Thoughts On The Fitbit One

I’ve had my Fitbit One for…not quite two weeks now.  So far, I’m really happy with it.  It makes my data junkie heart go pitter pat.  It’s a wee tiny thing.  I clip it on my bra, and it’s small enough it doesn’t show beneath my shirt.  The wristband for night use (and sleep monitoring) took me a little getting used to.  It’s a little persnickety to get it wrapped juuuuust right so that the edge of the velcro isn’t scratching your arm.  But I dig the silent alarm (it wakes you by vibrating), which is far less obnoxious than being jolted out of sleep by a clock.

One thing I didn’t expect to be so fascinated by is the sleep monitoring.  It tracks how long you sleep, how much time you spend awake, and how much time you spend restless.  Not a perfect tracker, as it’s not telling you REM sleep specifically, but illuminating nonetheless.  I don’t sleep anywhere near as well as I thought I did.  Hot flashes, allergies, snoring spouse, needing to pee means I wake up anywhere from three to six times a night.  And then there’s the stretch of restless after all those times until I fall asleep again.  In general, I actually log an hour less sleep than I spend in bed.  I hypothesize that I sleep better in winter when it’s cold and my allergies aren’t kicking up.  I’ll be interested to see if that gets borne out.

There’s an activity log inside the app that goes with the Fitbit.  I’m underwhelmed by it.  It only measures walking, running, or hiking–same as apps like MapMyRun.  Considering that the iPhone’s GPS capabilities tanked a couple of iOSes ago, I don’t actually USE that feature at all for more formalized walking for exercise.  And since so much of my fitness routine ISN’T walking, running, or hiking, it misses out on capturing a true picture of my TOTAL calorie burn in a day.  But that really wasn’t why I decided to get one.

I GOT a Fitbit because I wanted a more accurate picture of my daily calorie expenditure OUTSIDE of formalized exercise, and THAT the Fitbit does very well (as far as I can tell).  According to the Katch-McCardle Calculator, at my weight and body fat %, my TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) with light exercise is about 2036 calories.  According to my FITBIT, my TDEE averages close to 2100 (without my other exercise).  It measures my steps per day.  The recommended number to shoot for is 10k, and I’ve learned I definitely don’t get that.  On an average workday, I get more like just over 5k.  That’s prompted me to change little habits–start taking the long way back from the water fountain or bathroom at work.  Park a little further from the entrance of the store (though not too far because it’s JULY in MISSISSIPPI).  Still, it’s little stuff that’s made my average go up to between 6-7k.  Again, that’s something that’ll go higher once fall hits and the weather cools off.  Then I’ll be back to taking short walks during my work breaks (when doing so doesn’t require a SHOWER).

All that data, in conjunction with getting back to counting calories, means I’m on target to consistently drop about 1-1.5 pounds a week (outside of random food reactions), which seems to be holding true so far.  Like tracking anything else, I think one of the biggest benefits is just general awareness and making small changes.  I give the Fitbit One two thumbs up.

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One comment

  1. Wow. I had no idea you could use it to track sleeping patterns. Not the same as an actual sleep study, but dang, you got some interesting data! Are you finding ways to use that data now, or are you going to wait a while longer to see what else comes up?

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