Here is my short and early assessment of the Fitbit Flex. I like it. I’m not in love with it, but I like it. I’m enough of a gadget geek that I enjoy checking on my progress towards my goal of 10,000 steps each day, and the Fitbit makes this easy. All I have to do is double-tap sharply on its face, and the little lights will tell me how far I’ve come for the day. This is not a precise measurement, as there are only five lights, so each represents 20% of the goal. If the light is solid, you’ve completed that 20%, if it’s blinking, you’re working on that one. The on-line food log needs some work. While it’s nice to be able to enter the foods you ate and see how many calories you have left for the day, I find the database particularly distressing. It is populated with packaged foods and restaurant foods. Not much in the way of raw, whole, or non-processed food in the database. I’ve suggested they link it to nutritiondata.com, where I generally keep tabs on what I’m taking it. Nutritiondata gives you almost all you need to know about your foods and nutrition, down to the vitamins and minerals in your food and the completeness of the amino acids. You would think that a company producing a gadget to promote fitness would have a bit more fitness-oriented database. It would seem a little silly to say I’ve walked 10,000 steps today, and my Whopper and fries were almost burned off. Of course, I am sometimes totally naive in these things and I guess some people do that. I never – and I mean never – eat fast food. Sigh.
The other component of this little gem is the sleep data mode. It worked fine the first two nights. Actually, for some strange reason (placebo effect?), I slept like the dead the first night. The second night revealed some disturbances in my sleep. While I don’t remember waking up, I apparently tossed and turned a couple of times during the night. Last night, I got into bed, turned on the sleep session, and then realized that a couple of my painful joints where going to make sleep impossible, so I got up and took some meds and got back in bed. Just as I was beginning to doze off, I remembered where I put my parka last year at the end of the season and, since I’m heading for the deep woods soon, I decided that I’d best get up and throw it in the wash, since I already knew I had a few loads of laundry to deal with today and wanted to get a head start. In the process of putting that in the wash, I knocked over a little rubbermaid storage box that had some old surgical stuff in it – gauze pads and sterile wash, etc. (don’t know why I save this stuff), but apparently, the sterile wash bottle had some sort of failure and not only did it begin to leak, but it filled my bedroom with perfume – which I can’t stand. So, I started laundry, had to take the smelly stuff to the trash, scrub the floor, and then get back into bed. I’m not sure if I had user error when I originally turned on the sleep mode or if it just got frustrated with me horsing around, but when I awoke this morning, I found that sleep mode had shut off and I had no data on last night’s sleep. Oh well. Next time, I’ll be sure to make sure it’s running before I get into bed for the last time each night.
Well, so much for my ‘short’ assessment of the Fitbit. I do like it. Competing with myself (and others in my age group) is something I enjoy.