Health Tech Update

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FitBit Ultra Smart Pedometer Long Term Review

FitBit Ultra

FitBit Ultra

Are you trying to exercise more and lose some weight.  Do you ever wonder just how much you walk on a given day?  A smart pedometer might be just what the doctor ordered!

I’ve been wearing a FitBit since it first came out in the fall of 2009.  Now I’m using their latest FitBit Ultra.  After trying multiple personal activity tracking tools (both dedicated devices like the FitBit) and applications running on smart phones, I can say that the FitBit is one of the best out there.  I’ve ended up giving these to friends as gifts because it’s such an addictively good product.

Here’s what makes the FitBit work for me:

          • Small size (once you clip it on you’ll probably forget that you’re wearing it)
          • 2 week battery life between charges (and only takes an hour or so to recharge)
          • Sleek design (I don’t mind wearing it to work, going out, etc.)
          • Built in display shows useful data
          • Wireless upload of my data
          • Free online tools (and iPhone app) let me track all my data.  Here’s a sample of what you can see online:

            FitBit Stats

            FitBit Stats (Click image to zoom)

          • You can invite your friends to compete with you for who takes the most steps.  I’ve got friends in multiple time zones (and on multiple continents!) all comparing daily and weekly step counts.  It’s one more little nudge to keep me moving!
          • Automatic restart every day at midnight (old pedometers had to be reset each day; if you forgot to reset it then you’d end up with the wrong count for the day which is discouraging)
          • You can wear it while sleeping (using the included wrist band) and it will tell you how well you’re sleeping.  It will track what time you got into bed (e.g. 10:14 PM) and what time you actually fell asleep (e.g. 10:15 PM when I’m really tired, or 11:21 PM when I stay up watching Leno).
          • It works!  When I wear the FitBit, I’m more aware of my activity level and I tend to take more steps.  I’m currently averaging about 12,000 steps a day, which I know is more than I’d be taking if I wasn’t wearing the FitBit
          • Reasonably priced ($99)

The FitBit has become such an integral part of keeping me activity level up that I wear it from the moment I wake up to when I go to bed (I use the sleep tracking feature only occasionally.)  When I wear it, I’m more active.  It’s that simple.

There isn’t much about the FitBit that I’d change.  A couple of nice enhancements would include:

          • Locking feature (sometimes I accidentally place it in sleep mode)
          • Locator beacon for times that I misplace the device

I’ll be reviewing the Nike+ FuelBand soon, but for now the FitBit Ultra is my favorite.

You can order the FitBit Ultra directly from FitBit via this link.

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