I got a Fitbit and started wearing it a couple of weeks ago. The idea is that you clip a little tracker onto your pants and it tells you how many steps you’ve taken, stairs you’ve climbed, calories burned, miles walked and your general overall activity.
It tracks it for you on the Fitbit website. You can insert all your food to see if your calorie burn is in line with your calorie intake. I don’t do that part. I just let it record what it records. I’m not entirely sure I’m using it to its best capabilities. I just wear it all day without giving the website any additional information than what it receives from the Fitbit. But that means that even if I run five miles, I’ve never burned 2,000 calories in a day. It just seems to think I’ve gone on a really fast walk. I’m not sure how it calculates calories. It can tell I’ve walked five miles in one hour and that I’m being VERY ACTIVE, but that doesn’t seem to burn more calories for me than if it took me the entire day to walk five miles.
At first I was a little disappointed in it. It didn’t seem that accurate. It’s very accurate with steps and stairs, but not so much with calories (I hope). It also seems to think I’m sedentary about 8 to 10 hours of my wakeful day. And if I, as a Pilates instructor, and generally active person, couldn’t achieve its basic daily fitness goals, who could?
But then I realized, its right. I’m sedentary a good part of the day. I looked at the past couple days having worn it. Take Easter Sunday for example. It may not be my typical day, but I knew exactly what I did.
I got up and went for a run—1 hour
I watched some TV—1 hour
I cooked and got ready for Easter—3 hours
Went to Work—30-minutes
Got Locked Outside of Work and Sat on Stoop—1 hour
Drove to Easter—1 hour
Ate at Easter—4 hours
Washed Dishes—1 hour
Drove Home—1 hour
Went for Walk –1 hour
Vegetated with a Full Stomach—2 Hours
Went to Bed
Of my waking hours I was still for 10 hours. I looked back at my other days and even though I’m active in classes, I am also very sedentary for long periods. I’m on the PC a lot. I drive to my different classes. Often, I sit to eat. Sometimes I relax and read or watch TV for a bit. If I’m reading up on fitness trends I’m almost always sitting. I think of myself as being predominately active, but I also have long stretches of time where I’m sitting down. Just because I ran five miles, doesn’t make up for all that.
Between the Fitbit and the nicer weather I’m getting out to walk more. I want to hit the 10,000 steps it recommends every day. So I go out for a walk when I may otherwise have passed on it or opted to get something else done. The Fitbit has encouraged me to be more active and a little self competitive. Plus, I love seeing what I’ve done from day to day. I like having it on record—that might be the OCD in me.
The sleep component isn’t very good. It seems to base when you are awake on how much you move. One night I lied away a few hours, but I was still and it said I was asleep and thought I got good sleep.
It is inspiring me (although I still haven’t done it) to start walking on the treadmill I bought a year ago on Craigslist. My intent was that I’d walk when I had paperwork or things to do on the PC. Still, as I type this I’ve got my butt in chair and I’m hunched over. I’m not even sure the treadmill is plugged in, but I’ve got my Fitbit on. Maybe by my next blog post, I’ll be walking.