Since: Mar 2012
My little Fitbit, a Kiwi view - now that I have had it for a few months...
For all you who wanted to know about the Fitbit. This is my experience with it As Susan noted above it is available in New Zealand now
It was easy to set up via USB port on laptop or computer, as long as you follow the instructions. The Fitbit is charged by the base unit which is connected to the USB port. The battery is non-replaceable but I guess by the time you want to replace it a new device will be available. The battery lasts about 4 days and is charged in about 1 hour by placing on the base unit. I do this when I am inactive like watching TV or on the laptop surfing.
It has an easy digital readout that changes all day and tells you how active you are or not, calories, steps, distance etc. There is a little button you press to scroll thru these options. This button can also be used to time an activity or start your sleep time. You can also have little motivational message’s on it though I have not used them. Some of these options can be enabled/disabled via the website
You don’t have to log your exercise as the Fitbit records your activity for the day and adjust the calories to suit. Fitbit adjusts continuously depending on how active/inactive you are.
What does the Fitbit do?.......... It records your steps for the day, stairs or hills you climbed, distance travelled, and calories burned at any time of day, even your sleep patterns. (The sleep mode is probably more of a gimmick but still ok to try out). It can be worn on the bra, waistband or belt. It differs from a pedometer as it can record elevation using the inbuilt altimeter so it encourages you to climb floors – I always use the steps at work now not the elevator.
This is all held in a tiny device for at least 7 days (more actually) and is uploaded to your laptop/computer so you can look back at what you have done – steps per day, kms per day, calories consumed etc. The Fitbit uploads this information wirelessly so as long as your laptop/computer is on and the base unit is plugged in it will add the info to the site (you need to be within fifteen feet of the laptop for this to happen). You don’t need to do this every day as it has it stored on the Fitbit and you can easily look back at previous days data on the website.
It automatically starts a new day at midnight ( as long as you have put in the correct data – ie New Zealand time) It works out your calories for the day for what you put in – active/lightly active/sedentary etc right from midnight and adjusts during the day
You can compete with others that have joined up. There is a New Zealand group and we can see each other’s progress. You have to like technology and using the laptop/computer, otherwise stick with your old pedometer, because this is very different.
The website is user friendly and has graphs of your weight and also of how active you are. It has its own community, groups and different forums.
It is not a HRM but more of a fancy digital wireless pedometer. Works on steps/running not upper body work, though you can add that as an exercise onto the Fitbit website.
I love mine and wear it all day long. I try for over 10,000 steps each day and usually achieve this. Probably I would be a bit stressed without it now. The Fitbit is very motivating – climb some more stairs, walk some more steps to get to 15000 etc.
Each week the website emails you a record of the week – Steps/Distance/Calories in and out etc.
Please remember this is my view and experience of the Fitbit - others could be quite different.