So after 1 week

Fit bit smart phone
Posted under: Digital Natives From the Blog 7th of October, 2014

Day Eight: 12th September 2014

After a week of using the fitbit, I find myself in equal measures impressed and disappointed. While the device seems to accurately measure steps and distance travelled, it is less proficient with ‘active minutes’. Given that inline hockey is my sport of choice, rather than running or jogging, I suppose I should have expected that the data wouldn’t be as accurate when my feet are replaced with roller blades.

One of the reasons I decided to try the fitbit was based on the fact that it was advertised as a pairable device with the MyFitnessPal app. For those of you unaware, MyFitnessPal is a great app for calorie counting, or keeping track of sugar or fat intake. As long as you accurately record the food you eat, using its barcode scanner to access its massive food database, you have a complete record of what you have eaten every day. Unfortunately this method of recording my food and trying to find my ideal caloric intake has never been accurate for me, mostly from the app’s inability to calculate the exact calories I burn when playing hockey.

I had hoped that fitbit would be the solution to this problem, but so far it has not been able to fulfil that role. While being unable to calculate my calories accurately, it also doesn’t seem to be calibrated for pairing with the MyFitnessPal app, even though it is promoted as one in the MyFitnessPal app. The fitbit calculates the calories I have burned alongside the calories I naturally burn because of my metabolic rate, turning it into one massive number generally in the 1900-2300 area. MyFitnessPal doesn’t account for this, already setting a goal of around 1800 calories per day for me to eat. When the fitbit data is synced into MyFitnessPal, it turns my calories per day goal into a ludicrous number, nearing 4000 calories. This seems like a pretty basic fix that just hasn’t been done, which is disappointing and annoying indeed.

The ability to detect sleep activity is equally useless. You can compare your sleep between nights, but it’s done without any notes to add so you know what may have caused a certain type of sleep, so you’re left with a bunch of data with no parameters to analyse it. The sleep app I’ve been using since 2011 is far more proficient. Although the sleep activity capability is not what I bought the fitbit for, it’s worth nothing that this too isn’t very helpful.

Even though this is still early stages in my use of the fitbit, I will continue to use it for my self-dictated one month trial period to test its long-term viability. However, so far it appears that this device is suited more to on-the-go business people, or beginner weight-loss journeymen, or even runners and joggers. If I was one of these, I can definitely see it being of more use to me. For now, however, it’s more of a device on my wrist that lights up when I double tap it, and vibrates happily when I reach my arbitrary calorie goal for the day. *sigh*

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