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My FitBit finally came today! So like any good nerd, here’s a quick unboxing photoset:

So how is it to use? Couldn’t be more straightforward – I just dropped it into my pocket after setup! It really couldn’t be simpler; you move around and it tracks it. When you stop, and are within range of the dock, it syncs your data to the FitBit dashboard.

The great thing is it has a positive mental effect: you know you’re tracking your activity, so you’re naturally inclined to make yourself more active; you get badges/awards for reaching certain milestones – 10 flights of stairs, 5000 steps, etc. I did find myself thinking of more ways I could ‘level up’ as it were. I was probably helped by the fact I was working from home, which gave me more freedom to (for example) go for a walk at lunchtime, and take a few more breaks where I could just walk around the house, but in theory I might be able to manage similar behaviour at the office.

One part of the logging app (web or iPhone) which sucks is the food logging – essentially a food diary/calorie counter so you can offset your activity with what you’re consuming. The food database was pretty pathetic, and entirely US-oriented, and new foods can only be added through the website. There is hope though. The FitBit website lists integration with MyFitnessPal as “coming soon“. This is good, as the MyFitnessPal iPhone app is the best food diary app I’ve tried. Hopefully “coming soon” really is soon, because I’d like to track my intake, but the FitBit tracker is useless IMO.

I haven’t had a chance to test out the sleep tracking functionality yet, but will report back when I have.

In summary: the FitBit is amazingly simple to use, and likely to have a positive effect on my goals. The food logging sucks, but third-party integration promises to take care of that. Rating: 4 out of 5.

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