by Lori Cunningham
Soon after arriving home from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), I received in the mail a Fitbit Zip pedometer to try out*. The Zip is tiniest pedometer I’ve ever seen, measuring only 1 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches…with its sleeve on, which attaches to your pants, purse, sweatshirt, etc. I was bummed to not be able to test it out at CES, with the 25.9 miles I walked. My miles this week seem pale in comparison. Nonetheless, I take a 45 minute walk 3-5 times a week, so I’ve had some time to try it out. Because the Fitbit Zip is so small, I was worried that I would lose it easily. But with the supplied sleeve, it has a built-in clip that attaches securely to my waistband. It’s so small I forget it’s there most of the time. The small LCD digital display gives me the basics such as:
- the time
- number of steps walked today
- distance traveled in miles
- calories burned
However, where the Fitbit Zip really comes alive is when it syncs via Bluetooth to my computer, via a Bluetooth USB accessory, plugged into my computer. Data is transferred whenever I come within 20 feet of my computer. When I go to my Fitbit account, I can see a graphical display of my steps taken, calories burned, and miles traveled…for the day, week, or month.
Here is a screenshot from my PC showing my weekly activity. I am at 43% of my goal of walking 70,000 steps a week. Uh-oh, I only have 2 1/2 more days to get there, I better get walking! My personalized Fitbit page also shows me that I am quite sedentary…in fact 92% of my time is spent staying still. Hmmm, must be all those blog articles I’ve been writing! I see there’s an opportunity here to get up and get moving…be an example for my kids. This page shows me the calories I’ve burned this week, just by walking. Fitbit includes a Food Tracker to help you track your food. I’ve pictured it below…
You can set the weight you’d like to lose and Fitbit will help you determine how many calories you should eat a day to get to your desired weight. As you type in what you at under “What did you ear?,” you’ll see a pre-populated list of items you can choose from, or you can enter in your own recipe. For example, I eat a custom fruit protein shake each day, so I can enter the ingredients of what I eat in the log. If you’re into food journaling, this can be very helpful in conjunction with the calories tracked that your burned.
Features of the Zip:
- Bluetooth enabled to wirelessly transmit your steps to your PC, Mac, iPhone 4S, 5, iPod touch and/or the 3rd generation iPad
- Rain, splash, and sweat-proof
- Secure silicone clip to attach to purse, bra, pants, etc.
- Variety of colors including pink, lime green, purple, white, and black
- Automatically transmit your data to your phone app or PC/Mac once you are within 20 feet of it
- Fitbit provides you with an overview of your daily and cumulative progress including graphs, tools, and charts
- Awards you badges based on your steps and progress towards your goals
- Gives you the opportunity to challenge other Fitbit friends to see who walks the furthest in a day
- Nothing to charge with a replaceable watch battery that can last up to 6 months
- small and fits comfortably and securely on my waistband
- the data and graphs captured on my Fitbit account is useful and makes me want to come back daily to track my progress
- uploading the data could not be any easier…I don’t do a thing
- no need to charge the Zip on a regular basis
- integrating your data with your personal weight and food plan without additional cost is definitely a plus for dieters
- does not currently work with my HTC Amaze phone (or any Android phones)
- does not track stairs
- although I like the idea of not having to charge the Fitbit, finding watch batteries can be a chore and a 6-month battery shelf-life is not great
The Fitbit Zip is available from Amazon.com for $55.01 with free Super Saver shipping.
A Mom’s Perspective
Today’s health trackers are really amazing (Be sure to check out our top trends from CES, and read more about connected health). I love the fact that your tracker can keep you accountable towards your goals in addition to the fact that they are just fun to look at. Checking your daily stats is a lot of fun. I don’t have the necessary Apple products to test the app, but I see that a number of Android phones will soon be able to use a FitBit app soon. My guess is that Android smartphones with the latest Bluetooth version will most likely be the smartphones that can sync with Fitbit devices. Although I love looking at my steps and miles tracked, I have to say, the most alarming stat to me is my percentage of time I spend sedentary. 92% is not acceptable. I intend to work on improving this goal over the upcoming month. How are you doing with your exercise program this year? Do you have a gadget you use to track your progress? Best Buy wants to encourage you to find the right gadget for you to motivate your exercise routine. They have provided two coupons, one coupon for 20% health and fitness devices and one coupon for 20% off small kitchen appliances (think healthy appliances here…not donut makers! ). So, if you have that extra Christmas cash or Best Buy giftcards burning a hole in your pocket, grab these coupons and save some money. Both coupons expire on February 13th…the day before Valentines.
* I was given a Fitbit Zip by Best Buy in exchange for my honest review.Tweet