fitbit review

March 29, 2012 · 16 comments

in healthy living, product review

good morning, friends!

today i want to talk a bit more about my fitbit ultra and my thoughts about it. i’ve been using it for 3 weeks now, so i definitely feel like i’ve got a good handle on how it works & how i feel about it!

full disclosure: i paid for my fitbit myself and was not compensated for this review. fitbit doesn’t even know who i am – i just wanted to share my thoughts!

short version: i love it!

long version: are you ready?

first, i heard about the fitbit from laura. she was always mentioning the fitbit and it really seemed like she liked it. i did a little more research and was convinced to get my own.

a fitbit is an accelerometer, which means it measures movement on 3 axes as opposed to a pedometer, which only count steps. the fitbit ultra also has an altimeter, which also measures altitude so it can measure how many stairs you climb (or vertical distance travelled if you hike or run up a hill).

FitBit1 my fitbit

the fitbit is pretty reasonably priced, especially compared to other similar products on the market right now. it’s usually around $99 and it comes in blue or plum – i got plum obviously!

the fitbit tracks daily steps walked, calculates calories expended, measures sets of stairs climbed, calculates an activity score, tracks sleep, and more!

you can check your progress throughout the day by pressing the button on the fitbit and seeing your stats.

fitbit steps and stairs

here is my morning so far. i didn’t work out this morning, so my steps or stairs climbed aren’t very high yet. but they will be at least 10,000 steps at 25 stairs by the end of the day!

when i first ordered my fitbit, i assumed you wore it on the hip like a normal pedometer and most accelerometers i’ve used for my studies. but that’s actually wrong.

they recommend you wear it somewhere on your torso for most accurate measurements. they suggest men tuck it in their shirt pocket and women wear it hooked in the middle of their bra. you can wear it at the hip if the other options don’t work for you, though.

FitBit wearing

i almost always wear a white tank under my shirts, so i usually wear my fitbit there. i tried it on my bra the first day, but i didn’t love it rubbing on my skin. (and yes, i am wearing a sports bra today – i need to do laundry. enough said.)

[p.s. sorry for the boob shot…just wanted to show how i wear it!]

[ p.p.s. no one can see it with my outfits - i unzipped my sweatshirt thing so you could see the fitbit. just wanted to throw that out there too....]

the fitbit also tracks sleep, so it comes with a soft wrist band with a little pocket that you wear at night. it’s really convenient and i have never been bothered by wearing the wrist band at night.

one last thing about the actual fitbit: it comes with a docking station that you plug into your computer and you use it to charge the fitbit. i’ve been really happy with the battery life. it can last 5-7 days without charging. i didn’t bring the docking station to st. louis and i still had battery left when i got home!

another awesome part of the docking station is that it will wireless sync your fitbit to the computer so all of your data will show up on your fitbit dashboard without having to take off the fitbit and put it on the dock. it will sync every 15 minutes and you just have to remain still within a 15-foot range of the docking station to sync. that’s very convenient!

but wait, what about that dashboard?


all of your data from day-to-day gets transferred from your fitbit to the fitbit dashboard, which looks like this.

fitbit dashboard

my info from monday

it has all of your information on it as well as placed to log food, weight, mood, journal, add activities, etc.

you can also see a lot of the information in a graph.

fitbit - daily activity

here is my activity from monday broken down into 5-minute segments. grey is sedentary (lots of sedentary time spent at my desk at work…), blue is lightly active, yellow is fairly active, and pink/red is very active. i’m not sure what the cutoffs are, but the activity levels are determined by cut-off points for number of accelerometer counts/minute.

you can see that i am way more active in the afternoons/evenings after work than i am during the work day…


another thing you can see on the dashboard is your sleep pattern. here is my sleep from monday night.

fitbit - sleep

yes, i am an old lady and went to bed at 9:19pm!

this was a good night of sleep. i didn’t wake up too much during the night and i slept for over 8 hours! (this isn’t a typical night!) i have definitely had some nights with poor sleep where the entire night has a pattern on it like you see between 4 and 5am on this night…


there is a place on the fitbit dashboard to enter and track your intake. i’ve been using it lately as i’m trying to get back on track with my eating. it’s very easy to use, but i have found that i’ve had to enter a lot of my favorite foods into the system – they weren’t already in there. but, the system saves them and other users who want to log that item won’t have to enter it themselves and i only have to enter each new food once!

you can also mark certain foods or meals as favorites, so they’re always on the sidebar of the food log so you just have to click on them instead of searching for them.

