I recently received the fitBit, a glorified pedometer that wirelessly sends your workout data to the Web, as a birthday present. As a data hound and someone who cares about being active, I have decided that this micro gadget is a must-have for your career toolbox.
The sedentary lifestyle that many office workers lead is a recipe for trouble — even leading to an early death. I’m often amazed to see how corporate life can beat the exercise libido out of anyone, even a wannabe Jack LaLanne. The fitbit can help you hold yourself accountable, pushing you to be more active while on the clock. And I can’t stress enough how important it is to be somewhat physically active at work – even if you are a desk slave. Sit too long and you could be digging an early grave.
The fitbit is so easy to use, that it will satisfy the technogeeks and technophobes alike. Upon activation, enter your age, height, and weight on fitbit.com. Wear the device day and night for a sustained period of time, allowing data to accumulate. This information will help you identify trends and measure progress.
After wearing the device for two weeks at work, you will have a good idea of how many steps you are taking during an average workday. Whether you are strolling to the break room or the copy machine, every stride, along with the time it was taken, is recorded. Use this data to increase your “physical activity.” If you are taking 2,000 steps a day while at work, set up a plan to incrementally increase that number. Check out these tips to burn more calories at work.
The device is so small and lightweight that it’s a cinch to incorporate it into your daily life. The battery lasts approximately 10 hours and takes 90 minutes to fully charge. The device is so tiny, that its biggest flaw is that it is very easy to lose.
Aside from checking the number of steps you have taken on the device, you can view charts, graphs and more details on the fitbit website. Check out the calories burned, distance traveled, and more. Data is refreshed every 15 minutes when your fitbit is within 15 feet of the base.
The fitbit also monitors your sleep patterns, telling you when you went to sleep, how long you slept for, and how many times you woke up. It’s not an exact science, but it’s still a useful guide to make sure you are getting enough Zzzzzs. Not to play the fear card, but sleep deficiency is also a silent killer. Use the fitbit long enough, and the sleep gauge might be an indicator that it’s time for a new job – one that lets you sleep longer and more peacefully.
The fitbit website also allows users to easily track what they are eating and drinking on a daily basis. These updates must be made manually, but a food diary is another way to identify trends and push you to alter your lifestyle.
So far I’m loving the fitbit and highly recommend it. You can purchase it at Amazon. I’ll write another update soon and reveal my progress.