4 Reasons Why I Love My Fitbit


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  111 comments   :  58,160 Views

While I don't consider myself a "gadgets" person (I don't even have a single fitness app on my iPhone), there are a few gadgets I've loved over the years, such as my Garmin Forerunner, which is still going strong after many, many miles and half marathons.  But I'm also a big fan of the Fitbit, which I started using a couple of years ago.
The Fitbit tracks some basic daily activity: how many steps you take, how far you've walked (in miles), how many flights of stairs you've climbed, your estimated calorie burn based on these stats, and how restful your sleep was (if you wear it overnight).
Compared to the Fitbit, which seems like a glorified pedometer, my GPS-enabled Garmin, which also has a heart rate monitor, real-time (and very precise) speed and distance tracking, pacing features and more seems like a sure winner. What would a runner like me—someone who is already active and motivated to stay that way—really get out of a Fitbit anyway?
Plenty. Truth is, I adore my Fitbit. I wear it daily, clipping it to my waistband the second I get out of bed. I check my step stats dozens of times throughout the day. And I use it more often than my Garmin since I only run a few days per week for a few total hours. I actually use my Fitbit even while using my Garmin (and every hour that I'm not using it). Here's why. 
It Motivates Me to Get Active
I can't explain it, but wearing the Fitbit motivates me to move more! I love seeing my stats, my all-time best records, and the days that I break them. It is a little reminder that I think about throughout the day and it motivates me to make a more active choice. Since wearing the Fitbit, I do try to reach at least 10,000 steps a day. But I don't even stop there. Some days I've reached 50,000 steps.
It wasn't like this in the beginning. When I first put it on, I was shocked at how "inactive" I was each day—even though I exercise pretty much every day. On a day off from exercise, I can accumulate less than 2,000 steps easily. Even on days that I would run or work out, I'd rarely reach the minimum of 10,000 steps a day, which really surprised me. But since wearing the Fitbit, even my "less active" days have become more active. I get up more at work. I walk around the house doing things instead of lounging. I walk the dog more. I even exercise a little more. I think of it as my daily reminder to move, and it truly works as a motivator. This is so important for weight loss and overall health. As studies show, even people who exercise are putting their health at risk by being sedentary for so many hours in the day.
It's Cute and Portable and Noninvasive
I love my Garmin watch, but it's clunky and gets in the way. But the Fitbit is perfect for all-day use. It's so tiny that I don't even notice I'm wearing it. You can put it in a pocket, clip it to your clothing, clip it to your bra—almost anywhere. In addition to being small, it's discreet. Only very rarely have I ever worn an outfit that I can't find a place to "secretly" clip my Fitbit. I think the design is sharp, too—clean and simple.
It Syncs with SparkPeople.com        
I hope you are as excited as I am about our recent announcement. SparkPeople has partnered with Fitbit and now all of your Fitbit data (which loads wirelessly to an account at Fitbit.com) can easily be connected to SparkPeople so you can track all your steps, distance and more right on your SparkPeople fitness tracker. This has made fitness tracking even easier for me since it just uploads and I don't have to do anything extra. Gotta love that! (Bonus: If you purchase any Fitbit using SparkPeople's affiliate link, SparkPeople can earn a percentage of the sales, which is a great way to help Spread the Spark.)
It's Just Plain Fun
The Fitbit is fun! I love that is "greets" me with little messages and encourages me with various "You can do it" phrases across the screen throughout the day. As you accumulate your steps, a digital flower "grows" until you've reached your daily goal, which is a nice visual of your progress. And when you reach new milestones, you get little trophies (called badges) and congratulatory messages sent to your inbox. All of these things just add to the motivation factor if you ask me.
I find myself checking in with my Fitbit multiple times per day and always trying to reach new milestones. This would have never happened had I not started using the Fitbit. And this is what an active lifestyle is all about.
How Well Does the Fitbit Work?
Now, I can't speak much about how accurate the Fitbit is or isn't. A lot of times it seems a little off for me, like when I run 10 miles in half-marathon training (which should be 20,000 steps) and it shows me as several thousand steps shy of that. And I do think the calories burned estimates might be a little high. Like many gadgets, it's not perfect. But that doesn't detract from its usefulness, in my opinion, and its benefits aren't about precision in the tracking or the data. It's simply a fun and useful tool for just about anyone who is motivated by numbers like these.
Gadgets may come and go, but I'll keep using my Fitbit into the foreseeable future. I think it has something to offer exercisers of just about every fitness level.
Have you tried the Fitbit? What do you like about it? What is your favorite fitness gadget?

