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m741
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by m741 » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:17 am

I've had my eye on the scale, but haven't bought one yet. I'm sorely tempted, though.

I received a fitbit one for free from a gadget-loving family member who had upgraded to the flex. I think the one is better, as it has a screen.

As luck would have it, I got the fitbit right before going on a long trip with a lot of hiking. I was averaging about 13-15 miles of hiking each day, and the fitbit was great for keeping track of how active I'd been, and checking total distance when I was hiking a bunch of short trails in one day.

The device seems pretty accurate, once you enter your height. The distances it gave me were close to those posted for trails. It's uncanny about detecting stairs. I've tried shaking it and stuff to rack up miles, and it doesn't register that as steps.

It's also super durable - I wore it constantly for 3 months with no problems. And it went through the washing machine once. The best thing is the battery life, which is somewhat over 1 week. It will wirelessly upload your info without getting plugged in.

I haven't used the sleep feature much - it's too much work to put the device in the sleeve and remember to set it, etc. And how useful all this is depends upon how much you care, and how seriously you take the data it provides.

I'd say the fitbit is worth it for the cost, and it can definitely make you healthier if you set goals like '5000 steps per day'. I noticed an uptick in activity after initially getting this as I tried to hit my targets.

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GandK
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by GandK » Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:24 am

I've been tempted to get a Fitbit since I first heard about them, before they were even on the market. I knew I'd love it. But I haven't jumped because I wasn't sure how durable they would be.

The new wristband (Fitbit Force) particularly appeals to me. It may be time to get one soon.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by jacob » Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:59 am

ROI/marginal benefit depends on whether you'll use it consistently for a long time and whether it'll make you do more. If so, $100 is cheap given improved health!! However, most fitness products end up in a drawer or as a clothes hanger/stand, which makes them rather expensive for what they do.

Electronic products break eventually, so think of them as an annual cost---like a walk more-subscription.

Polar makes some more advanced monitors if you're looking to improve more than just distance, e.g. aerobic threshold, zone training, etc. Some of them will even provide commentary on the watch's screen like "Good job! You just improved your aerobic fitness."

http://www.polar.com/us-en/products

I think a mirror is substantially better than any scale, however fancy. You can tell body fat just by looking. A measuring tape also works (measure strategic body parts and sum it all up). A scale, though, no, not very useful.

Alcibar
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by Alcibar » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:17 pm

Have had a fitbit 1 for 6 months and have been satisfied user. It is trouble free and good to provide a nagging voice saying get away from the computer and move your body. For advanced fitness use it is probably not the right choice, but if you want something to give you a bit of extra motivation to incorporate more activity into your day to day routine it works well. Mine lives in my pocket, I charge once a week and otherwise no hassle.

Biggest lifestyle change is that I walk more now then before and actually get up from my desk at work and walk around maybe once an hour.

5to9
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by 5to9 » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:02 pm

I got the fitbit zip through a promotion at work where we could get them for $10, and I use it a ton. It's one of those situations where even though you know the stupid psychology tricks they are pulling on you, the tricks work. I find myself going for walks during the day just to make sure I get over my 10,000 step goal to make the chart turn green. Dumb, but it works. Possibly if I had better internal motivation I wouldn't need it, but I am seeing great results with mine. Plus they seem to have reasonable ebay resale value if it doesn't work out.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by jacob » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:12 pm

DW bought a fitbit flex and has been using it for a month now. From my observations, the benefits are that it keeps track of activity and thus keeps the program on track. The motivation to reach the step-goals seems to be on and off, e.g. sometimes extra walking will be put in to meet them and sometimes it won't, so it's not a guarantee. She also tracks calories eaten, current weight and target weight---the software will then tell her whether she eats too much or little. The downside is that she does less higher intensity exercise. It's almost all walking now. Yet overall, I do think she's more active now.

PS: In case anyone wants to compete for weekly steps, PM me and I'll give you her fitbit contact details.

Parsimony
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by Parsimony » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:55 am

I own the Withings scale and it had an enormous impact on my fitness. I never was extremely overweight - I may have maxed out at around 18% bf. Since I got it I step on it religiously every morning. I sometimes don't even look at the numbers because they get tracked automatically anyway. Seeing the trend on the screen frees me from the importance of the individual numbers. What counts for me is the general slope of the trend line (hopefully down).

You could achieve the same thing with a cheap bathroom scale and some device to track your bf% but for me it really paid off. I logged in below 12% yesterday for the first time. I used to track my weight on paper in earlier days but I usually came up with excuses not to step on the scale after some binge session in front of the TV the day before.

And you can even hook it up with beeminder.com which adds a particular sting for someone pursuing ERE.

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Chad
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by Chad » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:13 pm

I got the Fitbit Aria scale for Chrstmas and decided to go all in by purchasing the Fitbit Force. So, far I'm very pleased. Both seem to be fairly accurate. I'm sure the body fat calculator on the scale isn't exact, but it is very consistent if you use it before you eat/drink anything significant in the morning.

Overall, I like the idea of easy long term tracking and data storage. I plan on pairing it with a detailed log of my workouts and food.

sshawnn
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by sshawnn » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:23 am

I like the fitbit Force so far and would enjoy if others here that have a device would like to step compete. PM me and I'll give you my info!

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akratic
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by akratic » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:53 am

I had a Withings scale thinking it was a good investment if it motivated me. I didn't though. Oh well.

