4 Reasons Why I Love My Fitbit

By , SparkPeople Blogger
While I don't consider myself a "gadgets" person (I don't even have a single fitness app on my iPhone), there are a few gadgets I've loved over the years, such as my Garmin Forerunner, which is still going strong after many, many miles and half marathons.  But I'm also a big fan of the Fitbit, which I started using a couple of years ago.
The Fitbit tracks some basic daily activity: how many steps you take, how far you've walked (in miles), how many flights of stairs you've climbed, your estimated calorie burn based on these stats, and how restful your sleep was (if you wear it overnight).
Compared to the Fitbit, which seems like a glorified pedometer, my GPS-enabled Garmin, which also has a heart rate monitor, real-time (and very precise) speed and distance tracking, pacing features and more seems like a sure winner. What would a runner like me—someone who is already active and motivated to stay that way—really get out of a Fitbit anyway?
Plenty. Truth is, I adore my Fitbit. I wear it daily, clipping it to my waistband the second I get out of bed. I check my step stats dozens of times throughout the day. And I use it more often than my Garmin since I only run a few days per week for a few total hours. I actually use my Fitbit even while using my Garmin (and every hour that I'm not using it). Here's why. 
It Motivates Me to Get Active
I can't explain it, but wearing the Fitbit motivates me to move more! I love seeing my stats, my all-time best records, and the days that I break them. It is a little reminder that I think about throughout the day and it motivates me to make a more active choice. Since wearing the Fitbit, I do try to reach at least 10,000 steps a day. But I don't even stop there. Some days I've reached 50,000 steps.
It wasn't like this in the beginning. When I first put it on, I was shocked at how "inactive" I was each day—even though I exercise pretty much every day. On a day off from exercise, I can accumulate less than 2,000 steps easily. Even on days that I would run or work out, I'd rarely reach the minimum of 10,000 steps a day, which really surprised me. But since wearing the Fitbit, even my "less active" days have become more active. I get up more at work. I walk around the house doing things instead of lounging. I walk the dog more. I even exercise a little more. I think of it as my daily reminder to move, and it truly works as a motivator. This is so important for weight loss and overall health. As studies show, even people who exercise are putting their health at risk by being sedentary for so many hours in the day.
It's Cute and Portable and Noninvasive
I love my Garmin watch, but it's clunky and gets in the way. But the Fitbit is perfect for all-day use. It's so tiny that I don't even notice I'm wearing it. You can put it in a pocket, clip it to your clothing, clip it to your bra—almost anywhere. In addition to being small, it's discreet. Only very rarely have I ever worn an outfit that I can't find a place to "secretly" clip my Fitbit. I think the design is sharp, too—clean and simple.
It Syncs with SparkPeople.com        
I hope you are as excited as I am about our recent announcement. SparkPeople has partnered with Fitbit and now all of your Fitbit data (which loads wirelessly to an account at Fitbit.com) can easily be connected to SparkPeople so you can track all your steps, distance and more right on your SparkPeople fitness tracker. This has made fitness tracking even easier for me since it just uploads and I don't have to do anything extra. Gotta love that! (Bonus: If you purchase any Fitbit using SparkPeople's affiliate link, SparkPeople can earn a percentage of the sales, which is a great way to help Spread the Spark.)
It's Just Plain Fun
The Fitbit is fun! I love that is "greets" me with little messages and encourages me with various "You can do it" phrases across the screen throughout the day. As you accumulate your steps, a digital flower "grows" until you've reached your daily goal, which is a nice visual of your progress. And when you reach new milestones, you get little trophies (called badges) and congratulatory messages sent to your inbox. All of these things just add to the motivation factor if you ask me.
I find myself checking in with my Fitbit multiple times per day and always trying to reach new milestones. This would have never happened had I not started using the Fitbit. And this is what an active lifestyle is all about.
How Well Does the Fitbit Work?
Now, I can't speak much about how accurate the Fitbit is or isn't. A lot of times it seems a little off for me, like when I run 10 miles in half-marathon training (which should be 20,000 steps) and it shows me as several thousand steps shy of that. And I do think the calories burned estimates might be a little high. Like many gadgets, it's not perfect. But that doesn't detract from its usefulness, in my opinion, and its benefits aren't about precision in the tracking or the data. It's simply a fun and useful tool for just about anyone who is motivated by numbers like these.
Gadgets may come and go, but I'll keep using my Fitbit into the foreseeable future. I think it has something to offer exercisers of just about every fitness level.
Have you tried the Fitbit? What do you like about it? What is your favorite fitness gadget?

