Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
A few months ago I was scanning through blogs, tweets & reviews for a device to help track my daily calorie intake vs. how many I burn off. I discovered there are plenty to choose from, all promising to accomplish the same thing. I almost scrapped the whole search, until I noticed one little gadget kept popping up – Fitbit. So I picked one up & began testing it out.
Its sleek, light weight design & clean display drew me in at first, but after a little research I discovered Fitbit does a lot more than appeal to the eye. Once the device is registered to your computer (compatible with both Mac & PC – but functions better with a more recent OS) all of your activity for the day is recorded. Whether you are walking to work, running stairs or in an intense game of pick-up basketball, the Fitbit clips to your waistband & monitors your body’s 3D motions. Your results are easily displayed and can be accessed by clicking a button on the face of the device. See number of steps taken, distance traveled & a flower that shrinks & grows depending on your movement at that time. All of this information is also uploaded to your personal profile on their site, which Fitbit wirelessly syncs when within 15 feet. The site allows you to see a full days recap, week or month through charts & numbers.
Everything I eat, I log into the sites meal plan. Their data base of products is large (and growing), but I find much of what I eat I have to manually insert. That means saving the brand & all nutritional facts. However after doing this once, it saves it to their system. This is all very useful, since Fitbit allows you to set goals for yourself for weight loss at a month’s time. Each day you are given a limit for intake & a number to surpass for calories burned. Something worth noting; their data base also has a list of activities to select, which range from cleaning the house to mountain biking. Each are assigned a general estimation of calories burnt.
Another interesting feature is sleep measurement. Just slip the Fitbut into a comfortable wristband & hold the button to activate the sleep-mode & your set. When you view your profile, you can see when you fell asleep, for how long & how frequent you tossed & turned. I’m not sure how useful this is, but a cool element.
I am certainly more cognizant of my overall health in terms of what I eat & how often I work out. I am an active person to begin with, but knowing what I am achieving is important to me. I found it is important to enter you height, weight & stride length accurately, since much of the Fitbit’s calculations are made based off these numbers. Entering my food intake is time consuming & somewhat of a hassle in terms of restaurant meals or tracking drinks. They now have a mobile app, which should make it easier to record while on the go. Also, many of the features I discuss only come with Fitbit Premium at $50 per year.
I would recommend Fitbit for anyone serious enough to learn more about their daily routine & health. The price is reasonable ($99) & fairly easy to operate. There is a strong social component as well, with the option to post your results to Twitter & facebook. Something new offered is the Fitbit aria, a Wi-Fi smart scale. I have yet to use it, but it sounds useful.
If you have any questions or want to hear more about my experience with Fitbit, feel free to leave it below or follow me on Twitter at @NickLiberati.