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Fitbit Musings
Old 05-14-2014, 07:54 PM   #1
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Fitbit Musings

I got my Fitbit right about when I went into the hospital for hip replacement. I got only a few steps until I was released 2 1/2 days later, but I started picking up steps as soon as my son picked me up from the hospital. He rightly figured I needed some good Capitol Hill coffee, so we parked at my flat and walked over to a good place. My first steps, and my first good coffee in a few days. Then I went to GFs for 2 weeks of recovery, during most of which I either walked in her large building, or on her stairs, or on flat stretches in her neighborhood. 1/2 weeks later I went home, and I pretty much have worn the FItbit every day since. In 12 weeks including the day of surgery, on a every day basis I've averaged 5570steps, 12 floors, and ~3miles per day.

I get almost nothing while I am home. Walking back and forth to the kitchen, or preparing meals doesn't even seem to register, but then my flat is small. Also it seems to waste some half floors-eg if I run up and down the steps taking out trash it does not seem to aggregate the trips.

Lots of authorities recommend 10,000 steps per day. This is not easy if your area is hilly, or you do any other form of exercise like rowing or swimming. You are just too tired to rack up lots of steps.
At least this is so if you like me are no longer young.

Today I walked from the Greyhound Station in Tacoma up a long hill to the well known if not well loved Hilltop neighborhood. That round trip got me about 5000 steps and 18 floors. A very fit looking, heavily tattooed young woman kept passing me on my way up, as she was doing sprints on the hill. (Incidentally hill sprints is how I changed my hip arthritis from mild/moderate to late stage.)

Then I met my friend and we went to lunch in his car, for essentially no movement. Back in Seattle I exited the Tacoma bus downtown, got an espresso a couple blocks toward the water, then walked home up the hill. My daily total was 8904 steps and 41 floors. It's been a hot day, and I am fairly well bushed, but I can get my 10,000+ in if I walk over to Trader Joe and buy an apple.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that if this device is accurate, it is a pretty demanding taskmaster. In quite a bit less time I can incinerate a lot more calories on my rower. My shoulders will feel used, my hip a little stiff, but overall I will be less tired.

But of course it has been a beautiful day and having no AC I'd have been sweating like a pig if I had rowed instead.

Anyone like to share their experiences?

Ha
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:02 PM   #2
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I have worn mine every day for over a year, and haven't hit 10,000 steps yet. I am not much of a walker, obviously. But you know what? My fitbit still challenges me, at my own level. I think I have walked farther than I would have walked, without it. That is probably the best recommendation anyone could give for a device like this.

My (young) dentist is wearing one too. He walked 45,000 steps one day at DisneyWorld with his kids.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:43 PM   #3
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I've had my fitbit 2 months and got my 250 mile badge today and am at 538,509 steps since March 16. So I'm averaging 8975 steps per day with a max of 35000 steps in one day. I'm surprised how many steps I take doing yard work. My average should be up over 10,000 steps per day by the end of summer because I didn't get much walking in in my first month. For me, its easy to get 10,000 steps in a day, but tough to do it every day.

At first I thought it was not accurate, but I checked it on my 3 mile walk and it's within 0.2 miles.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:58 PM   #4
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It's easy for me to get well over 10,000 daily steps but only cause I'm a runner. On the rare off days I almost never get 10,000. I probably average around 15,000.

I ran my first marathon 2 weeks ago and wore my Fitbit. Got 56,000 steps that day. Yikes.

It encourages me to walk more. I'm still working and now I often make sure I get up from the desk and take significant walks around the building a couple of times a day. That's not something I used to even think about.

Plus, I like the calorie burn estimator and calorie counting.

Muir
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:35 PM   #5
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These are all very impressive, like the giant tonnage that W2R does with her lifting workouts. That 56,000 comes out to about2150 steps per mile, which is not much different from a typical male's walking steps per mile.

In 2007 I had one day (pedometer, not Fitbit) where I clocked 24,000+ and many days around 15,000 or 16,000. Since my surgery my max has been ~12,000. What W2 and others said is so true, we tend to try to do more just to get the number. Our health is what we are after, and I feel sure our metabolism is not onto the Fitbit, but what is measured responds. Like just now I returned from TJ's with a day total of 10,945 and 44 floors. Without the Fitbit, I likely would have poured myself a drink and sat down this evening.