Images sourced from Fitbit.com.

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I love my fitbit flex, I was surprised that I do so many steps in a day, some farm days are over 22 K most normal days are at least 12-15 K. The fitbit challenges me to move more, self challenge is the best tool for me. Report
I just wish I could get my fitbit to link to sparkpeople and actually show me the data :( Very disappointed right now that neither fitbit nor sparkpeople have any troubleshooting info on this. Report
I know an app that allows you to access your fitbit data . Allows you to do some analysis on the data that's been collected since you've had a fitbit. I've been able to do a lot of good analysis with the download data...might be helpful. Its called fitline, not sure if they have an android version, but it's available for iPhone. Report
I wish! The sleep thing only tells you how long you spent moving once you put it in sleep mode which is not helpful. But most importantly I can't use it with my smartphone even though they say it will. The problem is in the Adroid version my phone uses, they should know that and not list my phone as a usable phone. I also can't get it to sync with my computer, my son's laptop, or my daughter's surface! So the only way I can access it is to have my daughter login to it from her IPhone....oh that is when I see her, she lives 2 hours away! So I bought a FitBit only to waste my money! Report
Wear my FitBit pretty much 24 hours, seven days a week. !!!! Report
I Love Love Love my FitBit - FB!! I wear it 24/7. I have NO issues with sleeping, one of my huge enjoyments, but it's still interesting to see my sleep pattern. My lifestyle/schedule makes it extremly difficult to constintly workout. I find little moments throughout the day - parking further away from my office building, using the restroom on another floor, etc. Tracking those small extra steps/actitivites is very hard but now my FB does it for me!! Love It!! Report
I absoultely love my FitBit. I wear it everyday. It is what helped me initially get moving to reach my goals. I was having a hrad time working out so I got one of those and instantly I'd want to hit so many steps so I'd walk during my TV shows or go up and down my stairs, started wallking outside again, etc. Now I workout almost everyday, have shed 30 pounds and am in the best shape of my life and I STILL wear it everyday and have as much fun with it as I did when I first got it last November. Worth every cent Report
With my previous pedometers, I had to spend $15 in batteries every three months. Now with FitBit One, I recharge it via USB about once a week. The device connects automatically when I sit in front of the computer. No intervention on my part. That is very motivational. The reports are detailed (enough for me) and there is no charge to retrieve the reports and receive notifications. The only ads on the site are ones for FitBit. I find the device delivers on what it promises. Report
I lost my fitbit and ordered another. Eventually I found it by dint of checking where it would and wouldnt sync, and was justnin time to cancel theorder for the new one! It lies, gives me innumerable flights of stairs on bus journeys, and sometimes thousands of extra steps. So I take its statistics with anpinch of salt at such times. It recorded 25 flights of steps today. I dont think I did as many as 10.... But I wear it all the time and consult it constantly. Report
Sounds awesome, I am going to order! Report
I loved my three FitBit zips (Tracker) . It integrated nicely with Sparkpeople and even better with MyFitnessPal. If you get one be careful they are easily to lose. Hence the three I have had in the past month. I can't justify buying a forth in a month. I guess the women are lucky to have a more secure place to clip it on. Despite what looks like a real strong clip, it falls off belts and waist bands pretty easily. So enjoy t and find a away to protect it. Report
