“Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Fans Voices program and have ..."/> “Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Fans Voices program and have ..."/> “Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Fans Voices program and have ..."/>

Ramblin’ Fan Tech Review: The FitBit Force


“Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Fans Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.”

The start of the new year inevitably brings New Year’s resolutions. One of the most common, especially among sports fans is that desire to finally break those lazy habits and start re-focusing on getting back to your old form. Some will inevitably look into starting that new gym membership, or embarking on some marathon training-like running regiment that is unrealistic and, more worse, unsustainable. Sometimes, the key to a successful change is simply understanding where you’re starting from…

Right after Christmas, Verizon surprised me with one of the newest on-body devices designed to keep track of your daily activity. That device was the Fitbit, whose stated goal is simply: “helping people lead healthier, more active lives.” While there are a quite a few products to choose from on their retail website, the one I received was the FitBit Force, the “highest end” version. Having worn my FitBit for 20 days now, without removing it, here are several of my personal, non-expert highlights:

1. Lightweight – The device is so unimposing that I literally forget that I am wearing it for a majority of the day. That is pretty unusual, since a real wristwatch typically only lasts about an hour on my before it gets taken off and thrown in my pocket.

2. Long battery – The easiest way to turn people off from an electronic device is to make the re-charging process more burdensome than needed. With the FitBit, I have only had to charge it once in 20 days… not bad at all.

3. Seamless sync – No need to plug anything in, type in any results, or refresh any screens. The FitBit seamlessly uploads your data to either a computer or an app on your mobile device. Hassle free! Even better, they will automatically email you an “infographic” of your weekly progress, chalk full of statistics and other interesting tidbits about your activity.

4. Screen Customization – There are plenty of other “bands” on the market today, including several name brand competitors like Nike FuelBand. However, one thing that is unique about the FitBit is the shear amount of customization that is possible. From the “style” of clock to the icons and their arrangement on the screen, there is plenty of flexibility to get whatever you want on the screen.

5. Unassuming design – To some, this might seem this as a “con,” especially when the current trend is neon colors and wild designs. However, the simplistic, minimalist design is actually quite refreshing. The lack of “loudness” will allow you to wear the device even with professional attire, without making it seem like you forgot to take it off your wrist after a workout.

While the device has yet to get me back in the weight room, it has certainly made me more aware of my activity throughout the day, or lack thereof. By understanding “where I am at” in my steps, calories burned, and “active minutes,” I have been able to make subtle adjustment to my daily routine and actually watch the change happen. No one wants to take the stairs when you there is a perfectly functioning elevator, but sometimes being rewarded with a “new high score” is enough motivation to get you to take the steps instead.

If you are interested in the device or have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to shoot me an email at nkearns12@jcu.edu. I’d be happy to answer! Until then, we’ll see if this thing can help me keep one of my resolutions for 2014.