It is hard to do anything day in and day out. 10.000 steps, 10,000 meters on the Concept 2, whatever, eventually it it either bores you to death or wears you out. Soon I will likely just clock my mileage going about my daily life, because want to get back to more rowing. I am close to 4000 km, and that is a good carrot. Plus, I think this has more effect on my metabolism (A1c, and lipids) than walking does.

I also started measuring what I drink. It was not very high, but it has decreased since I started measuring. My Doc said I might be OCD, but I am nothing compared to many. Partly I do not have the computer skills to really dive in and do the fully measured life.

Ha
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:37 PM   #6
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My goal is 10000 steps a day, which is either 2 errands on foot (walk to Kinkos to pick up materials for work, afternoon walk to my PO Box, for example) or an hour on the treadmill after work. I definitely prefer the "errand" steps - the treadmill is dull.

Fitbit is great. I peek at it daily and when the # is too low, find an excuse to go walk somewhere. It's been very motivating.

I think my highest day was in NYC at 38k steps.
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:38 PM   #7
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I have had a Fitbit for a few weeks (had a Jawbone before and it suddenly stopped working for no reason).

I think the Fitbit and the Jawbone are both about the same in terms of accuracy.

I find them good to motivate me to go out at lunch time and walk.

I have my target set at 7,000 steps per day. I can achieve that if I go out for a walk at lunch.

On weekends I usually get around 12 - 14,000.

When I am on my break in Australia every month I can usually get 15-18,000 steps per day (as it is more walker friendly).

Good for motivation and getting me off my backside.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:09 AM   #8
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Wearing a fitbit has made me less sedentary. I pace in place, instead of sitting, if I am watching "junk TV shows." I also switched to a standing desk at work, and will pace in place while working at the computer (yes, you can type while walking in place). I bounce or walk in place when waiting in line. I regularly hit 15K to 20K by doing this.

I also have a supportive and encouraging group of friends and we cheer each other on through the fitbit messaging, so I also have added impetus to maintain activity or they check in to see if everything is OK.

(If you want 30K steps or more in a day, go to Disneyland. When friends visit the park, they jump up significantly in the rankings.)
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Old 05-15-2014, 02:34 AM   #9
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I found with my Fitbit that it was more motivating to me set a lower step goal. 10000 steps a day was not a realistic option for me so it didn't help motivate me. I set my goal I think at around 4500 steps a day (you can change this on the Fitbit website on your dashboard). Then, when I was regularly doing that I moved it up. I had gotten up to about 7500 steps a day when I found out I had a trabecular bone injury in my leg and am now on non-weight bearing status for 4 weeks. Also I've been told not to walk for fitness in the future so I won't be trying to increase my steps. I'll probably set a relatively low goal of steps since I do want to make sure that I'm moving around enough and not just sitting.