Images sourced from Fitbit.com.

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  • 61
    I like the idea of the Fitbit, but it is expensive. I did pick up a free step counter at work this week - I was shocked at how few steps I took when I didn't do an evening walk - something like 4,000! But yesterday I got to 10,000 steps. I had to go on two walks and also played badminton in a parking lot. Counting steps is a very concrete way to see what I'm ACTUALLY doing activity wise. - 10/18/2012   2:51:04 PM
    i am actually on my second fitbit. wearing it right now. it DOES encourage me to take the stairs and get my 10k steps everyday. I clip it to my bra and yes it is very discreet. although i dont wear it everyday, i put it on when i feel like im getting lazy or struggling to keep weight off. i also really like it on vacation to see how much im really moving and if i can have that extra treat. it is a great device. - 10/18/2012   1:38:18 PM
  • 59
    What are the differences between the Zip and the Fitbit Ultra...besides the sleep function? I'm thinking about getting one, just not sure which one.
    - 10/18/2012   12:51:03 PM
    Wish it worked in the water. That's where I like to exercise. - 10/18/2012   12:50:14 PM
  • 57
    I have owned a fitbit since they first came out. I have been wearing one ever since. I am on my second fitbit, since the Ultra does more than the original did, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I am glad to hear, that the fitbit and sparkpeople are now linked together. This was something I was hoping they would do from the beginning. Great job to both the fitbit crew and sparkpeople crew, in making this happen.
    - 10/18/2012   11:36:08 AM
    wow, I thought I was doing good. I recently purchased a body media. Now I need to take a look at information on the fitbit and the body media statistics side by side. - 10/18/2012   10:23:53 AM
  • 55
    I LOVE LOVE my fitbit. I've had one for about a year and a half, and it's been worth every penny to me. I live in New York City, where it tends to be easier to walk places, but even here I was surprised at how little I was getting each day. Just having the number to look at each day, and the historical data to show how I've done in the past, makes me walk extra steps each day.

    Over the course of using it, I've actually grown to start walking all the way home from work most days. 4 miles right there, and I never would have pushed myself to do it without the fitbit. Or understood what I CAN do on a regular basis.

    I know it's expensive, but I think it's worth every penny. And THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for syncing to Sparkpeople. I used to log my own steps but it was so tiresome and clunky. This will help me to use it as a SP goal to push to the next level. - 10/18/2012   10:08:07 AM
  • 54
    Love to own one...so expensive ...I wish that it could be more affordable. Oh well... - 10/18/2012   10:02:43 AM
  • 53
    I so totally want this!!! I like the less expensive model. It is so cute!! I just wish it came in Purple!! I can settle for pink though. I think this will be my reward for my next milestone achievement. - 10/18/2012   9:45:53 AM
  • 52
    I love my FitBit. I used to have a GoWearFit (like a BodyBugg) but was tired of seeinging it on my arm in all my pictures. I like that the FitBit is so small.

    We have a group on Sparkpeople called"FitBit Users Unite." The link to connect your Fitbit and Sparkpeople is: www.sparkpeople.com/fitbit/connect.

    If you want to become friends with me on the FitBit site (in addition to Sparkpeople) you can connect with me here: www.fitbit.com/user/22FR9Y

    There is also a Sparkpeople Group on the FitBit site: www.fitbit.com/group/228VZ3 - 10/18/2012   9:40:17 AM
  • 51
    I want one so bad, - 10/18/2012   9:15:10 AM
  • 50
    I use a Philips ActiveLink, in partnership with Weight Watchers. I LOVE this gadget. It captures all your daily movements and syncs your data with your WW eTools account. LOVE it! It even suggests a challenge that you can accept and the AL will tell you how you are doing towards your challenge goal.

