I'm not having any problems with it (yet)! Hopefully, never! :D

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  17. Yeah, I don't know much about that one! To be honest, since the customer service has been so good and the price point was so low for me (I was reimbursed by my university's health program), it was worth it.

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  18. I contracted FitBit and they sent me a free one :)

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  19. Maybe I'm just really hard on mine? hahaha

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  20. That's good to know! @Emily @ Ember Grey. maybe you should look in to the Charge?

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  21. I'm on the "con" side of the FitBit...I didn't like that it was basically just a pedometer. It never seemed to track any activity but walking, and even then it didn't always track it correctly. I was very disappointed because I was so excited to get it!

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  22. I can definitely relate to your frustrations. That's why I basically ONLY use it for walking and sleeping. I use other trackers for the rest. In the above photo I also have my Garmin on!

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  23. Awesome! Good to know! Thanks!

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  24. I've been curious about the FitBit (particularly to track my movement at work!) but probably won't end up purchasing one. My mom wears a pedometer to track her steps and it seems pretty reliable albeit bulky.

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  25. Yeah, I had a basic pedometer and hated it. It made noise and was really cheap. I like that this can go in the shower and everything too.

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  26. I always thought I would like to have one, but I sit at a desk all day and I'm pretty sure I take fewer than 50 steps in a day (it's awful). I did get my parents one for Christmas and it was really fun watching them be competitive with each other!

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  27. It really motivates me to take the longer route to my car or the bathroom during the day!

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  28. I've been on the fence about getting a Fit Bit for a long time now but like what Ash said, I have a desk job that doesn't allow me to get up and run around whenever I please (thanks to 4587 meetings and conference calls a day) so I think I would totally just get discouraged when it says I've done like 100 steps a day when I see people doing thousands LOL

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  29. Yeah, @Emily @ Ember Grey.. If you're decided to jump into the bandwagon, get the HR model. It's $20 more expensive, but I think the additional heart rate checker and the strap is better than its predecessor.

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  30. OR it would encourage you to get up and move more before/after work. I also have a desk job and it definitely gets me up more!

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  31. Great post! I was back and forth for awhile on Fitbits. I really mainly wanted a Fitbit specifically for the sleep tracking (I'm a poor sleeper), but ultimately went with the less expensive Garmin Forerunner 10. It just does the basics for my training (distance, time, calories), but so far I really like it. And at $60, can't beat the price!

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  32. I definitely agree! The price point is what really got me. And I own other trackers that work well for the other things I do!

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  33. I love the fitbit and I think I love the challenges the most because one day, one day I will beat you. HAHA. I doubt it. I do have to agree, my band is completely falling apart at this moment and I didn't know they offered replacements. I've had mine for a good year and a half and I don't know if they would help me out on that but besides that I really do love it!

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  34. I don't own any sort fitness tracker other than a GPS app on my phone to show how far I've run or walked. I want one though!! Sometimes I need something other than myself to say hey up and move. Lol . I can totally see where it would necessary to give yourself a break and not obsess over the goals

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  35. HAHAHA you're funny! PLEASE contact them for a replacement! It's at least worth a try :)

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  36. What app do you use? I love Strava. You can also use the FitBit app without a tracker to track activity on your phone!

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  37. I use the map my fitness app. I haven't heard of strava.

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  38. I've been wanting one forever it seems like. I can see how it would become a bit obsessive to see where you are throughout the day though!

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  39. Totally! It's why my husband won't get one

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  40. I have the FitBit One, which is *apparently* the most accurate, but it's just a little clip. Sometimes the clip breaks, but it's easily replaced. I like that this one can be more hidden, like clipping to my bra or pocket, as opposed to being on my wrist. And the challenges have definitely caused me to get up and walk in circles around the house.

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  41. Do you ever forget to put it on? Some friends of mine have lost theirs and often forget to put it on in the morning!

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  42. I don't as much anymore, especially since I started wearing it in the center of my bra. Whenever I take it off my clothes, I just put it in the spot where I put the clothes I'm changing into next so it works out. I don't think I'd remember to put one on my wrist all the time!

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  43. I have a Fitbit Flex, and I love it but I have been noticing that when I walk the same distance and take what I'm assuming are close to the same amount of steps as the people I am with, my tracker always says I have taken way more step than theirs. I'm concerned I am being led t believe I am more active than I am lol

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  44. That's smart! I never forget to put mine on, because I rarely take it off!

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