51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs a few tweaks to the online dashboard ...then I'll give it 5 stars
I am currently on a weight loss diet, and I count calories using 'my fitness pal' (MFP).
My reason for purchasing a fitbit? I wanted to have a better idea of exactly how sedentary or active I am, but my primary reason was to gain a better understanding of what my total energy expenditure is each day, and how this varies through the addition of physical...
Published 16 months ago by Belle Noir
141 of 152 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It should be called a car activity monitor
I bought the fitbit as a part of my campaign to get slimmer and fitter this year. Specifically I wanted to automatically monitor my activity levels and have the Fitbit update my account on My Fitness Pal. Having read up on the device in detail and seen the 2 5 star reviews I decided to purchase the item.
So how did it do?
Well setup is easy as I...
Published 23 months ago by Mr. Michael Nunley
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Needs a few tweaks to the online dashboard ...then I'll give it 5 stars,
My reason for purchasing a fitbit? I wanted to have a better idea of exactly how sedentary or active I am, but my primary reason was to gain a better understanding of what my total energy expenditure is each day, and how this varies through the addition of physical activity and exercise. The fitbit has met my needs in both respects, and although I do appreciate this is not an exact science, I feel much more informed than previously.
Fitbit integrates easily with MFP, 'feeding' it information on how many calories I have burned each day based on my activity, and MFP in turn tells me how many calories I can eat on each particular day, while still achieving weight loss.
I always knew that I was more active on weekends, and fitbit has confirmed this, on average it 'tells' MFP that I can eat an extra 600-800 kcals at weekend days (normally I'm allowed 1200 kcals per day to achieve a 2lbs per week weight loss) however I tend to favour not 'eating back' all of these kcals, leaving the majority instead to hopefully end up as extra weight loss. I do treat myself at weekends, going up to around 1500 kcals, and for the first time ever, I don't feel guilty about it because I know that I'm burning the calories to justify it!
The fitbit itself is very small and unintrusive. It clips discreetly to your clothing and you easily forget it is there. However it soon becomes part of the daily routine to clip it on in the morning. I am a sound sleeper, so I don't find the sleep tracking function to be of much interest. Nor do I bother adding specific 'activities' to my fitbit tracking, I just let it do its own thing.
However, on the few occasions where I have felt it necessary to add specific activities to the fitbit online dashboard, that has been a simple process, and I have been much more comfortable with Fitbit's burn estimates that with MFP's (IMO, MFP is way, way too generous). When I added 20 minutes on my exercise cycle, for example, my cycle's onboard computer gave me a burn reading of 180 kcals, and fitbit came in at around 190. That's close enough for peace of mind.
There is a single function button on the fitbit, and just scrolling through this now, I can see that I have taken 4667 steps today, walked 2.04 miles, burned 2161 kcals, climbed 21 flights of stairs, and as I am now seated in front of my computer, only two flower leaves out of a maximum 11 leaves, representing recent physical activity. I actually feel concerned when I sit still too long - conscious that fitbit will be racking up this sedentary activity, so it is actually working as incentive for me to keep busy.
Set up and configuration was easy - connected the fitbit via its docking station to a laptop, downloaded the settings from the fitbit website, keyed in my personal data, height, weight, goal etc. Then I selected to sync to MFP and voila, the two work very well together.
Only a few minor annoyances:
1) my primary computer is an ipad, which has no usb port to charge the fitbit, nor to sync the data (wirelessly) from it. So I need to boot up my partner's windows machine to charge, and to receive the latest fitbit activity tracking wirelessly to my ipad. At least the battery life is excellent.
2) The online fitbit website provides additional interesting and useful information on your activity levels and energy expenditure, however a significant exasperation is that several of the charts rely on flash technology, which my ipad cannot display. I wrote to fitbit customer support to complain about this, however I received a standard-response brush off, which they clearly provide to all customers who complain about this. So in the meantime, until they address this issue to make the charting technology accessible to all, I won't be upgrading to fitbit premium. And I wont be purchasing the matching aria scales.
Other than that, fitbit is a brilliant gizmo and I love it. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding .... and since acquiring this little gadget, the information it and MFP provide in combination, have enabled me to lose over two stone since the start of June this year.