    PS: It's also water-resistant and designed to be worn in a pool, etc. - 10/18/2012   9:13:41 AM
  • 49
    LOVE my Fitbit!!! Suggestion on your (Nicole....if you read this) steps being off, double-check your stride length. My mileage and steps were way off at first too. Turns out I had my stride length wrong. Once I adjusted it, it is now spot on. - 10/18/2012   7:29:07 AM
  • 48
    I'm putting the fitbit on my christmas list! - 10/18/2012   7:01:35 AM
    I just got mine a week ago, and I LOVE IT!!! Just wish I had known about the SP link... at any rate, anyone know how to sync it with my SP account? That would be helpful rather than manually entering.

    I LOVE the sleep tracker. Heck I finally know why I am so exhausted in the mornings when I awake... I awaken an average of 9 times per night. Geez!!! Working harder on my sleep challenge!!! - 10/18/2012   12:00:37 AM
  • 46
    I love my Fitbit for all the reasons you indicate. In addition, Fitbit has outstanding customer service. If you have one and you EVER have a problem with it, please contact them, and there is an excellent chance that they will make it right. My husband lost his Fitbit less than a week after getting it, and they sent him a new one. No guarantee that will always happen, but there are many similar stories out there. - 10/17/2012   11:57:08 PM
  • 45
    I love my fitbit. I love the sleep tracker the most! Also it just goes and goes without charging which makes it easy too. It's so light, it stays put -- I have no complaints. I wear it on the band of my bra as the mfctr suggested and that is awesome. - 10/17/2012   11:45:11 PM
  • 44
    This sounds like a REALLY interesting little gizmo. Besides the tracking, I can see where all the motivating messages and the flower growing bigger is great incentive. Now who would think of a growing flower on something like that?? - 10/17/2012   9:20:36 PM
  • 43
    I love my FitBit!!! - 10/17/2012   9:13:36 PM
  • 42
    I cannot envision my world without my FitBit! You are so right with reason #1. The little guy is such a motivator. I use to be happy with 10K steps on a daily basis but now I have increased my daily steps to 20K! Finally, linking the two sites was a brilliant move! The excitement that this action has generated in the FitBit Users United team has been unbelievable. Our team membership has literally doubled in the last few months. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! - 10/17/2012   8:55:25 PM
  • 41
    I've been wearing my Fitbit since January 2012 and I love it - haven't missed a day yet, - 10/17/2012   7:56:31 PM
    When it starts working with Android devices, I'll definitely look into it. - 10/17/2012   6:43:26 PM
  • 39
    I got my fitbit ultra almost a year ago. One review here said there is a problem with the battery door, the ulta recharges and has no battery door. I do realize one of the new ones has a battery door but if that is your only concern, get one that does not have the battery door. They are worth the money they charge.
    Several people have made comments on the accuracy. I do know it is far more accurate than any of the many many other brands I have had in the past.
    As for the sleep mode, sparks and other researchers say we need a minimum of 7 hour of sleep a night. My fitbit has shown me that I don't always get the amount of sleep I thought I was getting.
    I for one would have to buy a new fitbit if I were to lose mine or if it stopped working for any reason! - 10/17/2012   3:24:32 PM
    I have only had my fitbit a couple of weeks but I am crazy in love with it. I am prone to incentives even if they are just virtual economy badges and that, combined with my habit of rounding up totals, does occasionally find me spending my evenings walking around the gournd floor of my house from room to room in order to make my goal or the next one up (hey, I am almost there anyway). That is, of course, after I have run up and down the stairs a few times. Its a system that suits my personality well and I am thrilled that it is now cooperating with spark poeple. - 10/17/2012   1:37:44 PM
  • 37
    We were given these as part of a study, and I do like it. When I remember to, I also track my sleep, which shows me exactly how fitful my sleep has been . (It notes increased activity, which corresponds to the number of times one wakes up in the night. I find that part to be pretty accurate.) It was funny, the day Sparkpeople announced they were syncing with Fitbit was the first day I accidentally ran my Fitbit through the washer and dryer. (It's bound to happen... ) It came out relatively unscathed; I just had to charge it for a while. I do find it can be sensitive to moisture (which is why I'm surprised it survived the washer). I've had it short out from sweat 10 miles into a 12 mile run. So I put mine in a small plastic bag and put it in the key pocket of my running clothes whenever I go out for a long run. - 10/17/2012   1:09:34 PM
