Going Hi-tech

This pedometer geek has been wearing a pedometer since early 2001. I have gone through countless pedometers (well, if I really thought about it I could probably figure out how many of them I have owned (and then lost, broke, or otherwise had to replace for various reasons), but I digress).

I have always resisted the idea of a Fitbit despite the ravings of friends and family. I didn’t wish to be tracked that thoroughly through Bluetooth. Despite this, I have succumbed. I now own a Fitbit, thanks to my husband.

I haven’t quite figured it out. The technology is still confounding me. As I don’t have a smart phone (nor do I want one, but I digress once again), syncing the Fitbit to my Kindle Fire has been difficult.  The various bells and whistles may take me some time to understand. And being “buzzed” every so often is a weird sensation.

Because of this, I don’t trust the data I am obtaining. I am currently wearing both my current pedometer, an Omron, which counts steps, aerobic steps, calories burned, and mileage, and the Fitbit, a Flex 2, which requires some input.

According to my current data, there is a discrepancy in the number of steps. My Omron shows 5,768 steps with 2,503 aerobic steps obtained through 22 minutes on the treadmill this morning while my Fitbit indicates 7,237 steps with 10 minutes of “active” steps. Ironically, I know many of my first steps of the day weren’t recorded by the Flex, or at least they didn’t seem to be because of the syncing issue.

Why the discrepancy between the two? Which of the two results is the more accurate? And totally unrelated to the number of steps, but still perplexing to me is how does the Fitbit know when I am sleeping (and waking briefly, etc. which seems kinda spooky to me)?

I know eventually I will figure out all the bits and bobs to the new hi-tech pedometer, but for now, I will trust my traditional Omron results while wearing both for some time. Will I abandon my trusted pedometer soon? Only time will tell. In the meantime, helpful tips or tricks, suggestions, and information about dealing with the Fitbit by those who have utilized theirs would be greatly appreciated. Now, gotta run; my Fitbit is indicating I need to move.

About pedometergeek

A pharmacist by profession, a haiku poet by nature, I read and write. I have a book of haiku, Ohayo Haiku, and another somewhat alternative haiku book, Three Breaths, but write other genres. I also read...lots of novels! My favorite is, and remains, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged but I am also a big Harry Potter fan. I truly am a pedometer geek strapping on my pedometer as soon as I awaken.
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6 Responses to Going Hi-tech

  1. The Fitbit I’ve been using for the past couple of years is the Zip, which was recommended by a neighbor who loved its small size and the fact that she could wear it discreetly. I have no idea how accurate it is, but it seems very close. A friend had one of the Fitbit watchband models and said that on a trip to Costco it hadn’t counted any of the steps she’d taken. Why? Because she’d had her hands resting on the cart handle through the whole trip. They may have fixed that kink in new models, but it might be worth it to check. In any case, many people seem happy with their Fitbit Flexes, so…. BTW, I wasn’t aware that Omron makes a pedometer! Good to know! Thanks for a great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I truly appreciate all the information on your experiences with your Zip. I will remember to keep at least one hand free the next time I shop. I have decided that pedometers of any brand have their own peculiarities. My Omron (and yes, Omron makes quite a few pedometer from low end to high end…mine actually reminds me the option to download it into a software program every 35 days) isn’t perfect. For example, I know I walked for over forty minutes on the treadmill this afternoon, but I wasn’t credited with most of them. No aerobic steps recorded at all and I only had about 200 steps recorded totally from the time I started until I stopped. It should have been more like 4000-5000 steps (I manage about 100 steps a minute at the pace I set), but then I know the pants I am wearing affects step counts. I forgot when I put them on this morning. Alas… I have to say I record what the pedometer says, and it has become frustrating to say the least. Hence, the Fitibit. But I still am trying to get it figured out, and every day I find something new that I didn’t realize earlier. Your comments are helpful, and I thank you again.

      Happy stepping and happy 2018!

      Like

  2. julespaige says:

    I’ve had issues with syncing too. And pretty much if you are wearing any unit on your wrist there will be some differences… But I figure if I am moving it counts. And that includes dancing while sitting in my car! Which counts towards steps. There isn’t going to be any system that is 100% fool proof. Also you will not get notices, but sometimes the fitbit stops working… because it gets updated information. Not being tech savvy I get my hubby to deal with that. Info can be stored in the fit bit for 5-7 days…. that said if you go on vacation and don’t sync up at least daily… once you get back it might take some time to get all that info synced up.