oh yeah, and there is a place to log water intake in the food log as well!

it’s a very user-friendly program!

final reflections

i’ve got to say – it is so motivating to see my numbers each day. i can’t tell you the number of times i’ve seen my numbers in the evening and felt motivated to go run some stairs or take another jog or walk outside to get my numbers up!

also, all of the functionality of the dashboard to track almost everything is so much more than i was expecting when i ordered my fitbit.

i think the fitbit is an awesome tool to help with weight loss or maintenance. it gives quantitative feedback on your activity for each day, so even if you don’t use all of the options in the dashboard, it’s still a very valuable resource!

i highly recommend the fitbit!

if you have any other questions or if something i talked about isn’t clear, please leave a comment or email me.


on a completely different topic…today is my sister’s birthday!!!!

happy birthday lizzy!



everyone should pop over and send her some birthday wishes today. :)

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Cara @ I Don't Believe in Diets March 29, 2012 at 9:54 am

I just got one too recently and I love it. I started to use to log my food and just sync it with the fitbit dashboard. It makes the logging the food part MUCH easier.

I wish I had enough stair access to the all the ones you do!
Cara @ I Don’t Believe in Diets recently posted…March 9, 2012 – A Rainy Day DinnerMy Profile


sarah March 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm

oh that’s a good idea to just add in total calories at the end of the day. i might start doing that!

i literally run up and down the stairs in our apartment sometimes. plus the building i work it in 4 stories, so i go up and down the stairs multiple times each day. they add up!


Denise March 29, 2012 at 10:49 am

Wonderful review! Is there anyway to track
Mileage? For instance I am about to begin the c25k program, (today! Eek!!) and am interested in something to track that (think garmin). Any resemblances?
Denise recently posted…Odd Eats!!My Profile


sarah March 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm

you can enter your mileage on the dashboard, yes! not quite the same as the garmin though. it won’t show you pace as you’re running. and i would say that the one thing that i’m not convinced of 100% is calculated miles per day. sometimes they match up with what the treadmill or my runkeeper says and sometimes they don’t!


Maureen March 29, 2012 at 11:02 am

Thank you sooo much for this review. I have been thinking about getting a fitbit and you’ve basically helped me decide I really need to shell out the $$ and buy one!
Maureen recently posted…Tomato Baken BitesMy Profile


sarah March 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

i’m so glad i helped you decide! when you get your fitbit, find me in the fitbit dashboard – we can be ‘friends’ on there!


Heather Montgomery March 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

that sounds way cool, I am so nerdy and love hearing about things like this!


sarah March 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

i know! the super-nerd in me loves all of the charts/graphs/data i get from this!


Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean March 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

yep…i think i’m asking for one of these for my birthday! and if i get one, i will show you my sleep log, and you will laugh at how pathetic it is :)
Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean recently posted…All-time Favorite WorkoutsMy Profile


sarah March 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

no, i will cry for you! haha. i’m such a baby about my sleep and i am certain that i would fail to function with the amount of sleep you get!


Emily March 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

You read my mind, I was just thinking about a fitbit the other day and was going to ask you about it!!! Thanks for posting :)
Emily recently posted…Happiness is…My Profile


sarah March 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

now you know the secret to my success…i’m a mind reader! ;)

glad i could help!


Alissa March 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Thank you so much for this review! I saw this product a while ago and have been wondering if it really works. I am so excited to know that it does! This is on now on the top of my wish list.
Alissa recently posted…Pizza FocacciaMy Profile


sarah March 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm

i’m glad the review helped you! i had so much fun writing it!


Jaime April 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm

I got so excited reading your review and your thoughts about the fitbit that I went right online and bought one! I cannot wait for it to arrive!


Tricia June 14, 2012 at 10:43 am

Thanks so much for the review, I’ve been looking for a female perspective. I only know men that have them so, knowing that women move differently, (pee differently) and I’ve heard a few people say they had theirs drop in the “bowl” and still work after, one guy at work said he washed his by accident, still worked.. I also found out that if you have one, and your friend does, and you go to their house and close enough to the dock, it will update yours to your account (bonus for the husband wife team that have theirs). My worry is Zumba, cardio kickboxing etc. things that I am worried about how it grips on my clothes, so I don’t jump around, knock it off, then step on it (because I am clumsy like that) – have you done any cardio or dancing with it on? (how silly am I)
thanks and thanks for the review, it’s really helpful


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