A FINAL NOTE FOR IPAD OWNERS - check out the comments section of my review, where I have given a list to the best of my ability of the charts/summaries which are viewable/not viewable on fitbit online dashboard when using ipad (I don't want to clutter this review with the information). High time fitbit got their backsides into gear and sorted this.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive...,
There are many detailed technical reviews on Amazon and so I will not attempt here to add to them but instead will give my thoughts after a week or so of use.
The unit is very simple to set up provided the instructions are followed. I opened an account at the FitBit website first and entered my details there before I physically installed the Fitbit software on my PC. After installation I could then simply log in and all was ready and waiting. My Fitbit data syncs automatically to the Fitbit website As a Runkeeper.com and Myfitnesspal.com user I have found it best to follow the advice on the FitBit website and enter additional data (meals and nutrition etc) to the Myfitnesspal website first. After linking the accounts together the additional data will automatically be propagated to the FitBit and Runkeeper websites. Doing this saves work and also ensures that data will not be duplicated.
The Fitbit has a Recording mode which can be used to track specific activities. Understanding its use is crucial to get the best from the Fitbit. Recording mode allows nighttime movements to be logged to monitor sleep patterns - although how accurate this is I have my doubts. During the day this can be used to log runs and other exercises. The specific activity time must be entered on the MyFitnesspal website to allow a breakdown of data for this activity to be displayed on the Fitbit and Myfitnesspal.com sites and to further avoid double posting. Also, to avoid problems when driving the car with the FitBit attached you should record this activity and enter it on the Fitbit website as 'Driving' the website will then deduct the false readings from your daily steps total.
The battery life is good and up to a week or so of use can be expected.
You will soon find that using this little device becomes second as you seek to increase you step level each day. The Fitbit records the number of steps (or similar motions) taken daily as well as altitude, progress uphill is expressed as 'Floors' although climbing hills and stairs count equally.
The Fitbit also attempts to show the distance you have traveled but straight from the box I found this to be wildly inaccurate. A walk of 6 miles tracked on my GPS equipped iPhone was give as being 11 miles by the FitBit. To get around this I did a series of walks of a known distance and then some simple maths using the number of Fitbit steps allowed me to work out my stride length which I then entered into my Fitbit profile settings on the Fitbit website. I found I had to tweak this setting several times before getting it more or less right. Since the Fitbit records every jog and nudge as a step the distance reading will never be very accurate.
Cheaper than similar rival products
Small and easy to fit
No case for the device and supplied peripherals
Excellent integration with the Fitbit and other websites
It soon becomes addictive and second nature to use
Stride length needs to be set and this is tricky
Display screen tiny and hard to read in bright light
No printed or downloadable manual, website manual only
Sleep monitoring of doubtful accuracy
Charging/syncing mount is quite flimsy
No case for the device and supplied peripherals
FitBit website food database is very US centric (use myfitnesspal.com instead)
Driving gives false step and altitude readings (work around available)
123 of 126 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but needs updating for a non-American market,
This review is from: Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker (Sports)The Fitbit is basically a pedometer 2.0, coupled with a fairly decent online service to track your activities. The device is designed like a clip, so it firmly grips onto your belt. It's got one button on that you can tap to go through the various screens or hold down to indicate the start or end of an activity (playing sport, running, going to sleep etc).
It's all about improving your fitness level, but the web site encourages you to keep a food log. The problem with this is that the food log covers American food outlets. So if you want to log that you had a healthy salad or felt you deserved a slice of chocolate gateaux you'd have to live with logging it as something like 'Wendy's Super Salad Supreme' or 'The McGateuax Deluxe' (both made up, but you get my point).
You get rewarded with badges, much like Foursquare or Angry Birds. For example, walking 10,000 steps in a day or a 'life time' achievement of 500 flights of stairs. Earning badges works as a motivator for you to keep using the device and exercise more. On the device itself are a number of screens that report the distance travelled, the number of floors climbed and the amount of calories burnt. There's also a tamagotchi-style flower that grows the more you exercise, but shrinks back down if you get lazy.