I love my FitBit so much! And that company has the best customer service too! I don't know what it is but this little gadget motivates me so much! It makes me want to get in at least 10,000 steps! Report
I LOVE my FitBit! It motivates me to find a reason to take the stairs, park at the back of the parking lot, etc. I'll use the restroom two floors up just so I can take the stairs and get in extra steps. I watch tv in the evenings stepping or jogging in place instead of on my butt on the couch. Goal is to get 10,000 everyday. I feel like such a slug on the days I don't. The FitBit keeps me moving!!
I've lost 7 pounds since Christmas and I credit my FitBit for the loss. Report
This will be a great birthday gift for myself! I can hardly wait to have one. Report
I absoultely love my fitbit! I thought I had misplaced it and it drove me crazy not being able to find it. So I ordered another one. It came XMAS EVE! And don't you know............then I found my other one. I'm on my feet all day at work, and average at least 5 miles a day. Usually it is more! I'm just addicted to it! Report
I've had mine since early November and I've lost 9 lbs even with the holiday season and horrible winter weather. I also sleep sooo much better - LOVE IT! Report
I had the original Fitbit and lost it! I was very good about putting it on and never even knew I had it on, which is good and bad. While traveling, somehow it fell off my clothes and I did not realize it. I wish there were a better way to secure it to your clothes. $100 isn't chump change to me, and I am hesitant to purchase another one for fear of the same thing happening. Report
I wish to get one for myself this Christmas. I am in love with it already. Report
I love, love, love my Fitbit Ultra! I have had it for some time now. If I accidentally forget to put it on in the morning, I feel bare. I find it motivating, helpful and was an eye opener about my activity and sleep. I love the badges! It also has a friend base that keeps track of which one is more active--neat way of challenging. It is free; no charges or fees for anything that I'm doing. They do have a premium program similar to the Spark Coach services for an extra fee. I like the weekly email that gives me my stats for the previous week. Although I have an iPhone/iPad, it is not necessary to have. It syncs with your desktop. I am so happy to see SP and FB linked together! What a great partnership! TY SP! Report
This sounds like a great gadget. I have used other pedometers before and sometimes they stop if you accidentaly pump the button. I would purchase one of these if it was offered in Canada with Canadian shipping costs. I once tried to order some items from Sparkpeople but the shipping was more the cost of the order so I cancelled the order. Report
The calorie counter is crazy. It wants me to burn 2601 calories a day. I do three workouts a day which add up to over 90 minutes and still find myself marching during my TV shows after dinner so I can reach the goal! I love it, though. It's definitely a motivator. Report
The fitbit sounds great but is there a monthly fee? I splurged and bought the bodymedia device awhile back but tired of the monthly fee. I hadn't realized there were extra charges when I bought it. Report
The more I read about these the more I want one! Report
I just ordered mine! Can't wait - I got the fitbit One. Would be interesting to analyze my sleep patterns too...especially as a tax accountant with severe swings during certain parts of the year Report
I just ordered a fitbit. I have a hard time being motivated to move. Sitting at the computer reading about other people's great workouts is my favorite occupation. How counter productive is that! So my fitbit is going to tell me what the hell I am doing to myself. I want to be motivated! I want to move more. I'm only 73, not dead yet. Let's get this lard off of me!!!!! Report
Like everyone else here...I LOVE my FitBit! I'm so much more active with the FitBit than I was before.

