I’ve been hearing about various devices from Fitbit for a while now, but until recently they haven’t been easy to find in the UK. And having heard the details, the devices seemed to do a bit more than I really need – I’m not interested in tracking my sleep, for instance, but I would like something to track my general level of
inactivity, ideally without me having to remember to do much.
Now I do have a perfectly good app on my iPhone, which is great for tracking actual planned walks, so long as I remember to start it at the beginning of the walk, wait for the GPS to lock on, and then remember to stop it at the end. I’ve also tried various pedometers over the years, but they’ve never really been that useful to me.
But this little thing is different. It pretty much does one thing – it records how many steps you take while you’re wearing it, with clever stuff to avoid recording movement when you’re in a vehicle. It then wirelessly transfers the data to your computer or smartphone, which uploads it to a website, where you can see your progress (or lack of progress, as the case may be). If you’re so inclined you can record what you eat, your weight, and probably some other things that I haven’t looked at yet. The website shows lots of charts and things, which are intended to act as an incentive. Or something like that, anyway.
The device is very small, and comes with a soft case that has a strong clip for attaching to a belt, waistband or other convenient bit of clothing. The LCD display switches between the number of steps you’ve taken today, the time, a smiley (or frowny) face, and an arbitrarily invented estimate of how many calories you’ve burnt, whether from actually moving around, or just from existing.
It’s small enough to forget about, which is probably the idea – leave it on your belt, and when you’re in range of your computer, it will transfer the latest data automatically, which does appear to be working. Power comes from a long life round lithium battery (not the ubiquitous CR2032 for once, but a smaller one), so you don’t have to remember to plug it in for recharging, which is another bonus.
So far, it seems to be doing the job. I’ll report again when I’ve got a big enough data set to look at.
Oh, and it’s available in a range of colours – mine’s white rather than the alarming shade of green shown in the Amazon-sourced image at the top. Available from the usual suspects, and in Apple Stores, which is where I bought mine.
 The occasions when you know what you’re doing is going for a proper walk, rather than the times where you accidentally have a long walk
 Or is that just me?