The Fitbit comes with a fabric wrist strap that can house the unit so you can wear it as you sleep. It detects your movements during the night to indicate when you awoke (or were asleep lightly enough to move). Of course, if you happen to be a sleepwalker this is an opportunity to earn an extra badge or two during the night.
It's pretty tough to remember the bring the Fitbit with you when you leave the house in the morning, and there's been days I've forgotten it and had to climb flights of stairs thinking what's the point if I'm not earning any badges or helping my flower grow, so either it's made me into a sad badge-obsessed freak or is helping me think more about ensuring sure I exercise during the day.
Again with the Americanisms, the measurements are all imperial - so feet/inches, miles etc. If like me you're more comfortable measuring distance in KM, you have to change your height into metres/cm and that converts everything to metric (it's not at all obvious but it works). Although the badges you earn for distance are still measured in miles so it's a bit confusing.
All in all it's a great device. The other guys I know who've bought one have both bored of it already, so it is a bit of an expense if it's just going to sit in a drawer after a couple of weeks, but if you're interested in stats and want to improve your fitness level this really is a great buy.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent motivator,
89 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fitbit -WOW what a fantastic product!,
This review is from: Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker (Sports)So pleased I found Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker via Google and delighted that amazon.co.uk are one of the first retailers of this product in the UK. I pre-ordered mine on the 25th December, a very nice Christmas gift from my wife. It arrived on the 4th Jan, 2012. In America it is THE health and fitness gadget of 2011 and having used it for the last few days I can see why.
This device is exceptional at giving you the motivation you need to keep active. Even sitting here at my desk writing this short review I am conscious of the fitbit Dashboard counting up my 'Sedentary activity' knowing I should be thinking about boosting my 'fairly active' or even my 'very active' activities.... so I'm off to the gym shortly, and I now walk the mile there and back to make sure fitbit gets its exercise of recording my activities.
The Sleep function is fascinating too, monitoring your sleep patterns. First thing I do in the mornings now is jump on my Withings Wifi Body Scale Black (this is connected via the home wifi to fitbit's Dashboard) then go down to my Mac (works on PC or Mac) and login to my fitbit account. Straight away I can see the 'Track Weight' graph has instantly shown me todays weight. Clicking the Log tab drills down to give me all the details and history I could ever want. The colourful graph and chart displays are excellent! The sleep monitor tells me how long it took to fall asleep, how many times I woke up in the night, and my actual sleep time. I got up last night at 02:37 to spend a penny, and sure enough fitbit tracked that I was active at 2:37 a.m for 2 minutes.
I'm currently in a weight loss period (on a diet) ... but one of the things I'm already really looking forward to is fitbit's ability to tell you precisely how many calories you can eat to maintain your weight dependent on your activity level.
Tracking the food you eat.... this has proved a little problematic mainly because the current fitbit database is very much orientated to the U.S. market. Most of the foods we eat here in the U.K. are just not on their database. So everything I ate I was having to input manually and this was taking too much time. However, the good news is that myfitnesspal.com a free app you can use on any smartphone, to easily capture what and when you eat, can now be connected to fitbit !!!. I ate a Sainsbury's rice cake - so I just scan the packaging barcode with my mobile phone, tell the app that this is Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner or a Snack, and the next thing you know the calories are logged onto my fitbit's Dashboard.
If you do decide to buy yourself a fitbit then please join the 'UK users of fitbit' community group on the fitbit website and we can discuss issues from a U.K. prospective to encourage the further development and integration of this fantastic product.
ps. If you are reading this review, then I think you know in your own mind fitbit is for you too!
pps. I'm also using a Sigma PC25.10 Wireless Heart Rate Monitor at the gym - this is fantastic for recording calories burnt and easy to update your fitbit 'Activities' Log manually.
73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be provided on the NHS!,
This review is from: Fitbit Ultra Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker (Sports)I brought my fitbit in December and was a bit sceptical and wondered if I would use it everyday, but thought I would give it a go. I opted for the lovely plum colour which I love. I am a bit rubbish at setting things up on my laptop and was a bit alarmed at first about the lack of paper instructions in the box. I was so pleasently surprised when I went to set it up as it literally took a couple of minutes, if I can do it in that time believe me anyone can!
