Activity Tracking and Sleep Monitoring iPhone Apps. I’ve tried a few of the iPhone apps designed to track exercise and monitor sleep. Some of the drawbacks to these devices are:
- Use up excessive battery power.
- Don’t integrate with online wellness programs.
- GPS programs don’t work while walking indoors or on a treadmill.
- Pedometers don’t track sleep.
- Sleep monitors dependent upon sound or bed movement are inaccurate.
Activity Tracking and Sleep Monitoring Devices. There are a few independent devices that resolve almost all of the above issues: Nike FuelBand, Jawbone Up, and the Fitbit One. After some research, I decided to get the Fitbit One. The Jawbone Up requires a physical connection to an iPhone to synchronize. I prefer wireless real-time synchronizing. I also wanted something small I could wear on my shirt rather than a wristband. So, that left the Fitbit One as the device of choice. It also includes an altimeter to measure stairs climbed.
My Personal Goals. My goal in using the Fitbit One is to provide me with some data so I can be motivated with immediate measurable feedback as I pursue my wellness goals. In particular, I’m exploring ways to improve my sleep quantity and quality. As an IT support person, I want to make an effort to be “more active” during the day, but measuring my success requires some device to do the tracking. Combining these three functions in one app is useful. Previously I’d used different iPhone apps to track nutrition, exercise, and sleep. The Fitbit iPhone app and online console track these as well as pulse (resting, normal, and high), blood pressure, pulse, and blood sugar levels. You can also create new items for tracking (such as blood oxygen level).
What’s Included. Shown below are the FitBit Plus, clip, USB wireless receiver, nighttime wrist band, and USB charging cable.
Areas Needing Improvement. The Fitbit does have room for improvement. For example, it has no pause button, so all movement is tracked as if you’re walking or running. If you do a lot of bicycle riding or spend time in a vehicle, the movements will likely be interpreted as walking or running. Keep this in mind when taking advice from the system about your caloric intake. The system will think you’ve burned more calories than you actually have and thus you’ll be encouraged to eat more than you should.
Resources. Below are some documents and resources for the FitBit.