A couple of months ago I got a Fitbit Charge HR. I was keen to get one as I’d recently started doing a couple shifts in a cafe and was keen to know how many steps I was getting in a 3 hr shift (it’s up to 6000 on a busy shift!) and I’ve been doing Ellen Barrett Live workouts since the beginning of the year and wanted to know how many calories I was burning and how much activity it was adding to my day.
What I found out was this…
- Wow! I don’t get nearly as many steps as I thought from my morning walks.
- The cafe shifts can bank me up to 6000 steps, if I walk the 7 minutes (each way) to and from work I add another 1500
- My workouts add active time but I don’t burn as many calories as I thought. They are almost entirely in “fat burn zone” though.
- I cannot believe how many steps I get on the weekends when I head it to my main job (Hands On Brisbane), it is wayyyy more active than I thought!
Just after I got it I had an eye infection and was scratching the hell out of my eyes all night. I’d wake up with itchy, gluey eyes and rub and rub them. Looking at the sleep log in the app I was able to see just how broken my sleep was and the periods I was awake rubbing my eyes. I could also see how restlessly I was rubbing them whilst still half asleep.
Other people have mentioned the benefit of the sleep log to show to their doctor where their sleep pattern is at and how much sleep they are getting. I’ve also noted that I don’t need quite as much sleep as I though, or get as much sleep as I thought.
The one HUGE benefit is the extra motivation it gives you to get up and get moving. You want to beat yourself, you want to get involved in challenges and beat others. You want to see just how many steps you can get and how much activity you can do.
So what’s the down side? For me it is the comfort of the device. At first it was so uncomfortable. The heart rate monitor is raised at the back and really uncomfortable at first. Perseverance pays off and within a week you don’t notice but if you then take it off for a while you have a short readjustment phase. On top of that the fit is not great. Even though I got the smallest available the part holding all the electronics is large and it doesn’t wrap well around the wrist. I have noticed that the Charge HR is currently in sell out mode so perhaps a new version is on it’s way that fits better.
I would only recommend a fitbit to those who are already motivated to move and workout. I don’t think it will magically get you moving but if you do want the added bonus of tracking your activity (and you’re already motivated but want a little extra) then one of these is probably a good investment.