I love a good work perk, so when I had the chance to order a Fitbit One through my company for a mere $30 (instead of the usual $100) I said, “Yes, please!”
I had already been toying with the idea of getting a Fitbit or other wireless steps-tracking device (I am so over the clunky old-school pedometer that’s been rattling around in my junk drawer since 2009). I have a handful of friends and former clients (from my internship days) who rave about their Fitbits, and I like the idea of tracking steps, especially during times when, due to weather or general business, it’s hard to get out and go for a proper walk. I chose the One instead of the Flex because I decided I really didn’t want to wear a thick black rubber bracelet all the time, nor did I need to track my steps while showering.
One feature I was especially excited about was the sleep tracker. I’m recovering from months of getting just slightly less than my optimal amount of sleep night after night, so I am making quality sleep a priority right now. Little did I know how cool…and kind of creepy…this feature would be.
My Fitbit arrived last Thursday, and I got it set up in time to wear it Saturday night. When I checked my sleep stats the next day, it informed me that it took me eight minutes to fall asleep and that I woke up 18 times. Of the 9 hours and 3 minutes I was in bed, I slept for 8 hours and 26 minutes, for a sleep efficiency of 95 percent.
Tuesday night, my sleep efficiency was only 93 percent. It took me 13 minutes to fall asleep and I woke up 14 times. I had 15 instances of restless sleep, for a total of 29 minutes. I was in bed for 8 hours and 9 minutes, but only slept for 7 hours and 23 minutes.
Like I said…cool but creepy. Like Fitbit’s watching me sleep (stalker!). It doesn’t help that the other day when I picked up my Fitbit from my dresser the tiny display screen lit up to read:
Or that another day, I picked it up to see:
Yeah…anyway. What I love about Fitbit in my less-than-a-week of use is that it tracks steps and flights of stairs (huge, since I have stairs in my house and my daily walking route involves hills), and that it has given me insight into my sleep patterns. I don’t know how accurate the sleep tracker is (I have to investigate this further), but it has made me realize that if I want to get 8 hours of sleep, it’s not sufficient to turn out the lights at 10 p.m. and get up at 6 a.m. I know…duh!
Speaking of sleep, I love my Fitbit’s alarm feature! The One comes with a wristband that the device slips into neatly for sleep. When you set the alarm via your browser-based Fitbit dashboard, or your smartphone app, it will gently wake you with a series of vibrations in a repeating 5-3 pattern. Much nicer than waking to a sound alarm, especially if you don’t sleep alone and need to get up before the other person.
One factor I need to consider is stride length. I have a few standard walking routes, and my One consistently underestimates my mileage. I could go to a standardized track and figure out my stride length…but then my stride length while power walking is probably not the same as my stride length while going about my other daily activities, so this may not be worth the hassle.
I truly appreciate the One’s versatility, compared to my clunky pedometer of yore. It comes with a rubberized clip that you can wear on your waistband or, for the ladies, your bra. Fitbit recommends wearing the One facing your skin, which is more secure and, frankly, looks more streamlined if you are wearing slim-fitting clothing. The device can be slipped out of its clip and into a pocket, as well (the coin pocket on jeans is meant for this purpose, I swear), but be careful not to accidentally put it through the wash!
Note: Some months ago when I was researching the Fitbit, I noticed in several product reviews that users complained that the One was picking up distance traveled in a car or on a bus as distance walked! This has not happened to me, and some friends who have had Fitbits for a few years said that it maybe happened to them once at the beginning, before the Fitbit “got to know them.” (Stalker alert!)