@LEYETTE--the SP & FB websites sync, not the type of FB. So, if you are already have an account with FB, it syncs now!!! :-) Report
I'm so excited about this news!! I have a Fitbit Classic so mine doesn't sync but I just ordered the new Fitbit One and can hardly wait until it ships in a couple of weeks. I have been waiting for these two entities to unite for a while now - this is such great news!! The added plus is that I will be able to sync with my iPhone app as well. Sweet!! Report
I haven't heard of it until now! What is the cost of it? I also have a Garmin Forerunner, just upgraded to the 610... and its quite awesome :) Report
I am new to FitBit but not to Spark... love my FitBit and really excited about how they work together. Report
I really want to get one of these. They look awesome. I was checking them out and 2 of them seem the exact same to me, but I haven't really checked out the specs. Anyway, I think I'll make this a reward for reaching one of my weight loss goals (I'll have to save up for it) as I don't have any money right now to buy it and it would be a motivation to get this neat device. :) Thanks for sharing about it. Report
I love my Fitbit Ultra and probably won't get the latest one if they don't get it to sync with iPhone4 and iPad2. ;) Report
I want the FitBit One, but it's not out yet. Hmmm Christmas present? :-) Report
I am ordering one this week for my birthday!! I can not wait, I do wish Spark people and fitbit would make a special deal and offer them in the Spark people store for less or something. Coach Nicole, work on this week, before I buy one, please!!! I do not want to spend one hundred dollars, how about seventy five or less. I know people will buy them here!l Report
My two best friends have a fit bit and are never without them. They've been encouraging me to get one too, but it just seems a bit too expensive for me. If anyone wants to give me one though, that'd be great! Report
Dragonfly left the same suggestion I was going to - the stride length can be adjusted just for you and then the fitbit is almost EXACTLY right in both steps numbered and miles walked/run. I know because I wear my Garmin Forerunner305 when I walk/run - and the results between the two is generally about .05 miles or less!! Fitbit gives really good online help to tell you how to adjust the stride length. Report
I think I may get one when I get paid next week. Reading through the information on the site, it sounds like you don't need a smart phone to sync it, which is good, because I don't have one. Report
Do you have to have a phone this is connected to the internet to use this or can you connect it through your computer? Report
I just got my fitbit in the mail today I am so excited to see how it works Report
I got mine through amazon a few months ago and love it Then I got a second as a gift and there is no reason for me to have two so trying to figure out what to do with my extra one Report
This sounds like a great tracker...i am motivated reading every-bodies comments! :) I think I will investigate a little further and see if it is something doable for me!
Thanks! Report
I ordered mine and was waiting for it to come. Now, after reading this, it can't get here soon enough! Ought to be fun. Report
I have had a FITBIT for a couple of years. I love mine too. I just ordered the new one that syncs with Blue Tooth, but I did not know about linking it to SP until just now.

Great News! Report
I was very disappointed you needed 4s iPhone apparently to use it. My phone is. 3GS. I guess I'll be sticking with my free Nike app. It keeps track of all my walking and calories...even when I opt for the treadmill verses outside walking. It matches the mileage I tracked driving my route, and the distance my treadmill shows. Price was right, as I can afford free, lol. I also like the trophies and awards I get. They are nice motivation for me. I must admit, I'd like ome of these if I could use it with my phone, though. I love gadgets, and would like to start counting steps, too, not just my daily walk mileage. I don't even know how many steps it takes to make a mile. Report
I love my fitbit too! It makes me want to move more.....I love seeing my floors and steps add up through the day. I love the chart that shows how fast I walked. My fitbit keeps me moving. Report
very interested in getting one of these so it was interesting to read everyone's comments. It is an expensive gadget but I am so frustrated with the pedometers I've had. Report
I just ordered one! Since I have trouble sleeping, I'm really interested in seeing how the sleep monitoring works. Report
It looks like the biggest difference between the Ultra and the One is the waterproof feature of the One. Any thoughts, FitBit owners? Report
I LOVE my Fitbit! For those concerned about price, they just came out with a new model that costs about 2/3 of what the Ultra costs.

As far as complaints, check the Spark Fitbit users group. There's a thread on customer service--which is AWESOME! Many people have even had them replace Fitbits that were lost of broken due to careless handling (like putting them through the washer).

There is a way to adjust the length of your step; I think you can find it in the online manual. If not, ask someone on the Fitbit Users group. Report
I have a Striiv which is almost the same thing from what it sounds, but has a game with it. Way more motivating and fun for me. Report
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