On my first day using the fitbit I found it wonderful and very motivating and I definatly moved around more knowing it was there keeping a track on me. When buying my other concern was the comfort of wearing it, but I honestly didn't know it was there. I clip to the front of my bra in the middle and you cannot feel it or see it under clothes. I checked my fitbit dashboard that night and was amazed at how much I had done and ever since then I try and 'beat' the day before! It is such a simple, inspirational and motivational tool. I find myself doing so much more walking (my dog is knackered!) to keep up to my recommended daily steps.
It becomes a bit adictive and I look forward to checking my dashboard in the evening to see what I have done.
Also the sleep monitor is such a great feature. I always wake up tired in the mornings and thought I got up a few times in the night (go to the loo, sip of water etc). Well from the fitbit I found I got up 11 times one night, no wonder I am tired in the mornings!! I have now tried to stop drinking anything after a certain time to stop myself needing to get up so much and it is iproving. I was worried that it would be uncomfortable to wear overnight, but I have honestly not felt it once. You get a silky wristband to clip it onto and it is very soft and comfy.
I can honestly say my fitbit has seen me make many changes to the way I live my life so far and I am sure this will continue as I am in a routine now.
I wish the NHS had the money to give everyone a fitbit for free as it can really change your life! I know that makes me sound a bit of a sad case, but it is true!
With previous reviews about the accuracy of the unit, I would never expect it to be 100% by the nature of the product and how it moniters by movement, I have counted steps and checked on my walks and the only thing I have found is when I go up steap hills they can be counted as stairs. This is acceptable to me as it feels like climbing stairs and must be equivalent!
Also your fitbit dashboard has so much to explore and you can log the food you eat and track your weight. The graphs and pie charts are very motivating and helpful. There is so much information on there and you can look back and see your historical data also, it is like your own personal website!
Please give it a go, you will not regret it...its amazing!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less then a week - and I don't know what I'd do without it!,
I discovered this by accident; and then read reviews and research - and then I ordred it. I am glad I did!
I knew I was having trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep at night; and this little gadget; confirms that I am up many times a night - it even charts it!
If you want this to get fit; then it will record all your activity; to lose weight - you can log in what you eat - if you want it for weight management - that is covered as well!
There is even software for your smart phone!
I had it a day; and have convinced three others to go for it!
I think you'll find it is worth every pence!!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To all mums...Serious about losing weight... get this!!!,
I have preset my goals on my account via the Fitbit website. I aim to take 10,000 steps a day and climb 20 sets of stairs as a minimum. The fact that I can see how many steps I've taken and the amount of sets of stairs I've climbed motivates me to achieve my daily goals. Then the growing/shrinking flower shames me into being active, I can see how many leaves my flower has on it's stem, and if less than 4, I know I've sat around too long and need to get up and take the dog for a walk.
The aim I have is to lose weight, so using the Fitbit website and inputting my personal information, gender, weight and age etc, plus my goal weight, the site sets me a goal daily calorie burn rate. I use the Fitbit App on my iPhone to check my calorie burn as I go throughout my daily routine, and speed walk if I'm not reaching goal burn. It even reminds me to take in some water now and again!
I use this in conjunction with the "My Fitness Pal" App - because it is a further developed website holding a lot more information. I scan the barcode of all the foods I prepare, from shop branded bread rolls, to the margarine I use and even salad cream, and the App logs the amount of calories I've taken in!
Both Apps sync to my Fitbit, and remarkably, to each other, so if I log foods/exercise on either of the Apps, the other will update it's App to hold the same information.
Accurately, the Apps have kept journals of my calories and within 2 weeks of use, I've finally managed to start shifting that last 20lbs of weight I haven't been able to lose since I had my youngest, 8 years ago! I've tried weight watchers, a Personal Trainer at the gym, various classes, Zumba, Spin etc... oh for the love of it all, save yourself some hard cash and buy this.
(I am just about to add the Fitbit Aria -scales - to my shopping list!)
PS I will also add, I do occasionally watch the Jillian Michaels Shred DVD, sometimes, I even take part!
141 of 152 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It should be called a car activity monitor,
So how did it do?
