Note: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
Several weeks ago I purchased the Fitbit One activity tracker. I’d been wanting an activity tracker for a while.
Background – Why I Wanted a Tracker
Before baby I was someone who worked out at the gym. Life after baby with a full-time job makes it much more difficult to squeeze a trip to the gym in. So I started trying to think about staying active in a new way.
I wanted to work in some activity throughout my day, wherever I could. Problem was, I wanted some sort of feedback to know exactly how much activity I was getting in to my day.
I noticed a lot of the people I follow online using activity trackers. I immediately knew that I wanted one!
So I began researching. The Fitbit line seemed to have a lot of raving fans. They have several different options including the Force, the Flex, the One and the Zip. Based on ratings of others, plus the different features offered, I decided on the Fitbit One.
Why I Chose the One
(1) I did not want a bracelet because I was afraid it would annoy me. I do not wear bracelets or a watch in my everyday life. Plus I was not looking to make a fashion statement with my tracker! That was not my goal. So that knocked out the Force and the Flex.
(2) I wanted something sleek and small. I liked the idea of slipping the tiny Fitbit One into my pocket or clipping it inside the pocket of my pants or on my bra. It would collect the data that I need it to without me feeling or seeing it.
(3) I wanted something that would seamlessly sync with my iPhone and iPad (Note: you need Bluetooth capability on your phone or tablet for this to work. I have the iPhone 4S and iPad with Retina Display , FYI).
(4) I wanted the device to measure steps as well as flights of stairs (or elevation) climbed, plus distance and calories burned.
What I Like
(1) It performs all my required functions listed above.
(2) Accuracy. I have tested the step count many times by manually counting my steps and comparing to the tracker. It works well both on the treadmill and regular walking.
(3) Sleep tracking – bonus! This was not on my original list of features that I wanted in an activity tracker, but I love it! It can tell if you wake up or if you are restless during the night. It is cool to be able to look back and see what kind of a night’s sleep you had.
(4) It gamifies an activity that I traditionally do not like – exercise. This motivates me to move more! That is exactly what I wanted! Mission accomplished there. I love the little goals and badges that they set up for you. I also love the social aspect. You can have Fitbit friends where you can see their live (constantly updating) 7-day step count. This is FANTASTIC for accountability and motivation.
(5) Battery life is great. I only have to charge it about every two weeks, which is great!
6) The Fitbit holder/clip is really secure. I like the feel of it. When I clip the fitbit to the pocket of my pants or to my bra, it stays in place really well. I have never had it fall out.
I will say that a lot of the reviews I read had reports of the case and clip breaking after a while, or the device itself slipping out of the case. I have heard that Fitbit will replace the case for free, if you report it. Just knowing that it has broken for some people makes me be really gentle with it when clipping to or removing it from my clothing.
(7) It has changed my mindset about exercise. Before, if I did not have at least thirty minutes to devote, plus time for a shower afterward…I figured what’s the point?! Like ten minute walks do not feel like I am exerting myself at all. Now, I am squeezing in little walks here and there all day. Which is way better than just giving up!
What I Don’t Like
It doesn’t speak Weight Watchers. Yes, I am team Weight Watchers, and I wish there was (a) a way to see activity points earned and (b) a way to sync up your Weight Watchers food journal as well (Note: It DOES sync with My Fitness Pal App and food journal, which is very handy for you calorie counters out there!). You still have to enter activity manually into the Weight Watchers etools, but I sure wish there was a way to sync the two up! I am starting to understand why so many of my Weight Watchers buddies carry BOTH Fitbit and ActiveLink (the Weight Watchers activity tracker). UPDATE: It now syncs with WW!
(2) It may be limited in what it will track. The Fitbit is very step-oriented. Said another way: It may not accurately record activity on an elliptical machine, pilates, yoga, aerobics, strength training, rowing, swimming (don’t get it wet!) or any other activity that doesn’t result in a typical stepping motion. I will say that I myself have not tested this.
The bright side is that Fitbit does have a manual work-around for this issue. You can manually enter these type activities on their web site in your dashboard. If you do this it will overwrite the data from your device for that period of time. This is not a huge deal to me at the moment, since my main source of activity is walking. But if you do lots other types of activity, I would consider this a drawback.
(3) Fitbit does not count elevation from the treadmill. It does count steps accurately, but it doesn’t recognize your elevation when walking on an incline. Not a huge deal to me.
(4) Sleek and small is great, but there is also a risk for losing or misplacing the Fitbit One. If this is a big concern for you, I would probably recommend one of the bracelet versions like the Force and the Flex. As for me, since I work remotely I am home like 95% of the time. So this is not a huge risk for me.
I am including a few snapshots to show you the size. I added a sharpie pen for reference so you can have something to compare it to.
Here is a snapshot of the charger dongle. To charge your Fitbit One, simply remove it from the case and insert into the dongle. The dongle has a USB connector on the other end. You can either plug it into a computer USB port to charge, or you can attach it to a plug adapter that has a USB connection. My iPhone 4s charger did the trick.
I really LOVE my Fitbit One. It is a handy little device that provides valuable data to those interests in losing weight or improving their overall health. I am still geeking out over all of the cool data it gives me. Despite the drawbacks mentioned, I would definitely recommend it.
I will say that the bottom line is that YOU still have to be the one to do the work to get your activity level up. If you are like me, little motivators can go a long way to help you succeed in reaching your goals. This has been a great tool for me to stay motivated and informed about my activity level.
Do you have a Fitbit or another activity tracker? Does it actually motivate you to be more active?