It's kind of annoying that it needs batteries. If I were to do it again, I would get the cheaper one, the WS-30, since I don't believe any of the advanced measurements were accurate, and the glass one is annoying to clean.

5to9
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by 5to9 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:57 pm

For anyone who does have (or is in the fence about) getting a FitBit, apparently if you hook it up to AchieveMint you can get paid for your activity. At the very least, this probably works out to a free fitbit:

http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/free-fitbits-for-all/

ICouldBeTheWalrus
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by ICouldBeTheWalrus » Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:57 pm

My main reason for not using one of these: I worry about the privacy issues of always walking around with a bluetooth device (which has a unique identifier) active.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by jacob » Thu Apr 03, 2014 1:44 pm

Do you carry a cellphone around?

ICouldBeTheWalrus
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by ICouldBeTheWalrus » Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:47 pm

Yes, and it bothers me too. :) Though, the main threat to privacy there is the phone company and government.

With bluetooth and wifi devices, it's really easy for other parties to do so with off-the-shelf hardware. E.g. the companies selling systems to big retailers for tracking shoppers movement in the store via their smartphone's wifi.

I realize my position is not terribly consistent. I haven't been able to decide whether I want to just not care about the bluetooth privacy issue, or alternately stop carrying a cellphone around.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by jacob » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:10 am

After enjoying a significant amount of motivational success with the fitbit flex (at least when it comes to steps, not more intensive stuff), DW bought an Aria scale. That's $120 to have wifi-techmology record your weight and upload it to your account instead of entering it manually. That seems to be motivating too. She set up a guest account for me and I actually found it motivating to try to drop my bodyfat somewhat---now that I have an actually number for it (most recently 8.5%).

I've always insisted that the key to success was discipline and tracking. The fitbit "ecology" kinda imposes that on its users instead of having it come internally and naturally or externally from another person or program.

It would be nice if the same system also tracked heart rate. I think that as it is, it can lead people to believe they're "exercising" and being "fit" when they're mostly just walking around.

JL13
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by JL13 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:31 pm

I have a fitbit flex provided by work - it's interesting to track fitness level but all it counts are steps - everything else you have to enter manually. If you're interested in seeing how far you're walking then it's good, but it doesn't have much mroe functionality than that.

If you're still on the fence when my work competition is over I could just mail you mine. I don't see it as somethign I'd want to keep around.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by JL13 » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:34 pm

jacob wrote: I actually found it motivating to try to drop my bodyfat somewhat---now that I have an actually number for it (most recently 8.5%).
Is there a good way to accurately calculate this? I've been curious but not curious enough to actually pay $50 for the dunk test.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by jacob » Sat Oct 25, 2014 12:40 pm

If you want a number, a $5 plastic caliper for a pinch test will be more accurate than any of the electronic gadgets. Submersion is the most accurate.

http://www.amazon.com/AccuFitness-Accu- ... B000QURRUK

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by BPA » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:03 am

I belong to myfitnesspal.com and reacted against the strong "thou shalt have a HRM, scale, and food scale" decree of many members for the reasons you stated: lifestyle inflation and not wanting to replace the damn things when they inevitably break. I don't like being told what to do. ;) And like GTOO stated in the thread about things that give you joy, more possessions tend to give me anxiety.

I measure my fitness and weight loss by how my clothing fits and how my strength and endurance improve.

That being said, to each his or her own.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by jacob » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:54 pm

Well, whaddya know. They just came out with a bunch of "watches" that measure heart rate. Now this is something I would consider paying for. Like BPA I don't need techmology to tell me what I weigh or how many steps I take or even for a reasonably close estimate of bf% (I guessed 9-10% before measuring it). However, instantaneous HR is useful to know for training lactic thresholds (instead of trying to feel the lactic acid build up in the muscles).

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by workathome » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:56 am

Does polar have a wristband with built-in HR monitor?

Microsoft just released one for $200 - http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-band/en-us

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by jacob » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:04 am

While I can't prove the non-existence of something, it seems that all Polar monitors rely on a chest-strap (including the Polar Loop).

workathome
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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by workathome » Thu Oct 30, 2014 9:20 am

I'm turning into a luddite! Having my heart rate monitored from my wrist would be cool, but I don't want all the other stuff.

That said, Microsoft looks like it's doing better than the Apple Watch "fitness" at $200 vs $349. Though the FitBit Charge HR looks like it'll be the cheapest option at $150.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by Open Space » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:26 pm

I've been using a fitbit for 2 years now...started with the Ultra and now have the One. The biggest risk with the clip on versions is losing them or washing them in the laundry. The Ultra fell off frequently and was finally lost. The One design is better made but still comes off sometimes. I think the motivaion aspect is worth the risk, but its something to be aware of. You will likely lose it or wash it before it breaks.

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Re: Fitbit One and Withings scale

Post by jacob » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:23 pm

I got a flex now and I'm sorry to say that ... yeah it's quite motivating to be tracked by an app rather than simply writing activities down on paper. Personally I'm gunning for calories and I can definitely see (in the mirror) a difference. Individual results might vary though.

DW bought the aria scale (I think I mentioned that above) and I personally don't find that very enlightening. In particular, the estimate of bf% is only semi-accurate and it depends a lot on hydration (with 1-2%). Your mirror is still your best friend when it comes to bf%. Then again, I'm gunning for the margins rather than trying to lose a bunch of pounds.

If anyone wants to compete, send me your details via PM and I'll add you to my friends list.

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