    I don’t wear my fitbit to bed or count food intake. That’s just too creepy for me. So it is at night every three or four days that I charge it up. My hubby’s unit is old – he charges his every night.

    You can also instead of going to Fitbit.com to syc up, which I had been doing for about a year on my bigger computer which seems to also have bluetooth connective issues. I’d have to go to and toggle the on off blue tooth ‘button’ in settings to reconnect almost every day. No smart phone is an issue that I also have to deal with. And now I’ve got the icon for fitbit on the bottom of my PC screen dragged over from the settings… well maybe not dragged over, but I don’t know the tech term. Anyway… that icon on my the bottom of my laptop has a slightly different display than if you go to Fitbit.com and type in your member ID and password.

    Also when going up the stairs it only counts every other step – since your arm is only going up every time… logical I suppose. So as with any other device – don’t get to worried about the real accuracy of fitbit if you don’t have a smart phone or in my mind even if you do have a smart phone. My hubby wears his (a piece of one really) in his sock in his shoe. And the only reason we are hooked up is because we get discounts for our insurance. Otherwise I’m not sure I’d bother with it.

    I like the meditation feature. You can set it for two or five minutes. But I pretty much don’t bother with most of the other information like blood pressure and calories. I like the time and date. And you can turn of the buzz that tells you to get up and take 250 steps every hour from 9 – 5 (or is that 6).

    It is set for 10,000 steps a day but you can increase that too. I’m not sure about decreasing it. We have had to call the help line a few times and have them walk us through resetting the device. Even after we printed out the instructions. But they are nice enough. So it really just depends on what you want to record and how accurate you want to be. Another blogger I read mentioned that he forgot to set the thing to weights once and all his arm motions went to step counts. So yes there are bugs.

    It is and isn’t a pedometer. And if you can live with wearing two devices and comparing data, then do that. And just have fun with it. But as far as accuracy… with what I’ve encountered… it is not.
    With that all said… movement is still movement and anything counts towards health. So just enjoy the new toy. 🙂 Oh, you won’t find me as a Fitbit ‘Friend’ I don’t do facebook and I don’t want to bother with being annoyed by anyone else who might ‘coach’ me. So on my display I don’t have any ‘friends’. The only one I compare my ‘notes’ with is me. 🙂

    Oh yeah when I go shopping I put my fitbit in my sock to avoid the ‘handle’ issue. It’s the little things one figures out… So no they haven’t really fixed that for my model. And when I mow the lawn it counts as riding a bike if I don’t move it to my sock. Just do what makes you happy, cheers.

    And Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for all the helpful tips, and believe me, they are helpful. I am slowly picking up the nuances of my Fitbit. I have to remind it to sync, but I am like you in that I don’t have a smart phone (nor do I really want one…in fact, I wasn’t sure I ever wanted a Fitbit because of the creepy stalking factor that I knew was there). I tried to sync it to my computer as you have done, but I never could get it to go through. It may have been because everyone was trying to get on the site and do the same thing. Now, I have it on my Kindle Fire and I am good to go. I do wear it to bed (how it figures out I am actually sleeping vs lying down or restless, I have no idea), but haven’t gotten into the recording of food. Maybe some day when I get it all figured out. I do see discrepancies between my pedometer and the Fitbit. You are correct, though, movement is activity regardless. It is possible to change the 10,000 steps to a different goal. I started with 4,000 just to see the lights flashing, but have since set it back up to my goal of 10,000. I also have changed the activity monitor from 9AM-11PM, but it can be annoying when I am trying to answer emails or am writing and become engrossed in my work and it buzzes on my wrist. To avoid it, I have to move and I finally realized that it was probably set to be 9-6 because of people sitting at desks at work. I do like the feature of keeping track of water consumption. My question is: does drinking tea count as water? It starts as water. Or other liquids? Do they count? I’ll probably never know, but I know my wrist is about to buzz if I don’t move so later.
      Happy 2018 to you and your family, JP.
      ~nan

      Liked by 1 person

      • julespaige says:

        I once read that a doctor counted his coffee as fluid consumption… It think that is stretchering it… But tea and juice why not?

        As for my PC syncing it depends on if you have your BlueTooth up and active. If you don’t have Bluetooth on your computer or active then it won’t sync no matter what you do.

        I’m still not wearing mine to bed 😉
        I just don’t see the need. But I do also take it off if I’m going to nap or have a long bath! I suppose unless you’ve got a water proof model the shower wouldn’t be too good either. 😉

        If you just take the Fitbit in stride…(groan) it can be a good thing.

        Cheers and hugs! ~JP

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Very impressive! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

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