Oh -- when I use my Concept2 rower (which I am still allowed to use) I wear a Blue Wahoo HR heart rate monitor. That talks to my iphone and to the Digifit App which then talks to Fitbit so that Fitbit using the calorie burn from the heart rate monitor instead of what Fitbit says. That allows me to get more accurate info when doing non-step based activity.
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:53 AM   #10
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Have had my fitbit for about two years now and usually do 10-20K steps per day on average. Couple of times left it attached to my shorts which went through the wash and logged over 30K on those occasions.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:16 AM   #11
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Couple of times left it attached to my shorts which went through the wash and logged over 30K on those occasions.
LOL! I'm surprised it still works. DH and I both have them because my previous employer provided brownie points in the Wellness program for verified physical activity. I get over 10,000 steps daily because my workout is usually bicycling, an elliptical trainer, or both. DH is 75 and more sedentary so 5,000 steps is a good day for him. When we were in Paris, though, he impressed himself with a couple of 10,000-step days. I think my top is 20,000. I sure wish it measured bicycling correctly- I've done 50K rides but the mileage on the FitBit is nowhere near that, even if I put it in my sock.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:28 AM   #12
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I'll play devil's advocate here and tell you my DW and I hated our fitbits and turned them in.' The reason? When my wife excercised it didn't credit her with anything.....you can manually put info in but we didn't know and didn't want to guess what was accurate. I walk on a treadmill, sometimes holding the bar, sometimes not.....steps were off. My friend has a nervous hand.....moves it around while sitting....he gets lots of steps. Within my group of friends, most have turned them back in. A couple friends that hadn't done much excercise are using and like them....."fitbit got me off my butt" Anyone else disappointed with Fitbit? Oh, pradpa likes to bicycle....like Athena53.....inaccurate measurements.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:58 AM   #13
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I'll play devil's advocate here and tell you my DW and I hated our fitbits and turned them in.' The reason? When my wife excercised it didn't credit her with anything....
I put my Jawbone around my ankle when on the treadmill cause I use the handrail. Works fine for me. Average about 11,000 steps per day. I do forget to switch to sleep mode at night most nights, so I discount those numbers totally. It has certainly motivated me to keep moving to hit my 10k at a minimum.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:56 AM   #14
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I got my fitbit in February. It's been fun having it. Looking forward to summer when I really can up my steps more than I have been able to do regularly thus far. My goal is 15K a day but 20K is fairly easy to do if I walk my dog either 2x per day or walk him once combined with my usual workout (which is treadmill hill walking). One day a few weeks ago I cleaned my mom's garage/basement, hauling a lot of garbage down her long driveway, combined with a workout that evening and I set my record of around 32K steps - my bath that night felt AWESOME (I was so beat!)

One thing I've never done that I've always wanted to do is do some sort of hiking/backpacking trip where you just walk non-stop all day for days and camp at night. I'd love to see what kind of numbers that would bring!

Incidentally, do you all use fitstudio? I just bought my kids some skateboards that they wanted using points, and besides that purchase I've paid for all my toilet paper and dishwasher detergent since February using these points (you spend them at Kmart). I totaled up the points I've earned since Feb and I am at $103.49 as of a couple of days ago. So my fitbit is more than paid for at this point. It's a great deal. We don't have a kmart very locally, so I'm not even able to use all my points before they expire. What I've been doing is the town we go to somewhat regularly (my son's orthodontist appts are there) I will use my points about a week before we go and do 'ship to store' and then the day of his appt we will go again, and by then I'll have another $8-10 in points. Got a stock of Finish tabs for the dishwasher and Scott TP right now and will keep doing this. Anyway, just in case you weren't aware, just google 'fit studio' and I'm sure you'll find it.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:02 AM   #15
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I am curious, which model of Fitbit do you people have? There are at least 5 models on their website.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:03 AM   #16
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I got my fitbit in February. It's been fun having it. Looking forward to summer when I really can up my steps more than I have been able to do regularly thus far. My goal is 15K a day but 20K is fairly easy to do if I walk my dog either 2x per day or walk him once combined with my usual workout (which is treadmill hill walking).
20k is usually about 10 miles for a man, and it would ordinarily consume ~3hours, or more with the usual dog sniffing meandering walk.

This is an enormous output of time and of course energy.

Ha
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:08 AM   #17
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I am curious, which model of Fitbit do you people have? There are at least 5 models on their website.
+1...I am curious as well.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:11 AM   #18
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+1...I am curious as well.
I have the Flex. Used to have the Force but it caused a rash. Fitbit recalled the product, and I went with the Flex. The Force was nice because it counted floors climbed. The Flex does not. But other than that they are pretty much the same for me.
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:20 AM   #19
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I use the Fitbit One, clipped inside a pants pocket.

Ha
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:22 AM   #20
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20k is usually about 10 miles for a man, and it would ordinarily consume ~3hours, or more with the usual dog sniffing meandering walk.

This is an enormous output of time and of course energy.

Ha
I didn't mean to say that I walk my dog that far! That will just get me to the total for the day. For example, if I just have a fairly active day without the walks or workout, then it's hard enough to get to 10K. If I do ONE walk or just the workout, then I can usually get to 15K without trouble and if I do 2 walks or a morning walk combined with a workout, then often getting to 20K or more is do-able. But I don't walk the dog 20K steps. My walking route is just over 2 miles and we do it at a good clip so it's less than 1/2 hour.

I use the Fitbit One and if I can, it's out of its case in a pocket. I only use the clip when I have no pocket.
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