Tuesday, September 3, 2013

MY WEEK WITH THE FITBIT FLEX

Staying in shape, or getting there in the first place, can be a struggle for anyone, but for attorneys, the time commitment can be daunting. Anything that can help out would seem to be a plus.

The wife got a Fitbit Flex a while back, but she hasn't been wearing it since she has been sidelined. So, I thought I would wear it for a week and see if it added anything to my life.

If you aren't familiar, the Fitbit is a band you wear on your wrist that acts as a pedometer, sleep tracker, and silent alarm. The Android App and the website allow you to track your caloric and liquid intake and explain your sleep patterns. In short, it is designed to help you get into shape by allowing you to keep track of what you do.

On the plus side, the silent alarm feature was nice as it woke me up without waking the wife by vibrating the bracelet. The Android App was fairly user friendly, and the Bluetooth syncing with the phone made syncing a snap. It held a charge for several days before needing plugged in, and even then, charging didn't take very long. Plus, you could tap on it twice during the day and see how far you had progressed towards your walking goal for the day.

However, those were the only real positives as far as I was concerned. First, you're supposed to wear it on your non-dominant hand, which is where I usually wear my watch. Unless I wanted to wear two things on my left wrist - and I very much did not - then the watch had to stay at home. So, for a week, I kept looking at the Fitbit to figure out the time and date.

Staying on the topic of style, the Fitbit isn't garish. In fact, it looks like one of those wrist bracelets that are supposed to signify your support of cancer awareness or ecology or whatever other cause you might imagine. I suppose if you don't mind those types of things, you wouldn't find the Fitbit a problem; however, those things simply don't do anything for me. Clearly a minor, and probably personal issue, but I point it out for others who are indifferent or turned off by the cause bracelets.

As far as functionality, I do question its accuracy as a pedometer. It said I had walked nearly half a mile over the hour and a half it took to mow the lawn, which I could understand had I used a push mower. However, that entire time was spent on a riding mower. It also registered quite a few steps while I was talking during meetings (full disclosure, I talk a lot with my hands). I didn't find it to be as accurate as belt loop pedometers that I have worn in the past.

Additionally, I found it cumbersome to keep track of my food intake and water using the app. My prior experience with MyFitness Pal was more positive. Don't get me wrong, it did an ok job, I just preferred the other app for doing intake tracking.

Lastly, as a sleep tracking device, I found it lacking. It didn't provide much detailed information regarding my sleep patterns. Plus, the way I slept, the bracelet kept getting caught on my other arm or the pillow. It also didn't adjust the alarm to go off during the part of your sleep cycle where you would be least disturbed by an alarm. Prior experience with apps like Sleep as Android provided better sleep cycle analysis and functionality without the intrusion of a bracelet and they would adjust the alarm time to go off during the most restless part of your sleep cycle.

Overall, I think there is promise in the idea of the Fitbit. But I'm not sure there aren't better free apps out there to help you monitor your fitness. I'll be curious to see how the next generation of these devices function.

1 comment:

  1. The wife got a Fitbit Flex a while back, but she hasn't been wearing it since ... fitbitflexbracelet.blogspot.com

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