Something that aided my attempts at walking more each day – and doing more ‘steps’ – was upgrading my iPhone 4s to a 5s, which has a built in accelerometer and pedometer. I used an app called Pacer which was great for tracking my daily steps, calories burnt, distance etc. It was particularly good to see visual graphs of the day, week, month and beyond to identify which times and days of the week I was most and least active. (Obviously, I was far more active at the weekends and on gym nights.) But the problem with using your phone as your pedometer is that you feel like you need to have it on you at all times. Or else your steps won’t be logged and, kind of, won’t count!
And so, I recently decided that it was the time to part with some cash and invest in a Fitbit. A Fitbit is a wearable, wireless pedometer and activity tracker – which means that as well as counting steps it can calculate distance, flights of stairs climbed and quality of sleep (among other things).
My mum got herself a Fitbit Charge earlier this year and highly rated it – I didn’t even know what a Fitbit was before then! Some other family members have them as well and I think mum enjoys the competitive nature of it (as you can add friends and view a leaderboard of everyone’s weekly steps), as well as generally improving her daily and weekly step counts. It’s almost like a game – you even earn badges!
Needless to say, I got a bit jealous and wanted to try and compete with my mum’s step count – which in hindsight was a silly idea, because she’s so much better than me… But anyway, I have had my Fitbit for two weeks now and I love it!
Today’s step count (going to the gym helped get it over 10,000).
The Fitbit works alongside an iPhone app.
Unfortunately, there is a negative point to this blog post. Within a few days of using my Fitbit, it became clear that mine wasn’t very good at holding its charge…
A Fitbit Charge (oh so ironically named) is supposed to last about a week with normal use, but mine did not last as long as two days at a time. Had I not known that it was supposed to last longer, then this probably wouldn’t have been too much trouble. It doesn’t take too long to charge a Fitbit back up into a useable state so I was able to do it whilst sitting still and reading or using my computer in the evenings. Although a few times I charged it up over night which meant that my quality of sleep was not properly logged.
After a bit of Googling, I found that I wasn’t the only Fitbit user with battery problems. But I also found that Fitbit are extremely good at dealing with customer queries and problems. So, last Saturday morning I sent an email to their UK customer support team explaining my Charge’s charge problem. Within a few hours (on a Saturday!), I had a reply. They needed a few more details about my Fitbit, like where I bought it from (Amazon), but after that I was told that a replacement Fitbit Charge would be on its way to me within a few days!
My completely free-of-charge replacement Fitbit arrived today – exactly at the time that they said it would. I’m currently charging it up but fingers crossed this one will last 7 days! I can’t rate the company highly enough for their customer service. Thank you, Fitbit.
ps. Mum shared this link with me this morning. Yes, it is that addictive.