Thursday, December 5, 2013

Motivation a la Fitbit

I am a gadget freak, although I believe it's less about the gadget itself and more about finding the perfect tools for life's little challenges. I continue to challenge my aging self to increase physical activity and drop some pounds. To that end, my husband bought me a Fitbit Force for my recent birthday. It has become a constant wrist accessory for me.

The Fitbit Force, at it's most basic function, is a watch and pedometer. But it goes further than that, estimating calories burned, flights of stairs climbed, and identifying "very active" periods. The free software (for desktop and smartphone), syncs your wristband with your desktop computer and your smartphone. You can set goals for yourself and your Fitbit will message you when you are approaching your goal, awarding badges when you achieve certain benchmarks.
(Partial) Tracking Screen
from Smartphone

Another feature of the Force is a "Sleep Mode" that tracks your movements during sleep and reports on your "sleep efficiency". It's fascinating to see how many times a night I was restless or awake. It seems pretty accurate, although if you wake up and are very still, it can't tell you are awake. But if you get out of bed it knows, since you have taken steps. When you toss and turn, it tracks that as restless time. Quality of sleep is closely associated with general wellness, so I find this to be a welcome feature.
My Sleep Record from Last Night
For more complete stats, detail food and water intake, and enter the data on your smartphone or computer. Log other activities the Force cannot effectively track, like swinging a golf club for 18 holes or lifting weights.

If you're all in, there is a wireless scale (Aria) that interfaces with Fitbit, which tracks progress on weight loss. We have the scale, but I'm not ready to get on it quite yet... Soon.

I'm really happy with my new gadget, and if it motivates me to move a little more every day, it was worth the $129. See for more information. Ron bought mine at Best Buy, but you can purchase directly from Fitbit or on

This is not a paid endorsement. Just feedback from a friendly gadget freak.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review Laurel! I have been going back and forth about getting one. I have the old one and wondered about the upgrade.