The Fitbit Flex appeals to my love of statistics and has managed to get me moving
No one would ever describe me as a sporty person, so my decision to spend my birthday money on what is effectively a pricey pedometer surprised a few people.
But the Fitbit Flex is so much more than just a step counter, and has helped kickstart a more healthy lifestyle which will hopefully see me finally lose that pesky baby weight (can you still call it baby weight when your “baby” is nearly two?).
Worn on the wrist, the Flex tracks your steps, distance, calories burned and even your sleep patterns to give you a rounded picture of your daily activity levels. It displays your progress towards your chosen goal using a series of five small LED lights (20 per cent increments) which appear when you tap it.
The Flex just looks like a plain black band which I wear on my non-dominant hand against my watch. It comes with two sizes of strap and you can buy different colours if you want to make it more of a fashion accessory.
I’ve had mine for a month or so now and the first thing that struck me was just how inactive I am on some days. On my working days I can sometimes sit at my desk for hours with barely a break. I was shocked. Seeing the harsh truth displayed there on the Fitbit iPhone app (it syncs with its app via Bluetooth) made me think twice about how I spend my time.
On the flipside I was excited to see that I walked more than 21 miles during a two-day visit to Oxford. I was so proud of the first day that I took a screen shot of the grand total for posterity.
Some days I even find myself walking round the house unnecessarily to get my steps up and feel that joyful little buzz that it gives when I reach my target. It’s definitely a great motivator.
The Flex has a silent alarm function to wake you without disturbing your bed-mate, but I haven’t tried this out as I have a child who already does this.
It is interesting to see how much sleep I actually get (you put it into sleep mode when you turn out your light and wake it in the morning), although I’m not sure what to do with the information that it takes me an average of six minutes to fall asleep. I’m quite happy to have information for information’s sake though and I enjoy taking a look at the charts on the Fitbit website’s dashboard. I wish you could access a bit more of that via the iPhone app.
The battery lasts for almost a week and charges fully via USB while I have long soak in the bath – no step counting required for that activity.
My one bugbear is that I am not sure how accurately it logs all those steps that I take while pushing a pushchair. I’ll be walking into town without the pushchair tomorrow though so I’ll be able to compare it with the results I normally get.
I’m not sure whether it would really meet the needs of a more serious fitness fan, but since spending my £79.99 on the Fitbit Flex I have definitely paid more attention to my activity levels. I’ve even started jogging regularly and am thinking of entering a 5K. And that would have been completely unheard of just a few weeks ago. Thanks, Fitbit.