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    BOBCATGIRL76   26,340
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Day 677- My Spark Activity Tracker Review

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Okay. So I bought the Spark Activity Tracker the moment I realized it existed. I love SparkPeople, and I love supporting the company so I figured I'd give it a shot.

I bought the matte black one, and I wear it on my back flats for work. It is barely noticeable and it's not obtrusive or painful in my shoe, so I like that about it. I've tried wearing pedometers before and can't tell you how many close calls I've had with them almost falling in the toilet... haha.

One thing that I've noticed, that other users have also mentioned is that it only tracks the 4 types of exercise they advertise, walking, running, "indoor cycling" and elliptical. If you're doing super intense Crossfit, or kettlebell workouts, maybe a heart rate monitor would be better for you. I wore it while bicycling outside but it didn't count it as a workout which I'm guessing is because, sometimes I went slower or coasted and not having the repetitive movement confused it. And if you stop to take a break at all, it will not count it as a workout unless you are active for 10+ minutes. I wore it Sunday morning when JD and I went hiking, and it tracked my steps, but didn't count it as a walking workout out, because we must have paused too often.

Accuracy wise however, I think it is pretty spot on. Yesterday, I took a run that I know to be almost exactly 2 miles, and the Spark Activity Tracker recorded it as 2.04, so that's pretty dang close. And since I was constantly running, it tracked it as a 25 minute work out. This of course was when it was worn on my shoe, which is where it is most accurate. I haven't tried it on my waistband or bra, because while it is waterproof, I'm not sure it is the geyser of sweat that is Jan-Marie proof...

I also am wondering if I have a faulty usb sync device. I think it is supposed to be green when plugged in, but mine doesn't ever have a light on. I was doing some crazy acrobatics trying to lift my foot up with the tracker next to the usb port, then read the directions and realized by tapping it 5 times, it would sync automatically. No leg in air awkward dance necessary. It is syncing when I do that, so I don't know if it really matters that the light doesn't light up. Does anyone else notice it isn't green but just clear?

I guess for those of you wondering if you should get it, it is just important to ask yourself why you want it and how much you are willing to spend. It's obviously more affordable than FitBits, BodyMedia bands, NikePlus watches and Heart Rate Monitors. But it also doesn't do some of the things those do. Obviously a heart rate monitor is a better judge of your calorie burn, because the Spark Activity Tracker like the NikePlus watch can only estimate calories burned based on your current set weight and the length of time you spent exercising. Or if tracking where you've ran geographically is important, then maybe a Garmin or NikePlus watch with GPS is more what you're looking for. If you want something that tracks you while you sleep, get a Fitbit.

But if you're scared to spend 100, 200+ dollars on something that you may not end up using, the Spark Activity Tracker is the way to go. I think it's better than just normal pedometers and it's very easy to use. It is accurate when worn on your shoe and a relatively good judge of what you do in everyday life.

For me, the biggest reason I bought it and am happy with it, is it is a constant reminder of my journey here on Spark. When I look down and see the Spark emblem on my shoe, I'm reminded of how I got here, to a place where I'm concerned about my daily activity and exercise. To a place where walking a few laps around my house is worth it to reach a small goal I've set for myself.

I don't think SparkPeople created the Spark Activity Tracker to compete with the super expensive high-tech gadgets that some people use to motivate them. I think they created it to provide a less expensive way for us to track goals and feel motivated. If you think about it, $60 is a little over $1 a week for one year. That's much less expensive than any gym membership I've ever heard of. And after that $60, there are no other membership fees.

I'm glad I bought the Spark Activity Tracker. It is definitely already making me more conscious of how active I am at work and at home, and gives me the little extra push I need to get off the couch and get moving, when I'd otherwise just say, who cares.

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you're using the Spark Activity Tracker and how you feel about it, SparkFriends!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVELYGIRL2 10/10/2013 12:49AM

  It is a bit confusing now that we have several options. Maybe Consumer Reports or someone will do a side by side comparison. Hopefully I can afford one of these sort of things eventually. My pedometer did a lousy job. emoticon emoticon

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CHARTHESTAR 10/9/2013 10:33PM

    I have a fit bit and love mine!
show if off too!

looked into the spark tracker to see if I would like it any better but because it runs on a battery. I didn't go into any more of the info. I like my fitbit. The charge seems to last a long time--over I week for me. I also get send an email /txt to alert me when my battery is low and then I recharge it while I am working on the computer. the recharge time is very fast.
I have had mine for almost a year and it has prompted me to mover more to reach my goal.


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ROCKYCPA 10/9/2013 10:13PM

    Thanks for sharing - glad you like the tracker. I have the Fitbit and just love it!

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CICELY360 10/9/2013 9:11PM

  good blog

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LIZZIE138 10/9/2013 8:38PM

    Thanks for the input. I've been thinking about investing in it.


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JSEATTLE 10/9/2013 7:03PM

  Thank you for your detailed review. I am thinking about the purchase, Spark tracker or Fitbit.

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JAMER123 10/9/2013 6:32PM

    I also have the Activity Tracker and think it is the pedometer for me. I have tried to track walking in addition to calories burned and this does it for me. It gives me an accurate (and much more than I tracked) measurement.

As far as the SyncPoint, Mine is green and when it is clear or red, it isn't working. I needed help from the tech. people and we finally figured out what the problem was. It works great now. Green all the way.
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ALIDOSHA 10/9/2013 5:15PM

    emoticon

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LISA_FRAME 10/9/2013 5:03PM

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GEORGE815 10/9/2013 4:35PM

    Good luck with the Activity Tracker!

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DIANNEMT 10/9/2013 4:19PM

    I have my pedometer and so far, that is working. Glad you like this!

