Fitbit:”Digital Health Revolution”

Advancements in today’s society have opened a variety of avenues allowing new technology to integrate itself into many aspects of our lives. Fitbit is just one of those new technologies that was released and immediately began benefiting the fitness world, a “revolution in digital health.” As a society that is constantly on the move, it is rewarding at the end of the day to look at what you have accomplished whether it be a legitimate workout or just the activities that you did through out the day. By being able to look back and see the progress that is being made, it is a constant reminder and motivator to continue to keep yourself active and moving about to achieve that healthier lifestyle. For most, the Fitbit wearable device and phone app serve as solely activity trackers to keep record of a persons daily movements but for some it was used for much more than that. Let’s look at some of the different ways that activity trackers have ben adopted and integrated into the everyday life.

The Fitbit tracker can be used as a method to track distance, steps, calories, but it can also be used to track your heart rate. For Kaylea Haynes, she often found herself going through periods of “working out” but mostly spending her free time on the couch, not getting even close to the right amount of exercise that she needed. Instead of tracking calories burned during the day she tracked her heart rate. “Heart rate is a good indicator of how hard you are exercising, and to monitor this I used the Fitbit. There are different heart-rate zones that you can train in, and these are usually defined as “peak”, “cardio” and “fat burn”. Each of these different zones enhance difference aspects of your fitness.” (Haynes)

 

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With such detailed information she was able to pin point the areas that needed improvement and had a visual of what to set her goals to. As a new runner watching her heart rate either increase, decrease, or ideally remaining in the anaerobic energy zone was motivation to continue. The use of the Fitbit in her daily life has proved successful as a motivational factor to continue to exercise and reach set goals.

The Fitbit tracker is not only used for people working to achieve a more physically active lifestyle, but it is also used to assist those with health problems, in this case after undergoing the Fontan operation for complex congenital heart disease. In this case it was shown that hospital based cardiac physical activity programs actually improved a persons Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL). This is where the Fitbit became important, what if they could do this same physical activity more often and in the comfort of their own home?

The study was conducted on children eight to twelve years old over the course of 12 week of moderate to high physical intensity at home. The children who used the Fitbit Monitor were reported to have major improvement in their overall HRQOL, specifically “physical function, school function, psychosocial function, as well as an increase in oxygen function.” (Jacobsen et al) They were able to do these exercises everyday without having to travel to see a doctor and have them assist in their workouts.

 

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The Fitbit gave the children’s parents comfort that they could monitor how much physical exertion was being expended and that they could track that it was being done and maintained at a safe level at home. Furthermore, the children were not restricted to when and where they could do this physical activity. Since it made such an impact in so many aspects of their lives, it benefited them that they had the flexibility to do it daily and when it was most convenient.

The last major area that Fitbit technology has been implemented is with in the school system. As we can see among children in todays society, they are often quite sedentary, as much of the technology that they use for entertainment purposes does not require much movement if any at all. It is extremely important for children to get enough movement and physical activity to prevent chronic diseases from arising later in life. “Public health recommendations suggest that children engage in a minimum sixty minute per day of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, which typically includes walking, jogging, or playing sports.”(Hayes & Camp) In schools it is a requirement that children take part in physical education classes and recess, but in most cases this does not come close to meeting the suggested intense sixty minute exercise.

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Based on the data that was recorded, it suggested that the Fitbit intervention was in fact a success. There was a noticeable increase in the number of steps that the children took during the twenty minute sessions. With that increase in steps came a significant increase in the levels of activity and energy that was being exerted. The Fitbit was beneficial because it motivated the children to continue to move around and work to increase the amount of steps that they took each time.

The creation of the Fitbit technology was to track a persons daily activity, and was one of the first of its kind to be created. With no true guarantee that it would prove to be a successful piece of technology, its release was a gamble whether people would buy it and find use for it. Based on these studies and many others, the integration that has occurred with this piece of technology is incredible. Its versatility is impressive, having the ability to prove useful for some one at any stage in their life. Not only has it proved unhindered by age, but it also can be implemented in almost any situation. It can be strictly used for its original intent to track physical activity, but can also be used in that same realm as a motivator to keep people who might often lose moment continuously  engaged and constantly striving to improve themselves. Interestingly enough it can also find its spot with in the health care system, helping those with different conditions confidently and safely work to better their physical and mental well being, without being under the supervision of a medical professionals. Finally the technology has been implemented with in the school system as a way to facilitate a more active younger generation, and as a way to prevent future health problems that have the potential to arise with a lack of physical activity.

