I’ll admit it. I do have a tendency to jump on the bandwagon. I am a terrible jumper with short, fat legs, but I try to keep up.
So when my buddy Ginny showed up wearing a FitBit when we worked the NCAN conference in Orlando last month, I was intrigued. And after seeing how it worked, I wanted one for myself.
I ordered the cheapest version, the FitBit Flex, as soon as I got home and immediately hooked myself up. I knew I would not be able to accomplish 10,000 steps a day from the get-go (remember those short, fat legs?), so I set the objective at 4,000, for now.
For someone who works out of her home and thinks a good time means feet up, half-prone in the recliner watching Masterpiece Theater or Below Deck (let’s say I have eclectic tastes), you will understand that 4,000 steps is a huge improvement over, oh, maybe 800 steps around the house on a particularly lazy day or one where I’m working intensely on the computer for nine or ten hours.
I’ve been wearing it for most of October now and kind of like it, but have decided my FitBit is a dick. Maybe a more expensive, complicated FitBit is more discerning, but mine has a one-track mind.
My FitBit only gives you credit for walking. It counts steps and does not give a flying f— about any other form of exertion. There’s a counter of some sort that says “exercise,” but again, it only acknowledges walking continuously as exercise. Even then, it seems to arbitrarily assign a number of minutes that may or may not bear any relation to the actual time spent stomping around the neighborhood. Ginny’s FitBit refuses to give her any credit for exercise, even on days when she’s breaking a sweat to reach her 10,000th step. DickBit.
For example, this morning I spent an hour at the Y. I started out warming up on the treadmill and I believe that did count as steps. I then lifted weights for about 20 minutes, then followed up with five minutes each on an elliptical machine and an exercise bike – both of which were far more challenging than warming up on the treadmill
I got home and checked the FitBit stats on my phone and guess what? It gave me credit for nine minutes of exercise. What a dick.
However, the other night I decided to take the band off my wrist (sometimes it’s just annoying and measuring sleep isn’t all that exciting to me, now that I’ve figured out that I probably DON’T have sleep apnea – so thank you FitBit, for that).
I set it down on my bedside table, then turned on the white noise machine I bought so I can’t hear Chris watching baseball or talking on his phone or doing whatever else that keeps him up until the wee hours most nights.
The next morning I put it back on my wrist, grabbed a cup of coffee, and eventually tapped on my phone to see the previous day’s statistics. Lo and behold, FitBit thought I’d walked more than 43,000 steps, or 17.5+ miles, in my sleep the night before. What?! Peabrain dickwad.
After consulting the “community” problem solving site on www.fitbit.com, I learned that setting the wristband next to a fan or other random mechanical devices (like my white noise machine) can trick the device into thinking it’s hiking through the wilderness or something. This is a fun idea if you want to cheat at accumulating steps, but really – even exercise-adverse I would not stoop to that.
Anyhoo. FitBit. A bit of a DickBit, IMO. But until/unless I’m willing to pony up for a fancier model, I will have to settle for ZERO pats on the back for any effort other than walking. Just so you know.