  • 36
    This device is wonderful IF you are not forgetful like I am. I mistakenly put it in the washing machine. I bought my second one. That one was grabbed by my dog when if fell off my shirt after he jumped on me. My third one like the first mistakenly went into the washing machine. I tried putting it in a container of rice to dry up as I had read might work. It did not work for me. I have not bought another. I have taken my Bodybugg out of retirement and I wear that strapped to my arm everyday for the past month. - 10/17/2012   1:04:17 PM
  • 35
    I LOVE my FitBit. I'm on my second one due to my first having two close encounters in the washing machine. And I'm going to be getting The One. Then I'll ship my Ultra off to my daughter. - 10/17/2012   12:30:04 PM
  • 34
    I am waiting on the new one to come out - I have killed 3 of them... They are not fans of water... And apparently I sweat enough to kill them :( - 10/17/2012   12:04:19 PM
  • 33
    I'm wondering how it will detect my movement when I'm sitting on my exercise ball all day - I sit at a desk but instead of a chair I sit on a ball and when I listen to my music I move around quite a bit on it, so I'm really curious if that equals calories burned - 10/17/2012   11:22:42 AM
  • 32
    Anyone enjoying the tracking sleep part to these? Can someone add what that means exactly and if you are able to improve anything based on knowing the quality of sleep you are getting? I'm undecided between the Zip and One or Ultra so just wondering if that extra feature is really worth $40 more bucks! Seems like a great product and very easy to use! - 10/17/2012   11:22:12 AM
  • 31
    Wow! I must have missed this big announcement. I have had my fitbit since April, and I love it. I am very glad it works with SP now. I just connected my accounts. - 10/17/2012   11:18:23 AM
  • 30
    I ordered the new Fitbit One model on Amazon--it won't be available for shipping until the end of the month. I can't wait to receive it! It sounds like a fabulous motivation device (something I really need!). - 10/17/2012   10:53:43 AM
  • 29
    This is great news! I've had my Fitbit for well over a year and I love it! It will be even better now that I can sync my Fitbit account with SparkPeople. All the better! - 10/17/2012   10:39:42 AM
  • 28
    I've been researching and am considering buying one for sure!!! Perhaps I can get my co-workers to purchase one and we can have friendly competitions. - 10/17/2012   10:32:45 AM
  • 27
    I _adore_ my Fitbit! (And I'm completely thrilled that it finally syncs with SP!!
    I've got the "Ultra" right now... but if/when it dies, I'm totally getting the "One". (Waterproof for the win!) - 10/17/2012   10:25:25 AM
    I would love to look into getting one of these! Can you get them at regular stores (Target, Walmart)? - 10/17/2012   10:21:45 AM
  • 25
    I use an Omron pedometer, which I love. It seems incredibly accurate and really motivates me to keep moving. I considered getting something like the Fit Bit, but so far the cost ($100+) doesn't seem to outweigh the benefits of the pedometer I already have ($22). When I want to measure sleep quality, I use the Sleep Cycle app for iPhone. It costs a couple of dollars and you lay it on the corner of your mattress to measure how much movement you make through the night. Once there is a waterproof device that unobtrusively measures heart rate for a better estimate of calories burned (that's under $150), I might be interested. But really, anything that can motivate us to keep moving is a good thing! :) - 10/17/2012   10:19:58 AM
  • 24
    I want one ! It sounds awesome ! - 10/17/2012   10:01:38 AM
  • 23
    I love mine. I did a good deal of research before I bought mine in April - between the Body Media and the Fitbit. I decided on the Fitbit because it was discreet, it was fairly accurate (depending on how much time you take to program it correctly) and I didn't get nickeled and dimed by the company to see my data. The reviews on Amazon do have some negatives, but you generally do have to be careful with your Fitbit. You can't expose it to rain or sweat under heavy clothes, then get mad at the company because it doesn't work. The joint is sensitive - don't over stretch it. If the device appears to be stressed as you put it on, use the holster. If you use the holster, buy a $2 pedometer leash as an insurance policy. I wear it on my bra for 2 reasons - 1 - no one can see it and it's secure 2 - it doesn't stress the joint. When I run, I don't want it under heavy clothes, so I put it in the holster with the leash.