The range of areas that the Fitbit technology has been implemented and making a significant difference in, shows how beneficial the technology has proven to be for society. While not all of society has jumped on board with this new technology it is safe to say that it has been widely accepted and utilized and those who have adopted it and integrated it into their daily lives have seen positive improvements in regards to their health conditions as well as their mental and physical states of being.

 

 

Sources:
Hayes, L., & Camp, C. (2015). Increasing physical activity of children during school recess. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 48(3), 690.
Haynes, K. (December 2015). The fitbit generation:From couch potato to marathon runner. Significance, 12(6), 24.
Honigsbaum, M. (2015, Fitbit is the start of a revolution in digital health, but is it good for us? The Gaurdian.
Jacobsen, R. (2016). Can a home-based cardiac physical activity program improve the physical function quality of LIfe in children with fontan circulation. Congenital Heart Disease, 11(2), 175.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Fitbit?

Today’s society is always on the go, looking for different ways to stay active and achieve healthier lifestyles. For many people there is not a lot of time during the day to dedicate to being active. In many cases, exercise can manifest itself in different forms and it is always helpful to be able to track your progress throughout the day to know what you have accomplished. This goes for avid athletes to people who try to get at least 30 minutes of some form of exercise throughout the day. This is where the Fitbit and the creation of its app have come in handy for many people.

The Fitbit Company was created in 2007, and quickly gained success with its products. While many other devices have been created, such as Nike and Underarmour, Fitbit has rocketed to the top of the list of most popular technology. In 2014, Fitbit’s revenue skyrocketed from 5 million dollars to just around 745 million dollars. With this increase in booming business, they created new features for their technology to further propel themselves in the industry. They created the Fitbit app that corresponds with the device as well as works on its own to track steps, water and food consumption, calories burned, weekly exercise, and many other aspects that make the technology popular.

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The prices of the Fitbit are relatively affordable for most people ranging from sixty to two hundred and fifty dollars, which has helped in its success, because you don’t have to break the bank in order to be a part of the Fitbit community. In just three years, since the company launched for the first time in 2007, they have sold over 17 million devices across the world. (Statista) As of 2015, there have been over 9.5 million active users. (DMR) In 2015 and 2016, Fitbit won the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Wearable Fitness Brand of the Year,” beating out Nike in 2016, a well established and extremely popular athletic brand.

 

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As mentioned before Fitbit is sold worldwide, and as of 2015, more than 50 countries have adopted this product. This explains how its numbers have increased so dramatically since its launch. In 2015, there were 19 million registered users and in 2016 the number of registered Fitbit devices was tallied at 29 million devices. With new advancements Fitbit is projected to sell approximately 40 million Fitbit’s in 2016, and will most likely continue to grow.( Statista)

 

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While statistics are important to show the growth and progress of a company, and Fitbit has absolutely had great overall success worldwide, it is important to also look at success stories and testimonials to really see first hand how it has been adopted and what benefits have truly come out of the production of the technology. Here are a couple Fitbit stories to show how much having the technology has changed peoples lives.

Tim K from Indianapolis, Indiana was tired of being over weight, never happy with how he looked in pictures or in person, so he decided that he would work to change that aspect of his life. He cut his calories, and began making healthier choices when it came to food. The real change came when his daughter bought him a Fitbit, he was able to track food and water consumption, and most importantly see how much exercise and movement he got on a daily basis. That was when everything changed for him:

“Even more impressive are his stats since getting a Fitbit tracker in May 2015. “I’ve logged 5.4 million steps, 2,434 miles, 9,000 flights of stairs, and burned 1.17 million calories,” he says. “As much as I love those big numbers, I also love the little victories. Someone who has never struggled with their weight may not realize it, but it feels amazing to be able to use the normal arm cuff when the nurse takes my blood pressure.””

Lynn K, who is 66 years old, was constantly trying different diets to attempt to lose the weight, which compounded her numerous health issues that she dealt with. Nothing seemed to work for her, as she constantly got tired of sticking to the diets and would end up going off them seeing little to no results. She got a Fitbit, and joined a group of people who also had Fitbit’s, who challenged and encouraged each other to achieve their goals. With time, Lynn began to see a difference in the way she looked and even more importantly an improvement in her abilities to stick with her fitness goals and this time actually achieve them.

