Introducing the FitBit One

I recently got a FitBit One as a gift from work and have got to say that it is really, really cool!

It’s basically a tiny, smart pedometer that syncs to your computer and/or smartphone to track your progress. It tracks steps, distance, calories burned and even floors climbed. It’s got an accelerometer in it in order to collect the movement data. It calculates calories burned according to complex algorithms developed by FitBit based on your age, weight, etc. More details on exactly how the algorithms were developed here:

The FitBit dashboard tells you lots of informative things. I like that it illustrates how many steps you took at what time of the day. Usually my graph is somewhat U-shaped (because I get up in the morning, go to work, sit at a computer all day, and then at the end of the day I see that I need to get in more steps so I go for a walk or a run), but I decided to share the stats of one of my “better” days in the picture below. :)

FitBit Dashboard

FitBit Dashboard

You may have noticed the “Sleep” tile in the picture above. Yes, it tracks your sleep – sort of. It doesn’t just magically know when you’re asleep. You’ve got to press a button on the FitBit to tell it when you get in to bed and out of bed. But once you’ve done that, it does provide some interesting information in the morning. It tells you supposedly how restless you were last night and how many times you woke up. Now, if you move around a lot in your sleep, it’s going to think that you keep waking up. My FitBit often thinks I wake up like 20x every night – which is definitely not the case. I must just move around a lot. I wonder if the times that I’m restless coincide with the times that the train goes by. That’d be interesting to look at. Now, the sleep pattern depicted below on the right is my husband’s. I was curious what my FitBit would think about his sleep activity, since he’s always been one of those people that hits the pillow and is absolutely out in like 5 minutes. According to the FitBit, it’s actually 3 minutes. Haha, life is just not fair!

The final feature that I’d like to talk about, I find very useful. The online dashboard allows you to set a weight goal and then log your food throughout the day. It provides real-time data to show you how many remaining calories you can eat that day and a meter visualizing how well you’re doing at any point in the day.

Smarter calorie estimates: Your Food Plan sets each day based on your historic activity levels. It will calculate how many calories you burn each day on average, and base your suggested calorie intake on this. As you wear and sync your Tracker throughout the day, your Food Plan adjusts dynamically based on whether you’re exercising more or less than that average, so that your goal remains as accurate as possible. And as your activity trends change over time, your Food Plan’s starting estimate will adjust to your new activity levels as well.

Calories in vs calories out: Additionally, many of you wanted a way to judge how well you were doing at any one point of the day. You can now view your total calories burned compared to your total ca lories eaten, and see whether or not you are currently within your plan’s deficit goal zone. So if you’ve just logged your lunch and wonder how you’re doing for the day so far, you can see how your total calories burned so far for the day measure up against the total calories you’ve eaten. There’s no more guessing if you’re behind or on track so far for the day. With this meter, it’s always clear where you stand.

Very cool! Immediate feedback for me is so important. Now if I could just get a tool to accurately and automatically log all my intake calories for me… One day the technology will exist, right?


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