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FitBit One Activity Tracker Review

The FitBit One
The FitBit One
Aromep - Wikimedia Commons

FitBit One

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Over the last 23 months I have completely turned my life around when it comes to my health. I have dropped 146lbs and I am in the best shape of my life. During my journey to a healthier me, I have used various tools to help me along the way, and the FitBit has been one of those tools. For the last six months of my journey, the FitBit One has been strapped to my side, and now I would like to share my thoughts about this fitness tracker.

What is the FitBit One?

At first glance the FitBit one looks like an overly priced pedometer, but it can do so much more than just a regular pedometer. The FitBit one uses gyroscopes and accelerometers to track your every step, set of stairs climbed, calories burned, and it can even track how well you sleep during the night (which is a very important part of weight loss that many people over look).

I stumbled across the FitBit one while at a local electronics store, and was baffled by its high price, but I decided to purchase it to see what it was all about. The FitBit is available in three colors, black, plum and baby blue. Aside from the colors, you will notice that the FitBit is a very small device that measures just two inches in length, and a half inch in width.

The very first thing that came to mind is that the FitBit One would be very easy to lose, but as of yet this has not happened due to the quite excellent silicone clip that comes packaged with the device itself. Once you slip the FitBit into the silicone sleeve, the device becomes completely wrapped and is very secure. The clip on the case is also very strong which means once you clip it to your pants pocket (or even a bra for women) it will not go anywhere, which is exactly what you want if you participate in vigorous activity.

On the front of the FitBit One, you will see a tiny OLED screen that displays all of the information that you would need to see during the day, from tracked steps, to stairs climbed, to calories burned, and even a graphical representation of a flower that grows depending on how active you have been. There is only one button on the FitBit, and it is located next to the screen itself. The button allows you to scroll through the various stats on the screen, and also allows you to set timers for when you workout, or for when you go to sleep. The back of the device is a blank canvas apart from the two charging connectors.

There are three more accessories that come in the box with the FitBit. You will find a wrist sleeve that you place the FitBit into at night so that you can track your sleep, a wireless receiver that you leave plugged into your computer all the time so that the FitBit can Sync without you having to do anything, and there is a USB charging cable, but how well does the FitBit One work?

Tracking your every move

Once you have setup your free online account at Fitbit.com, you are ready to track every step that you take. Before you head out to track your steps, take a look around the website. The dashboard that is displayed online is really quite fantastic. As mentioned before, your FitBit will wirelessly sync with fitbit.com every 20 minutes when you are within 20 feet of the wireless receiver, and if you have an iPhone or select Android device, the FitBit One can even sync with the website via Bluetooth on your phone, which is a fantastic feature.

Not only can you track your activity levels, you can also track your food intake either straight through Fitbit.com, the free FitBit app, or via a 3rd party website such as sparkpeople.com (my favorite) or www.myfitnesspal.com. Either way this gives you a great opportunity to track your calories consumed against the calories that you have burned.

How well does the FitBit One work? Very well is the answer. Essentially once you clip the device to your person for the day, you can just go about your life and really never have to worry about it. The FitBit One will track your every step, and I have to say that it is very accurate. I have put this to the test multiple times, and I have often tried to trick it, but it counts every step perfectly, it can even tell if the steps you are taking over a period of time are just normal walking steps, or if you are participating in more strenuous activity. The website and phone apps will be able to tell you how much time you have spent being sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, or highly active, and this is important because it will give you a more accurate calories burned count.

Both my wife and I have FitBits. I keep my FitBit clipped to the inside of my pant pocket, and my wife clips hers to her bra. Both locations keep up with every step, and every flight of stairs climbed. If you walk, it will track with ease, and once again you don’t have to worry about the FitBit falling out of the silicone sleeve.

Along with the step tracking, the FitBit one can also track your sleep patterns. At night when you go to bed, you simply put the FitBit into the wrist strap, and hold down the button for three seconds. After performing this action you will see the display start to flash, this indicates that the FitBit is in activity tracking mode. I was a little skeptical about this feature, but the results really blew my mind. The FitBit is able to tell you just how well you are sleeping at night.

When you visit your dashboard online or via the app in the morning, you will be able to see just how many times you tossed and turned, or how many times the FitBit registered movement which could indicate you having restless sleep. Sleep is vital when it comes to weight loss, so making sure you are getting a solid 8 hours every night is crucial, so it is interesting to see your sleep patterns play out over a period of time.

The FitBit one also has a built in alarm. You can set the alarms via the website, or from the app, and when your chosen time rolls around, the FitBit will silently vibrate on your wrist. The vibrating alarm is great because it wakes you up gently, and will not disturb others around you.

Is the Fitbit One worth it?

After six months of use, I would have to say that the FitBit one is definitely worth the $99.95. If you are serious about your health and really want to track your activity levels, the FitBit one will help you immensely. Experts recommend you walk 10,000 steps every day, and with the FitBit you can easily see just how many steps you are taking.

Thanks to the website you can even set weekly goals for you to reach, which in turn reward you with achievements when you reach and break those goals (we all know how important positive reinforcement is when it comes to losing weight). The online forums at fitbit.com also offer a great support system, which is also vital when it comes to losing weight; it also provides a great way to challenge friends and family in a race to see who track the most steps in a day or week.

The FitBit One offers a very portable way of tracking how active you are being, and it wraps it into an easy to use package that can easily help you lose weight, or just become more active in general. During the past six months that I have been using the FitBit, I have been amazed at just how big a role the FitBit One has played in my journey to a healthier me, and I simply cannot imagine not having it clipped to me during the day.

If you are looking for a way to motivate yourself to be more active, or to track your sleep patterns, the FitBit One is ideal, and it will instantly become one of your most used possessions. I highly recommend it.