I have had my Fitbit Charge HR for a week now and thought I would update you on where I am with it. This may be a little wordy so my tagline is: I LOVE IT! But there are a few things you need to know.
I have a Fitbit One and Charge HR so I thought I would put them head to head so to speak. A few measurements for you so you can understand where I get my figures from. These are approximate. 2000-2500 steps equals approximately 1 mile. 1 mile = 1609 metres this means that 1 step is approximately 0.64 m. (my walking stride is around this measurement).
Day 1 Fitbit One on my bra strap and Charge HR set to Non dominant hand. I wear my Charge HR on my left hand and am right handed but I do use my hands a lot when I talk and also my left hand for things like changing gear when driving. I do need to make the point that I don’t usually wear my One on my bra strap, it does clip onto my bra but not there, I say this as I am not sure if it makes any difference.
I walked to my car and counted the steps, 289 of them. Charge HR overestimated by 72 steps (approx 46 metres). One underestimated by 26 steps (17 metres). I did a walk down the 2 flights of stairs in my house to my dining room and back up again. Charge HR underestimated by 19 steps (12 metres) and One underestimated by 2 steps (1.2 metres). Final walk of the day from my car to my house. Charge HR overestimated by 26 steps (19 metres) and One underestimated by 13 steps (8 metres).
By the end of this day my Charge registered 5623 steps and One registered 3919 steps. This is a difference of 1704 steps, just over 1 kilometre. Thats immense!!!
Day 2 I change settings on my Charge HR to dominant but it remains on my left hand (I can’t wear a watch on my right wrist it feels so wrong!). One stays in the same place as the day before. As it was a work day I did some fairly similar things to the day before as well. The walk to my car was 200 steps and Charge HR underestimated by 56 steps (36 metres). One Underestimated by 9 steps (6 metres). Walk to my house from my car at the end of the day was 270 steps. Charge HR underestimated by 5 steps (3 metres), One underestimated by 22 steps (14 metres).
Total steps by the end of the day was Charge HR 6916 and One 6382. This is a difference of 534 steps (341 metres). Much more acceptable.
Interestingly driving caused both devices to register steps. Charge HR registered 81 steps on one journey whilst the same journey added 263 steps to the One. This is likely due to the shocking state of my local roads and the fact that I frequently have to slalom to avoid large potholes and the roads are extremely bumpy!
So what does all of this mean? Are these trackers simply a gimmick or do they have a value? Well that depends on what you are using it for. Fitbit do clearly state in their blurb that it is not about 100% accuracy but about trends and if you keep this in mind then these devices are fab. On a work day I may not do much more than 5000 steps but at the weekend this can significantly increase and I like to log into my account or look at my iPhone app and see what these trends are. I have also discovered Fitbit friends and challenges and these are awesome for bringing out the competitive person in you and I frequently can be see walking around in circles in my living room or kitchen to “get my step count up”. My husband argues that this is not true exercise but I refute that. My Charge HR registers my steps and the fact that if I walk briskly round in circles that my heart rate increases this has to be counted as exercise.
I am not a big person but started to tip the scales at 11 stone a year ago and this bothered me. I am a terrible binge eater with absolutely no will power and have appalling eating habits like going all day with no food then pigging out in the evening. I have linked my Fitbit with My Fitness Pal and have lost over a stone in weight and both My Fitness Pal and Fitbit are brilliant tools to help me maintain a good diet and a good level of activity and fitness.
Fitbit is such a good gadget for helping with activity and eating and I love my Charge HR a lot. It is not simply an expensive pedometer it does so much more than that and I haven’t touched on these yet. I do run (I am a fair weather runner so not a good time of year for running for me!) but I will blog about using the One and the Charge HR with running when I next go.
Take home message today is: Don’t get bogged down with 100% accuracy use it for what it is intended for get up, get moving and hit that goal!
Edited 18:15. I have just been for a brisk walk (with a little bit of running in it as well) but I wanted to update you on how the One and Charge HR fared against each other. I walked 2.18 miles which equates to approx 3496 metres. Charge registered 3504 metres and One registered 3750 metres. This is a difference of 246 steps (157 metres). Charge HR is more accurate. It did struggle to keep contact with my pulse at times but managed to keep up enough to tell me I spent 8 mins in peak zone and 14 minutes in cardio zone and according to the graphics on my iPhone this is pretty much related to my walk / run.
Oh and one last thing: Fitbit, My Fitness Pal and Map My Fitness do not double count. My fitness Pal registers the calories from my run but does not adjust for Fitbit so this improves accuracy of calorie count as well.
Disclaimer: I am not employed by Fitbit all views are purely my own.