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I recently got a Fitbit. I'm mostly a runner (or more aptly these days, a walker/runner) & use a Garmin Forerunner 305 to track my runs/walks. But I thought the Fitbit would be a motivational tool to help me challenge myself to be more active throughout the day. I was inspired by the Nike Fuelband. But I waited to pre-order it & missed the window. They had another offering today & I also missed that. Oh, well.

Anyway, I primarily use it to monitor daily steps. The default goal seems to be 10,000 per day. I've found this easy to meet & exceed on days that I run and do a lot of laundry/housework. I've already acquired three badges. The ones for 5,000 steps per day, 10,000 steps per day & 15,000 steps per day. The next goal is to get the 20,000 steps per day badge. I'm planning on getting that one within the next week. :D

It also measures distance, calories used & stairs/floors climbed. But again, the daily steps are what I'm interested in to just keep myself active.

The advantage over the Fuelband (besides price & availability!) is that it's discreet. It's about the size of a thumb drive & clips onto your clothing. I wore it to the ballet on Saturday & no one was the wiser. I would not have worn the Fuelband to the ballet! :)

The battery life seems pretty good, too. After it was initially charged, I forgot to charge it for a few days, but it never died. No wall wart comes with it, so you have to charge it by hooking the dock up to a USB port on your computer. I'm now trying to remember to charge it while I'm at my computer. But also to remember to clip it back on when I get up, so all my steps are tracked!!!

It syncs wirelessly whenever you're near your computer. That's so cool, since I'm on my computer so much throughout the day. The data is web based, which is kind of a drag, since I hate web only apps. What happens to all my info, if the company & website go under? I'll have to check to see if there's a way to export the data. There is an iOS app, so you can check your stats from your iPad or iPhone.

Overall, so far, I'm pleased with this purchase.

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I also started using a Fitbit recently. Looking to stay motivated to hit my daily step goals. Maybe I should share here to keep me motivated?

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Hi BurgersNFries,

Many thanks for sharing.

What a brilliant looking tool. I like the idea of this and to find out just how much sleep I am really getting!

Will look more into the web site and probably get one on order.

Best regards

Chris

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Chris, you're welcome!

BTW, Fitbit's API is in beta. I've never worked with stuff like this before. But if I get the time, I may try to see if I could do something that would take the Fitbit data & feed it to Evernote...

...unless someone else has already done this or gets it done before I would...

How neat would that be???

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Ordered one today!

All being well, it should arrive tomorrow.

Best regards

Chris

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It will be interesting to hear what Chris thinks of his new Fitbit.

Interesting note. I have "sleep issues". I didn't get the Fitbit for that but I did start using it for the sleep monitoring Wednesday night. It's not at all unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night & be awake for several hours. Last night, I don't remember waking up at all (it happens every now & then!) But Fitbit reports me as having awakened six times. I wonder how it monitors this? Anyway, out of 6 hours & 17 minutes, it shows my actual sleep time as 6 hours, 2 minutes. So that's pretty good! (For me...)

Oh an I did find out you can export the data if you have the premium account ($50/year.) There's a 7 day free trial. You do have to sign up for it, which is nice. IOW, it doesn't automatically start when you start using the Fitbit. This is nice b/c it gives you the chance to familiarize yourself with the device & take on the premium features when you are ready to do so.

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Very interesting!

It arrived yesterday afternoon and I fitted it and wore it last night. I do have problems sleeping or at least I often feel tired in the morning and have always suspected the reason for this. The fitbit has now proven my suspicions.

Time to fall asleep 2 mins

Times awakened 13

In bed for 7 hrs 30 mins

Actual sleep 6 hrs 31 mins

So basically I am awakening every 45 minutes or so as seen on my graph, which means I am not really getting properly into deep sleep!

Need to address this I think!

As to the product, I am very impressed. I don't think it is accurate but it appears to consistently inaccurate which means the data can be used and is useful.

Amazing watching the steps and distance travelled.

I will enjoy using this I think.

Once again many thanks for pointing it out BurgersNFries.

Best regards

Chris

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In trying to understand how the fitbit measures your sleeping patterns I came across this blog:

http://www.grassdirt...pnea-treatment/

Very interesting and wonder if it is worth getting tested for sleep apnea.

Regards

Chris

There are tons of factors that lead to good or bad sleep patterns. Getting tested for sleep apnea can be a good thing, but other factors could be: overall stress, quality of foods, time between last meal/snack and sleep, light in room, temperature of room, time of year, activity levels, etc. I'd be curious to know if that blogger changed anything else in her life? A great resource is a book called "Lights Out: sleep, sugar and survival." http://www.amazon.ca/Lights-Out-Sleep-Sugar-Survival/dp/0671038680

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Yes of course there are many reasons for lack of sleep. But it is interesting seeing one persons thoughts.

Many thanks for info on the book, I have just ordered a copy. Sadly it cannot be downloaded in the UK.

Best regards

Chris

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hi - I have had the fitbit for a couple of months now -- and i like it --

There is a way with google docs to download fitbit data - like steps, miles, sleep, weight, etc. - it uses the fitbit data api - in google docs - app script there is a spreadsheet with the functions in it that you can schedule to download the data. (script gallery)

I don't have the fitbit premium.

also i think the sleep awake times has something to do with movement - so if you are tossing and turning that counts as being awake.