“So why was this time so different for Lynn? It came down to the challenges. “My daughter had a group of people who challenged and supported each other through the Fitbit app and they invited me to join them,” she says. “We do weekly challenges and I always try to be number one. I’ve only done that once or twice, but I’m usually right up there in the top two or three. The challenges are really motivating to me—everybody makes little comments supporting each other and cheering you on when you reach your goal for the day.”

These experiences while different had the same motivating factor, and that would be the Fitbit. Its ability to provide encouragement through group challenge or even just being able to look at your daily, weekly, and monthly stats and see how much you are accomplishing and improving is the greatest and most powerful motivator. Whether you are younger or older, the Fitbit has the same positive motivating outcome for those who try it, which is just another proving factor as to why this piece of technology has seen such success within the health and fitness world.

To get a better understanding of Fitbit’s success in just the past couple years, take a look at this graph depicting its revenue. The growth that has occurred in this category  within the past 4 years is substantial, proving how the product has diffused into the mainstream spheres of the health and fitness industry. The jump from 2014 to 2015 shows a impressive rate of adoption that occurred in just one year. Looking at this graph it can only be assumed that it will continue to grow as Fitbit advances and refines its technology.

Revenue:

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There are many different tracking technology on the market today, Apple, Nike, Underarmour, but it is clear that they have not hindered Fitbit from propelling to the top of the charts with their take on the fitness tracker. With the statistics, charts, and testimonials it is clear to see that Fitbit is a well liked and highly adopted technology, one that will continue to grow and advance over the coming years. For anyone thinking about trying a fitness tracker, based on the above, the Fitbit is the way to go!

 

 

Sources:
25 Amazing Fitbit Statistics (May 2016) – DMR. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2016, from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/fitbit-statistics/
Fitbit – Statistics & Facts | Statista. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2016, from https://www.statista.com/topics/2595/fitbit/
This Man Proves It’s Never Too Late to Get Healthy … (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2016, from https://blog.fitbit.com/this-man-proves-its-never-too-late-to-get-healthy/
 The Key to This Woman’s Weight Loss: A Little Friendly … (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2016, from https://blog.fitbit.com/the-key-to-this-womans-weight-loss-a-little-friendly-competition/
http://www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-rankings/2015/#2015-Wearable-Fitness-Tech
Images:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/472518/fitbit-revenue/
http://wearablestech.blogspot.com/2015/01/fitbit-flex-review-fitness-monitor.html
http://www.theharrispoll.com/equitrend-rankings/2015/#2015-Wearable-Fitness-Tech

 

The In’s & Out’s

Remember the Fitbit that you had to wear around your wrist and would forget to put on in the morning before leaving the house? The band that clashed with your outfits and only tracked your daily number of steps. Well, now that can all be avoided with the release of the Fitbit App for your smart phone. A great invention because your phone is the one device that will always be by your side. Not only does the app track your daily foot steps it has a range of other great functions that will be useful on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Some other lifestyle and fitness applications offer you a couple of options to work with, but you may have had to download one or two different applications to get all the features that you are looking for. With the Fitbit app, every feature that you could want comes all in one app. Lets look at a brief break down of what some of these different aspects of the app are.

Day & Night Capabilities:

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Here you have the ability to connect different trackers to one account so you can record both your workouts as well as your day to day activities. This way if you want to keep you workout separate from your daily activities that can be done through this aspect of the app.

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Use the “All-Day Activity” tracker to set goals for yourself (steps, calories burned,…etc.) and watch as you achieve them. Even when you are at work, you can be moving closer to your goals. Keeping track of your activities all day can benefit your end result, as a constant reminder of the daily goals that you have to reach in order to stay on track.

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The MobileTrack allows you to record your everyday stats to keep a history of your basic daily movements. This will help you make sure that everyday you are getting the proper amount of exercise or movement to keep in line with your goal. You can look at the differences over the week to see what days you were either above or below what you should be. With that information you can make future adjustments to continue to move in a positive direction.

The last feature in this category is even beneficial to those who are not as interested in the whole fitness aspect of the app. The Sleep Goals and Tools portion of the app “Uses a Fitbit tracker to record your sleep at night. Then, you can set up the sleep tools in the app to create a weekly sleep goal, as well as bedtime reminders and wake targets, and then review your sleep trends over time.”(Fitbit)

Activity & Workouts:

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Mobile Run allows you to track your time, pace,and distance. You are also given the ability to now control your music through the app. Receive mile markers via the app without having to stop to look at the screen. This also gives you the ability to look back and see the run that you have just done, from there you can either make adjustments to future workouts or stick with the already recorded route.

