If you’ve been reading my work long, you know that not only have I given away FitBits in the past, but I am madly in love with mine. You may also know that, in my opinion, it’s an important and incredibly useful piece of technology that can help almost anyone feel and look better because it makes them WANT to move more. I love it!
And it’s part of what helps me to keep the weight off.
So a new study says that your phone is equally effective for counting your steps as a FitBit or other wearable fitness tracking technology. (Linked below)
There is of course a big flaw in that study, and that is that most people do put their phones down sometimes.
For me, the FiTBit also serves as a visual reminder – not only to my own desire to stay on track with diet and exercise, but also of the people I’m always competing against.
But those people, they live in the FitBit app on my phone, inside my challenge groups and friends. And just about the time I start to think I’m so much ahead on those steps, I will see someone blast ahead of me and past me.
So then I’ll get up and move again, getting in those steps that keep me competitive in a game that matters to no one and to which the prize is your own health.
It’s simple: FitBit is better than a phone alone because you can wear it almost all the time and because it auto tracks you even without your phone. What do you think?
02/11/2015 By Craig Lloyd
One of the biggest advantages of having a smartwatch is for the fitness-tracking capabilities, but according to a new study, your smartphone is actually better at tracking your fitness activities.
A new paper that was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that most fitness-focused smartphone apps are just as accurate (sometimes more so) than many wearable fitness trackers.
To find this out, researchers at thePerelman School of Medicine and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvaniagathered up 14 participants and had them walk on a treadmill for two 500-1,500 step sessions. During that time, the participants wore various fitness tracking devices to track their steps. These includedthree waistband tracking devices, three fitness smartwatches and two smartphones running four different fitness apps each (the phones were placed in the participants’ pants pockets.
The devices in question? AGalaxy S4, iPhone 5s, Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP24,Digi-Walker SW-200, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and the Fitbit Zip.
The researchers found that the two smartphones had a margin of error of 12.9%, and the margin of error for the various fitness wearables ranged up to 22.7%, with the Nike Fuelband having the worst
Lead study author Meredith A. Case says:
In this study, we wanted to address one of the challenges with using wearable devices: they must be accurate. After all, if a device is going to be effective at monitoring and potentially changing behavior, individuals have to be able to trust the data…We found that smartphone apps are just as accurate as wearable devices for tracking physical activity.”
“The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give.” ~Howard Cosell
You might have heard about how much I’m in love with my FitBit, but until a couple days ago, I didn’t realize there was a built-in function that is basically the thing that has been missing from my life for…well, ever.
I’m pretty sure my Facebook friends are tired of hearing about how much I love it, but its really that amazing, this feature.
See, I recently discovered FitBit challenges, which are built in to the FitBit app. The challenges allow me to connect and compete with other FitBit users in various kinds of step-goal competitions.
For example, I’m currently involved in a Work Week Hustle challenge (coming in at second place last I checked, but I’ve been back and forth between second and fourth since I joined a little late). This one has to do with meeting a weekly goals. I’m also competing in a Daily Showdown challenge (which, at the time of writing, I’m winning by a nose!), which is to compete for who can get the most steps in a day.
Yesterday I was in a Daily Goal challenge, which was just to see who could meet their goal for the day. I thought I’d won (we all met the goal, but some took more steps than others post-goal) but when I woke up, I discovered one of my worthy opponents had surpassed me. I was totally happy for him, of course, and on a completely unrelated note, I am even more inspired to beat him, uh, I mean…compete harder today.
So I guess what I am saying is that this whole FitBit challenges thing is definitely something I’d try if I were a person who was habitually kind of unmotivated about exercise, and/or a person who just needed a little motivation to step it up a bit.
The challenges are simple and super fun, and they don’t require anything except your body, the ability to walk, and of course the FitBit. There are also plenty of compatible (and otherwise) apps out there with similar concepts involved – the idea of gamifying fitness and weight loss is here, people. Take advantage of it.
For the record, although I would be totally open to working with the FitBit people on some kind of awesome sponsored challenge deal, this post is completely unsolicited and I paid for my FitBit out of my own pocket about six months ago. I am just a user who has fallen madly, madly in love with this thing. (And yes, if for any reason I’m not wearing it, I feel as though my steps are for naught. No joke!)
So I got a FitBit awhile back, and I cannot lie: I freaking love this thing! Not only does it track my every step, calories burned and distance walked, but with a little screen tap here and there, it can track my sleep, calories in and water intake, among other things.
And the battery lasts up to five days and takes just a couple of hours to charge. The only thing I don’t love is if I forget to put it on after charging and accidentally take a bunch of “uncounted” steps. Yeah, it’s like that.
Meeting my step goal has become a bit of a daily obsession, which, as it turns out, is a healthy way to gamify my health. I’m upping and growing my goals on the regular, people. This is big!
With all of that being said, I’ve been searching for a better (read: more fun) way to play games with my weight and health. I’ve been looking for an Android app that would integrate with the FitBit and allow me to play some sort of game to encourage movement and healthier habits. But you know, in a fun way.
Yeah, I know it’s asking a lot and I haven’t yet found “the one,” but I have faith that my techie friends are on it and I expect it any day now.
A new app from Fitbug released today shows a little promise, I think. Below, a bit from Mashable on the app, along with a link to the full story. I’m not sure if I’ll buy it now, but I might keep an eye on it as it develops.
That leaves me with two questions for you.
1. Have you tried or heard about the KiQ plan mentioned below?
2. Have you tried or are you aware of any other Android apps that gamify your FitBit?
Share your thoughts in the comments below, or join in the discussion on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/queenbeesruling. ?_rdr;
A new software program called KiQPlan works with your wearables and uses the collected data to whip you in shape. It’s part personal trainer, part nutritionist, part motivational coach all in a 12-week weight loss bootcamp.
KiQPlan from low-cost fitness tracker company Fitbug was previously teased at 2014 International CES in January and made its official debut on Tuesday.
“We feel like there is far too much focus on the device,” Paul Landau, CEO and founder of Fitbug, told Mashable.
The program provides tailored workouts (with videos and GIFs that show you how to best do them), feedback, meal plans and other targets to help users reach their 12-week goal. Each week, users get new workouts that are only unlocked during the week they should be doing it. It’s also possible to freeze weeks too, if you go on vacation or catch a cold.