I haven't tried the Spark Activity Tracker. It looks neat though.
I'm using Smarthealth wrist watch. It's 39$, but it's very basic. I wanted it for the heart monitor and step tracker, but it also tracks cals., miles/kilometers. I don't know how accurate it is or how it measures up to the others.
Thanks everyone for their reviews.
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Fitness Minutes: (19,090) Posts: 1,724 10/6/13 1:19 A
I'm a HUGE fan of fitness trackers. They're a great tool for me.
I've tried a few and this is my opinion of the ones I know.
I think the BodyMedia is the gold standard for tracking devices. The step tracker is accurate and the calorie tracker was good. The sleep tracking is far superior to FitBit. It reads more data points and the graphs make a lot of sense to me. I had one for a year and a half before it just got too cumbersome. The model I had needed to be plugged into my desktop to update and charge. After a year, I found that I need to reboot the computer once or twice to get it to recognize the device. It was a nuisance. I had the model with no display so the data had to be downloaded which was becoming more inconvenient. The newer model probably has those bugs worked out. All this comes with a monthly fee on top of the device.
The FitBit One is the one I'm using now. IT"S SO CUTE! The step count is on par but the calorie count is slightly less accurate than the BodyMedia. The sleep counter just gives a general impression compared to BodyMedia. However, it's extremely easy to use, it updates automatically, battery goes a week without charging. The activity levels, badges, graphs and other feedback are extremely motivating to me. There's no monthly fee on top of the device cost.
NikeBand is not an accurate step counter, is not customizable, doesn't track sleep, the interface is difficult to use and it's expensive. I guess it also links to shoes I don't intend to buy. If I hadn't gotten it for free, I'd be even less positive about it.
BodyMedia and FitBit among other devices can link to earndit.com so you can earn points redeemable for exercise gear or charitable contributions. They have sweepstakes and challenges that are fun.
I was answering a question for someone about my fitbit and decided it was a pretty good summary and I would copy it over here. So many people wonder if they're eating the right calories and it takes all that into account. Or if you have a high NEAT* expenditure one day you might feel extra hungry, and without a tracker you wouldn't know why. So a step tracker is a major part of my maintenance strategy.
Like I walked a 5k yesterday, which I would expect to put me up to 10,000 steps, but just walking around the carnival where the 5k was held got me near 14,000. And then if I'm just hanging around the house I might only get 5,000. Tracking what you do when you are officially working out is a small part of calories out. I have the fitbit zip which is $60 and there is not a monthly charge for the basic website, though they do have enhanced web training for additional cost. .
You can also get a simpler pedometer and enter the steps on sparkpeople. If anything happened to my fitbit, I'd probably get one that was around $10 or $15, because I think the fitbit estimate for calories is a little low anyway. There are nicer ones that track sleep, and of course the Bodybugg that they use on Biggest Loser which is around $100 and requires a monthly subscription for their website. But it's a little more accurate because it counts motion like the fitbit and also several measures of activity like bodyheat and sweat. But it doesn't count your heartbeat, which some people really want. I have chest strap heart rate monitors for my treadmill and exercise bike, and they don't seem to work very well on me. Maybe if the wrist mounted ones improve or come down in price I might consider that.
But mostly I like some kind of step counter to keep track of random activities I wouldn't count as exercise. And it helps motivate me when I am exercising too.
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