Finally giving in to the Fitbit

I’m not usually a huge believer of tracking devices because I think if you do what you’re supposed to be doing, you should be fine.

Want to lose weight? Run around the block a few times.

Trying to slim down? Eat less.

I’ve never meticulously documented the calories I’ve consumed or the number of steps I’ve taken since I can usually stick to a plan once I’ve summoned the willpower to do something. But I did want to try it, so I gave in and bought it on sale from Amazon. I’ve been using it for a grand total of two days now, although it feels like longer because I’m not used to having something on my wrist constantly (I’m not much of a watch person).

Setting the Fitbit up was a bit of a pain, I hadn’t seen anyone do it before, so I pretty much had to read through the manual (it wasn’t particularly intuitive). I’m sure my parents or anyone not-so technologically inclined would have a tough time getting this to work. The Fitbit app for iOS itself is beautifully designed, but since there are so many configurable options, finding where to do what has been a little difficult. I always end up doing a lot of back and forth. Maybe an in-app search bar would make life easier? Or perhaps hiding some of the less essentials tabs and making the real features/settings more prominent? I really don’t care about the Challenges nor do I like to broadcast my physical activity to my social network (I clearly missed the memo to all millenials).

Although the water and food log features are snazzy, Fitbit can be synced with MyFitnessPal, so this to me seemed a bit unnecessary. I also found that moving my hand around caused the number of steps to go up, which was slightly disappointing since I do move my hands around a lot even while I’m sitting down. A lot of reviews I’ve read seem to indicate that it counts steps even when you’re driving. Clearly, the technology isn’t perfect and there’s a long way to go until they become completely accurate.

My favourite feature by far is the silent alarm which gently nudges me to wake up instead of scaring me to death like most alarms do. My colleague actually straps the Fitbit onto his toddler’s ankle and sets up an alarm for her in the morning. She wakes up cheerfully, without the screaming that is usually a part of his family’s daily ablutions. Despite how much I like the silent alarm, I hate wearing it to sleep, but I don’t know where else to put it.

All in all, I think the Fitbit Flex is cool because of its initial novelty but I’m not sure how long that will last. Nearly everyone I know wore it religiously for about two weeks before it faded from existence. There are three things that I think would make this piece of technology invaluable:

  1. A non-invasive way to stick the tracker on or into the body
  2. Never having to charge it
  3. The capability of measuring food and water intake (somehow)

Now I’d buy that in a tick.

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