Well setup is easy as I would expect with any modern piece of technology and after setting up a fitbit account and linking it to My Fitness Pal all looked well. It measured the number of steps I was taking (reasonably accurately but not within the 95-97% tolerance the manufacturer suggested more like 90% accurate and reading on the high side) and it worked out when I was going up stairs as well. At this point I'm fairly happy with the product and may have given it 3 stars (based on the step inaccuracy).
Then I drove to work, a 15 mile journey on a mixture of dual carriageways and country roads! After I arrived at work and looked at the fitbit display it told me I had just done an additional 800 steps burning calories (cant remember the figure) and I had climbed 10 flights of stairs... Now I'm less than impressed as it then automatically uploads this to My Fitness Pal which then allows me more food calories based on exercise I haven't actually done..
I have logged a ticket with fitbits customer support only to be fobbed off with an automatic reply saying press the reset button on the bottom on the base station... I of course have done this and of course it makes absolutely no difference.
I have managed to work out a workaround for the problem. After the driving event you can log on to the fitbit site and manually enter an activity called driving for the period of time you were driving the car for, it will then override the stairs climbed figure and steps taken and the result now makes sense.... But its not automatic and it relies on you knowing exactly when you started your journey and when you finished it... Very dissapointing especially as I've now checked the fitbit forums and found this problem has been known for ages and fitbit only need to add a switch off function to the device to stop this.
I won't be sending it back because I'm prepared to put up with the manual updates to the figures and I do still have a ticket open with fitbit (after reading the forums though I'm not holding my breath).
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Its good but has limitations and a couple of gremlins...,
So far I've not really encountered many issues with regard to over recording, although I do have issues with regard to some of the stats produced: i.e. Tues did 17750 steps and climbed 50 floors - worlds tallest tent apparently (14.5K walk over mixed terrain), Wed did 7850 steps and climbed 2 floors (tall giraffe) the MET figure for Tues was 2.8 and Wed 3.9, how? I was absolutely more active over the whole day on Tuesday. Some of the calorie burn figures have got me scratching my head as they don't appear to be linked to how active I actually was: e.g. Was described as fairly active when I was actually sat down doing clinical supervision with one of my supervisees. Logged a question with FitBit support and not had a reply yet. After reading some more of the reviews I've realised that there are a number of issues regards accuracy and support.
The website is also very basic unless you want to spend £40 on upgrading to premium membership, there is a free trial for a week, but I haven't got the time at the moment to sit down and work out whether over analysing more data would necessarily be a benefit worth spending £40 on seeing as I've just spent £80 on the device, and given some reviews and forum comments regarding accuracy. I personally haven't come across the driving issue mentioned by others in reviews and the forums but another website 'My Calorie Counter' has driving down as an activity and you can tweak MFP to include this as a calorie burn and it then sync's with FitBit to adjust your daily calorie intake, but again not very well explained on the FitBit website.
I really wanted to keep track of how active I am and what impact that was having on my fitness levels and weight and so far FitBit appears to be providing information that I can use although what it is is really an expensive pedometer with a couple of useful gimmicks (Stair recognition and calorie burn through the day) and what you're paying for is the information being produced on the website. But beware, customer support appears a little hit and miss given my current three day wait and counting for a reply to questions and as another reviewer has pointed out there are no virtual manuals stored on the website that you can download; it's all FAQ's, several of which are less than useful.
There is one final issue which is over the display. I recently went out in the sunshine (no, seriously, there was sunshine!) and about a third of the way through my walk I wanted to check how many steps I'd done - to check out how accurate the pedometer was in calculating steps-distance as I knew the exact distance I'd walked - I couldn't read the display at all however I tried to shade it.
If the website was better, they address the customer support issues, they provide a better manual that allows you to adjust the FitBit to take into account some of the issues around false reporting during driving and sleep I'd have given it four stars. It has the potential to be a really useful piece of kit and I do like it but my advice would be to research the website first and see if it the tools on it are what you personally need or would use and look at the forums to see how others have resolved issues that should be the province of FitBit's customer support.
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Fitbit Ultra - Black/Blue, 0.08 Kg by Fitbit
Used & New from: £240.00