Fitbit v. pedometer: Lazy Sunday
Monday, December 17, 2012
So yesterday I found my triaxial pedometer. I had been missing the pedometer for a few months (it was in the bag I thought it should be in, but in the wrong pocket.) This is a fancy pedometer, it doesn't count trips consisting of less than 4 steps, it has a separate mode displaying moderate to active steps, it has a seven day memory and fitness calories. It was around $40 when my husband got it for me to try and get me to walk more when I was pregnant, which is probably why I haven't appreciated it too much.
I was excited to get a fitbit, though I had started to wonder if it was any different from the pedometer since it is also based on triaxial motion detection, and I had a couple instances where I took steps I knew it hadn't counted, and one day it said I was sedentary when I was puttering around the kitchen. (I don't know if it counted the steps, only that the online tracker said I was sedentary. A trip to the ladies room doesn't usually take me out of the sedentary range either. So steps and activity level seem to be somewhat independent of each other.
Early this morning I posted a status that my fitbit tracked 40% more steps than the pedometer for the several hours I wore them yesterday evening. I got a lot of comments (6 is a lot for me) so I thought I'd expand it into a blog entry. That evening I spent several hours building furniture from IKEA, so it was exactly the kind of activity the smart pedometer was designed to ignore. This is considered a smart feature so you don't track bumpy car trips and stuff.
So I wore them both today to see what I got under less unusual conditions. My day today was going to church, fixing lunch, several trips to the basement, a sorely needed nap and a car trip to my mom's about an hour south. I didn't walk to church.
I checked the fitbit before and after the first leg of the car trip and didn't see any increase in steps, so from that I would guess the fitbit has been tuned well enough not to make up steps where there weren't any.
The final numbers for the day were:
Total steps: pedometer 2116 / fitbit 2943
Distance: pedometer 0.8 mi / fitbit 1.30 mi
Calories: pedometer 14 / fitbit 213 (maybe more like 173 after subtracting calories i would have burned being sedentary)
Activity: pedometer 75 steps moderate / fitbit 1 hr 40 min lightly active, 44 fairly active, 0 very active.
I will try again tomorrow, which should be a strength/5000 step day, with half those steps in the very active range. This has probably been my least active day since I got my fitbit, thanks to the two hours driving and the nap. But it's interesting. In terms of total calories, I would add the 14 calories from the pedometer to a BMR of 1778 for 1792, whereas the fitbit will land at about 1750 (it counts about one calorie per minute for being sedentary.)