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PATRICIAANN46 10/9/2013 3:47PM

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MARYJEANSL 10/9/2013 3:40PM

  Thank you! That is the most helpful review I have read, and I have read quite a few. I have been on the fence about buying one, but I haven't had good success with pedometers (they are NEVER accurate on me), so I think I will bite the bullet and buy one.

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JUSGETTENBY42 10/9/2013 1:45PM

    emoticon

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KARRENLYNN 10/9/2013 1:27PM

    Thanks for the review, I'll keep this in mind!

Karen

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SUSIEMT 10/9/2013 1:27PM

    Great review! Thanks for the positives and the negatives! I love my spark activity tracker! I did have to calibrate it but no problem there. My dongle stays green as long as I have the computer on and up on wifi. Sometimes our WIFI goes down:(. Whenever I sit down to the computer it does it's magic and reports my steps. Sometimes I have to tap it 5 times to have it upload though. If I walk 10 minutes it will report it as a walk event. It does a remarkable job. My sister Thoms1 tells me hers will keep track of her stationery cycling, her recumbent bike cycling and I think she did say it does track her elliptical as well. I will find out for myself one day soon! (recovering from a slight injury) I like the fact that unless I need to record other exercises I don't have to bother with the fitness page. One less thing for me to do! Yea sparkpeople! I am very happy with my purchase! I think you are right about the outdoor cycling. Sometimes you coast and it just gets confused. Thanks for a great review!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 10/9/2013 12:49PM

    emoticon I am glad you like it. I love my fitbit. When I need a new one I will probably go with the fitbit again, it tracks your sleep and tells you how many floors you climbed. You even get trophies.

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JOANNHUNT 10/9/2013 11:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEPTUNE1939 10/9/2013 11:07AM

    emoticon

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HAPPYMENOW58 10/9/2013 10:55AM

    Thanks for the info!

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DJSHIP46 10/9/2013 10:18AM

    Thanks sharing... I'd be very interested in a spark tracker, after I wear out the spark recommended fitbit that is less than a year old emoticon

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SHOAPIE 10/9/2013 10:13AM

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WORKNPROGRESS49 10/9/2013 10:08AM

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DONNELDA22 10/9/2013 10:00AM

    Thanks for your review. Was very helpful

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LCRUMLEY81 10/9/2013 9:56AM

  Thanks for your review great blog

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GOOSIEMOON 10/9/2013 8:59AM

    emoticon

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JRRING 10/9/2013 8:50AM

  thinking about it....

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SJKENT1 10/9/2013 8:48AM

    I was wondering how it was working for people. thanks

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BKNOCK 10/9/2013 8:48AM

    I would love to buy this but I have a Fitbit that does just as well!

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JANEMARIE77 10/9/2013 8:33AM

    i would love to support sparks but my fitbit is working great

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MIMIDOT 10/9/2013 8:27AM

    You all seem to like the tracker. But, I don't feel I can afford it. I'm really not trying to loose much weight anyways. I just exercise and eat right for my health. Glad it's helping you. You're doing so well. Keep sparking!!!

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MBTEPP 10/9/2013 7:50AM

    right on.

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CHERYLHURT 10/9/2013 7:39AM

  Thanks for th info!

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BESSHAILE 10/9/2013 7:30AM

    Thank you for the review

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IDICEM 10/9/2013 6:56AM

  Thanks for the review. I love my Fitbit, but I love that folks have choices.

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SHERYLP461 10/9/2013 6:36AM

    Thanks for the review

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REGILIEH 10/9/2013 6:27AM

    I have ordered mine but I haven't received it as yet. I have a fitbit but I too wanted to support Sparkpeople. Great review, I'm looking forward to trying it.

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CARRIELYN56 10/9/2013 6:14AM

    Thank you....

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WATERDIAMONDS 10/9/2013 6:10AM

    Thank you for telling the cons as well as the pros on this device. Helps me with my decision.

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TRYINGHARD54 10/9/2013 5:48AM

    thank you for the info...

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JIBBIE49 10/9/2013 5:03AM

    emoticon Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.

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LRSILVER 10/9/2013 4:37AM

    Thanks for the review. I have a fitbit, which I love.

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111BUTTERFLY111 10/9/2013 4:31AM

    Nice review ... thanks!

My USB dongle stays green most of the time. I'll see it flash green periodically after I've done some exercise. It's red if I've lost my connection to the internet ... I mistakenly cut my hub off the other day. Oops! But, it taught me something, so it worked out.


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TEMPENATIVE 10/9/2013 1:49AM

    thanks for the great review, i really appreciate it. i was thinking about getting one so searched SP for activity tracker and sure enough several reviews, more than i will probably read even. funny, the people who got one free to test play down the negatives, i feel im getting a more accurate representation of the product from someone who spent their own cash on it. some of the comments showed people dissatisfied with the product that plan to return, so its good to read your description and that you 'like' it and plan to keep it. Also, you are one of my SP friends, although i haven't been on in a while, so i respect your opinion. keep on rockin! emoticon

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_CYNDY55_ 10/9/2013 12:26AM

    emoticon Review!!
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COCK-ROBIN 10/8/2013 10:06PM

    Thanks for telling me. One day I hope to afford one myself.

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CINDHOLM 10/8/2013 9:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 10/8/2013 8:39PM

    Thanks for the info, it saved me getting one, my fitbit zip does more and is accurate.

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ANGELFMABV 10/8/2013 7:32PM

    Great review! Thank you for sharing!

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KALANTHA 10/8/2013 6:35PM

    I got one, too, and I love it. My tracker didn't seem as accurate for distance as yours, so I "calibrated" it and it seems better now.

Thanks for the review!

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