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How accurate/useful are those Fitbit things?

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SparkPoints: (2,835)
Fitness Minutes: (7,578)
Posts: 30
5/30/13 2:35 P

Have had my fitbit for nearly a year. Love, love, love it. Have done random "tests" to make sure it is still accurate, and it has yet to fail me. I do not use it to its fullest potential, however. Such as tracking sleep times, etc. You can also sync it with Sparkpeople for food tracking and steps walked. Yes, it is a VERY good motivational tool.

SparkPoints: (3,667)
Fitness Minutes: (3,517)
Posts: 42
5/30/13 1:43 P

I use both. I like my Fitbit to track my steps and it's seems more accurate than a regual pedometer (to me, anyway). I use my HRM when I'm actually excerising (elliptical, treadmill, strength training, etc) to ensure I'm in my target hear rate zone while exercising. I do find that my FItbit motivates me to get my 10,000 steps in.

Posts: 70
5/30/13 1:26 P

I had a hrm but i'm on meds to control my heart rate so it was useless for me. I switched to the fitbit. I have to agree with the others that is is more of a motivational tool for me and I can use all of the motivation I can get. emoticon

Posts: 2,494
5/30/13 1:09 P

Enlightening, I was considering buying one instead of a replacement HRM.

Posts: 1,983
5/30/13 10:12 A

Thanks everybody! Now I see that it's more of a motivator -- and that's cool!

I first saw the Nike Fuel Band (before I saw any of the other bracelet ones) and thought it would be a great "game" to play -- to see if you could get enough energy points to "level up." I might have to check these out once I'm at maintenance weight and need some more motivation to stay active.

Thanks again!!

Posts: 2,588
5/30/13 9:56 A

I use it like a pedometer to motivate myself to take more steps and find it to be really accurate for that purpose. It definitely motivates me! emoticon

Posts: 5,070
5/30/13 9:11 A

i adore mine too. It is my wonderful little buddy who grows my petals as I exercise. It may overestimate my calorie burn but it includes what you burn normally throughout the day. It is a personal choice if you feel that this wonderful little tool will motivate or inspire you.

SparkPoints: (19,922)
Fitness Minutes: (30,152)
Posts: 38
5/30/13 8:52 A

I adore my FitBit for step tracking and overall minute tracking. It's a great little motivator for making sure that I get up & move throughout the day, not just at the gym.

I don't use it for calorie tracking during exercise - not really sure how you would do that, unless you are creating an activity record.

I don't like how ALL my activity minutes feed through to SP. I end up deleting those records & putting in my actual workout minutes/est. calorie burns myself. If someone is relying on those FB numbers as true SP fitness minutes, they would way overeat.

I do trust its estimated-daily-calories-to-eat monitor. I'm averaging about .8lbs/wk lost since starting up with my FB in late December. I eat on the high end of my SP range (1380-1730) & usually go over once or twice a week. However, I'm right in the FB range for a 1lb/wk loss (just dropped it to .5/wk since I'm within 7 lbs of goal). I haven't been able to figure out a weekly calorie burn # to make SP & FB "talk" correctly.

So, yup, it's been a great investment for me & I can see myself still using it after I reach goal.

Edited by: VIKINGSMOMDE at: 5/30/2013 (08:53)

SparkPoints: (155,008)
Fitness Minutes: (154,245)
Posts: 10,143
5/30/13 8:35 A

I've been using a BodyMedia and it's at least 90% accurate. And I feel the calorie burn generally seems reasonable. However, I delete the extra calories it gives me and use my HRM to calculate exercise calorie burn.

Posts: 55,759
5/30/13 8:24 A

Hi Amanda

I agree that for me, the Fitbit overestimates calories burned. I don't know the exact details of how they work, but I know it's an accelerometer that measures movement. It doesn't know how difficult the movement is or how hard you're working, so that's one reason it's not going to be as accurate as a heart rate monitor. Personally, I use it like a pedometer to motivate myself to take more steps, and don't pay quite as much attention to the calories burned information.

Coach Jen

Posts: 1,983
5/29/13 12:22 P

I have a heart rate monitor, which I love and swear by, but I have a couple of friends who are using those Fitbit and Fuelband bracelet things.

They supposedly track calories burned, but in my experience, they seem to overestimate a LOT. My friend is the same age, height, and weight as me, and pretty much the same fitness level. We went for a walk last week and compared results of our "activity monitors." Hers estimated almost TWICE the calorie burn that my heart-rate monitor did.

How are these devices estimating calorie burn if they can't "tell" how hard you're working or can't measure your heart rate? I don't understand how they work.

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