    My best friend from college got one recently and it is really fun to compete to see how many steps/stairs we can get each day. It's VERY motivating. It's also been very interesting to see my sleep patterns over time and is motivating to make sure I get enough sleep. A GREAT product and I am beyond thrilled that SP integrates with Fitbit data - THANK YOU SP!!! - 10/17/2012   9:58:46 AM
  • 22
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Fitbit! Honestly, it's been such a great motivator. I made the mistake about a month in of having one of rolling the waistband of my shorts, not using the larger clip holster, and losing it on a run. I went about a week or 2 without one and I knew I was a LOT LESS active, so I bought another. I think as a result of a defense course I took this weekend (rolling on the ground) while it was raining has killed the display on my current one. It's still syncing with the dock, but not seeing the current stats and greeting is bumming me out and since the new version is coming out next week, I think I'll upgrade to that (which has more water resistance and can sync with bluetooth to phone among other things) and then giving my old one to my sister. I also use a GPS watch (the Nike+ GPS) and often use Runkeeper on my phone. There's a service that was able to sync the Nike+ stuff to Runkeeper but then that broke. The developer said that's almost fixed, which is good because on long runs the phone's battery can't hold up. If you don't have a Fitbit, seriously...they are worth EVERY PENNY. They aren't obtrusive, I find them highly accurate and the motivation they provide is priceless! - 10/17/2012   9:40:36 AM
  • 21
    I ordered mine last night. Can't wait to get it. - 10/17/2012   9:33:27 AM
  • 20
    ordered my Fitbit yesterday! Woo hoo! - 10/17/2012   9:32:34 AM
    I for one am very excited that SparkPeople is now syncing with Fitbit. I've found the Fitbit plenty accurate to be a great encouragement tool and that's how I view it. Step count has been dead on for me, but I do more walking and hiking. Perhaps less of a lilt and glide then a runner. I personally love the stairs climbed feedback as well as the "Active Score" which is a rough calculation of METS spent. In my own Spark blog, I put together a pictorial where you can "go on a hike" with me and my Fitbit. Getting feedback as the pictures show is a great encouragement and makes me want to exercise more. The blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_j
    - 10/17/2012   9:28:44 AM
  • 18
    I usually use an LL Bean pedometer, but have been intrigued by the FitBit since Sparkler LILY_SPARK told me about how much she loves hers several months ago. I wonder about the inaccuracy mentioned. With the LL Bean model, I measure my steps over a 10-foot distance and calibrate the pedometer accordingly. Can't the FitBit be calibrated in this way?

    I like the idea of having the sleep chart. I feel like I wake up and move too much at night. Having proof of it will help me determine if I should contact a sleep clinic or if I'm imagining a problem that doesn't really exist. - 10/17/2012   9:19:22 AM
  • 17
    Will definately be looking into one of these SOON!!! - 10/17/2012   9:17:48 AM
  • 16
    I just got my Fit Bit Ultra, I wore it for the first full day yesterday and was surprised at how many more steps I had over the watch pedometer I had been wearing, also the calorie burn seems very high? I would love to know how to sync it with SP, if someone can help with that. - 10/17/2012   9:17:40 AM
  • 15
    I went to Amazon to buy the fitbit and it had terrible reviews. People were returning them because they were dissatisfied. It definitely changed my mind. - 10/17/2012   9:10:20 AM
  • 14
    I absolutely loved my fitbit ultra. but then i lost it. I thought I could live without it but have decided to get another one. The fitbit One.
    I usually used a clip (pedometer "leash") to keep it on, but the day I lost it I didn't have it leashed. that's the only problem I see with it.

    as far as accuracy, it's as accurate as u make it. It monitors some things (steps taken, floors climbed, miles traveled) but you have to enter food (which now sycs w SP) I just enter food on Lose it. and it syncs. You also have to enter other activities which are not related to stepping, like strength training and daily activities like sitting a a desk or standing at the job. then the calorie burn is pretty accurate. - 10/17/2012   9:00:00 AM
  • 13
    fit bit ultra doesn't have a battery door - 10/17/2012   8:54:27 AM
  • 12
    I love my FitBit!!! If I don't hit my 10,000 goal steps, I do laps around the house at the end of the night ! Definitely wouldn't do that otherwise! - 10/17/2012   8:44:41 AM

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