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I'm the blogger in question - and I'm sorry that link doesn't work anymore. I recently moved my blog to a new domain, and not all the posts have made it back onto the net.

And yes, I made many other changes in my life before the sleep apnea diagnosis, including having read T.S Wiley's book (Lights Out) that was mentioned. You might check out her Wiki page; her "research" is controversial. The list of things I tried to sleep better is long (I can post it if you're curious).

I didn't actually seek out a sleep study; a health provider suggested it. I almost didn't do it, I thought it was a waste of time since I don't snore, and my husband and I have been together for nearly two decades and he's never noticed any cessation of breathing in my sleep. Turns out I was wrong! You can have sleep apnea even without being a snorer, and the device that I use to sleep now has made a world of difference. The FitBit helped me gather data at home that demonstrated this.

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Just saw they have a couple new versions of the Fitbit coming. Zip is available now, it is a little cheaper and less features. The One will replace the Ultra, supposed to be available in October for $100... http://www.fitbit.com/one

The One has a feature I have been waiting for... vibration alarm to wake you from sleep. I haven't determined if this is just based on time like a "regular" alarm clock. Hopefully it wakes you when you are in a light stage of sleep like the Jawbone Up does (or did?).

[edit 9/19: via email they said the alarm is a simple time based alarm clock :-( ]

It also has Bluetooth4 for syncing with newer phones with Bletooth4, also includes PC dongle.

Has anyone seen evidence from a sleep center or doctor on how well gadgets like these really work at tracking sleep?

Edited by Kevin2

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I'm on my third & fourth Fitbit.  The first one (Ultra) lasted a while - maybe a year.  But then it proved the point that they don't survive being launderes.  :mellow:   The second one (Ultra) lasted maybe two weeks.  Since I usually kept it in my shorts pocket, I think I must have lost it when clothes shopping & trying on clothes. 

 

The third one (Fitbit One) has lasted several months.  I don't like it as well as the Fitbit Ultra b/c it's harder to get out of the charging dock.  And because it's got a very slick finish that makes it easy to slip out of pockets, I find I have to use the holster. 

 

THEN...I saw the Flex.  I just received it this week but haven't had a chance to charge it & set it up.  I'm really excited about the Flex b/c it's waterproof.  And since it's wearable, I won't have to remember to move it when I change clothes.  I'm sure I'll still use the Fitbit One quite often.  It's nice b/c you can wear it discreetly when you are dressed up.  But the Flex will be the one I use daily.

 

BTW, I ended up getting one of the first gen Nike Fuelbands.  They are pretty cool.  But again, it's not something you'd wear all the time, say when you're going out socially.  Plus, it's not flexible.  So it can be a bit uncomfortable at times.  And the Fuelband seems to take a longer time to charge than the Fitbits.  Fitbits seem to charge very quickly.

 

More importantly: can FitBit shoot this data over to Evernote?

 

AFAIK, there is no third party app to do this.  IDK if anyone is developing one.

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Huh. I have much more trouble charing the FitBit Flex than the Nike Fuel band. I'm in the process of comparing them so, I often wear both. Yes, I'm a dork. I find the Fuelband acceptable wear all the time. The Flex looks less polished to me. I'm giving serious thought to buying a FitBit Force. It looks like a very nice update. It will be able to receive notifications of who is calling your iPhone. The FitBit folks say they're moving toward a smart watch. 

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Huh. I have much more trouble charing the FitBit Flex than the Nike Fuel band. I'm in the process of comparing them so, I often wear both. Yes, I'm a dork. I find the Fuelband acceptable wear all the time. The Flex looks less polished to me. I'm giving serious thought to buying a FitBit Force. It looks like a very nice update. It will be able to receive notifications of who is calling your iPhone. The FitBit folks say they're moving toward a smart watch. 

 

IME, of the ones I've had, the only one I've had trouble getting out of the charging dock is the Fitbit One b/c it is so slick & it fits very snugly into the dock.  I agree the Flex is more like a kid's rubber band friendship bracelet.  But I like it better than than the Fuelband b/c it's waterproof.  Neither the Fuelband or the Flex are things I would wear when out socially, so I'll use the Fitbit One for that.  I have to admit the exciting thing about the Fuelband is seeing the progress bar change colors.  B)

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After a bad experience with the original Jawbone Up, which was supposed to be showerproof, I don't wear them in the shower. I believe you're supposed to be able to do that with the Flex as well as the Fuelband. I figure I don't do enough moving around in the shower that I need to worry about missing it!

I do wear the Fuelband even when out in what passes for society in my life. And yes, I also like the colors.

I have managed to resist buying the Withings band. I think I'm going to try to resist getting any other bands for a while. However, I'm lusting after the Garmin 620 running watch. I suspect I'll be giving in on that one pretty soon.  :D

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I'm counting on the waterproofness of the Fitbit Flex: If I sing in the shower I expect to dance. :-)

 

The black band looks more than good enough to wear all the time. Wondering when to schedule charging time. :-)

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I tend to charge in the evenings when I'm watching television or reading. 

 

My shower is too small to dance in.  :D

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It's not that I am concerned about recording info from the shower.  It's that I have a tendency to forget to put the Fitbit (Ultra or One) or the Fuel band back on after I get out of the shower or even when just changing clothes.  ;)

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I'm using skylet fitbit zip clips, which clips used for my fitbit zip and work well. 

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