I was holding off awhile before getting a fitness tracker, since there's no shortage of choices out there. I am a pretty energetic person, and I wanted something to cover most of my activities and compare them day to day. Enter the Fitbit Force.
Fitbit has been making fitness trackers since 2007. They have grown from essentially creating pedometers to making some pretty intricate trackers. It appears they've combined all their previous research, development, and customer feedback to create the Fitbit Force. Another of their devices, the Fitbit One, does everything the Force does, but it's meant to be clipped to clothing instead of worn on the wrist. I for one would lose this in a second, or find it after I washed my pants. Not good. So I wanted something I could wear on my wrist, something that gave me more feedback than lighted dots, and something stylish. After all, I am supposed wear it 24/7.
Data captured by the Force includes steps taken, stairs climbed (in floors), distance traveled (in miles), calories burned (based on height and weight), and high activity minutes. Although exact measurements can be debated, getting this data from one day to the next allows you to compare how active you have been over time. In this age of technology, it's always interesting to have a way to check out what you're doing, and the Force is comfortable enough to wear all the time. Also, I found myself taking the stairs more, or walking to lunch instead of eating in. I think that's the point, right?
Oh yeah, the FitBit Force tracks your sleep too. It has a vibrating alarm, less annoying than your typical bedside beeping or buzzing. It lets you know how long you've slept and how many times you were awake/restless. For me, this became the Force's most interesting attribute, I suppose because it made me realize how restless I am when I sleep. I now imagine that I look like I'm practicing kung fu during the overnight hours.
The only qualm I have about the Force—but it applies to similar devices as well—is that for truly high-intensity activities, it has no true way of registering what you're doing. Sometimes 5 minutes of playing with the dog in the backyard garners more active points than a 30-minute CrossFit workout. The Force is at its best tracking running and walking. It's not a fault of the Force per se. I think fitness trackers in general have a way to go before they're all-encompassing.
Overall, I was happy with the Fibit Force, and it's one of my favorites among the fitness trackers I've tried. It's available now for pre-order at fitbit.com.
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