 

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Track Exercise records all of your different workouts and logs them in a spot where you have the ability to then compare your different stats to see how your performance is improving. This is a beneficial aspect of the app because it allows the user to get a good grasp on where they stand in regards to their daily, weekly, monthly fitness goals. Without the option to compare daily workouts it can often be difficult to track your progress.

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The Exercise Calendar gives you the ability to look at previous workouts and take that information to plan for future workouts moving in a positive direction toward your end goal. If you are on a schedule, for instance training for a marathon, this feature is great for looking back and seeing what days you have worked out and where to go from there. With busy schedules, it can be difficult to remember what days you have exercised and what type and for how long, but with the calendar feature constantly recording your movements there should be no confusion.

Weight & Nutrition:

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Using the Track Weight aspect of the app, you have the ability to use the he Aria® Wi-Fi Smart Scale to send your weight stats directly to your dashboard to see your trends over time. You also have the ability to keep track of the food you eat with the Log Food part of the app. Within this portion of the app, you have the ability to get nutritional advice as well as a calorie estimator and other aspects to help you in the nutrition department. A big part of having a healthy lifestyle has to do with your hydration. You are given the option to measure your water intake before and after workouts as well as throughout the day. Being properly hydrated can either hinder or propel you forward in your fitness and health goals.

Another feature that the app has to offer is the Motivation & Friends portion of the app. Here you have the ability to challenge friends and family encouraging them to workout as well. This is a great way to keep yourself motivated to continue to reach your goals. Sometimes it helps if you have someone else working out whether its with you or separately but comparing stats and working together to better improve each other. In this section of the app you also have the ability to earn badges whenever you hit a certain milestone or beat a goal. This is just another way to keep you motivated. Every time you receive another badge it will give you the urge to continue and stick with your training. The last great part of the motivation feature of the app are the notifications that will appear on your screen to give you encouragement and keep you on the right track towards achieving your goals. Sometimes this little nudge is all it takes to get you out and moving after a long day, or a great way to start your day depending on if you are a morning or night type of person.

So lets be honest for a second, not everyone loves to exercise! What if you could make your workouts more interesting.That was the goal when Fitbit released the feature, Adventures, as just another way to motivate you to exercise. “The feature tracks the distance you’ve walked or run and maps it against actual trails, starting with three at Yosemite National Park in California. The Fitbit app will unlock badge-like images of trail landmarks — say, a scenic waterfall at mile 5 — as you progress. Other rewards include “fun facts” and health tips along the way. Fitbit will add other destinations, including the ability to “run” the course of the New York City Marathon.” (The Detroit News)

This is just a basic overview of some of the features that the Fitbit app has to offer. If you are just beginning your journey to a fit and healthier lifestyle the app has an area where you can choose what kind of end results you are looking for. Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain or maintain your weight, build muscle, train for a marathon,…etc, the app has the ability to assist you in whatever your needs are.The app is great because it can lead you in the right direction, but allows you to ultimately set your own goals so you do not feel overwhelmed by your future plans. As you reach different milestones you can increase your goals or even decrease them based on your current performance.

The Fitbit app gives you the flexibility to compile all of your daily workouts and activities into one easy to use site. As an avid fitness app user, I have found the Fitbit app to be one of most all encompassing apps with every feature that I would want an app to have. I have used several different apps to track my workouts, and often found that I required at least two different apps in order to have health and wellness as well as music and fitness. Fitbit app has all of these aspects in one spot. When you are working diligently to achieve a specific goal it can be extremely frustrating to constantly have to go back and forth between applications to try and compile all your recorded data, believe me I know, but with the Fitbit app you have the flexibility to search through workouts, hydration records, daily activites all without having to exit out of the main home screen. For a newbie or an avid athlete, what more could you ask for!

 

 

 

Sources:
Jesdanun Anick. (2016, August 30). New fitbit app makes exercise even more of a game. The Detroit News.
The fitness app for everyone.https://www.fitbit.com/app.
Images:
https://www.google.com/search?q=fitbit+app&espv=2&biw=706&bih=926&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiR-LeBqKbPAhXKlx4KHfIvD4oQ_AUICCgD#tbm=isch&q=Running&imgrc=BFkmXPVVWGSONM%3A
https://www.google.com/search?q=fitbit+app&espv=2&biw=706&bih=926&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiR-LeBqKbPAhXKlx4KHfIvD4oQ_AUICCgD#tbm=isch&q=fitbit+app+logo&imgrc=ZAVetW7Zo4325M%3A