Fitbit Review by a regular fat guy

fitbit-forceMy Past Experiences

My first experience with a pedometer was when my job gave them out at a health education function that I walked past on my way to lunch. It was one of those plastic cheap things that just counts steps. I didn’t see a lot of value in it.

My second experience with was the Nike Plus. I didn’t hate it and I wrote a few posts about it, including one of my favorites, My 500 Calorie Run. But I got very frustrated when a few of my runs wouldn’t upload to Nike’s fitness site and they had no method of manually inputting a run. Ultimately this proved discouraging enough to make me no longer interested in using it.

So when my wife was excited about this new thing called the Fitbit Force, I simply wasn’t. I have other methods for tracking my runs. However, I decided that if she’s excited about a fitness device that I should at least give it a look because we haven’t often found something that we can/will do together for our health.

The Negative

I’ve only had this thing a week, BUT I’m seriously impressed. Before I talk about the good – let me point out a couple of the negatives. I can’t figure out how to calibrate my stride in order to get accurate distances. It sometimes seems very noticeable on my wrist but not always. Its not easy to clasp and plugging and unplugging it is difficult. It actually feels like you could damage the charger when you plug it in.

My biggest issue with the Fitbit Force – there isn’t a way leave the display on. I can’t wear this and my watch but I was ok to wear it AS my watch, so its a pain in the butt to have to hit the button every time I want to know what time it is.

The Positive

I said I can’t figure out how to calculate it for my stride but on the positive side, its actually very close. I was impressed that at short distances (5k or less) it is almost exact with my Garmin 610 Forerunner.

It is creepy accurate at stairs. I don’t know how it knows exactly when I’m taking the stairs, but its on point! Not to mention that the preset goal of 10 flights of stairs a day have been a real motivator for me to take the stairs everyday.

The website is nice and it integrates with MyFitnessPal in a great way. You can put your activities in MFP and they sync with Fitbit. Fitbit will add calories burned to your MFP profile AUTOMATICALLY, so if you never want to put your exercise activities in again – you don’t have to. I like automatic; automatic is good.

It tracks you all day, which really sets it apart from running pedometers like the Nike Plus. It even tracks your sleep – which is cool but the best part for me is seeing how many hours I’m actually sleeping a night because you have to tell it you’re going to sleep and when you get up. So I know that for the last week, I’m averaging about 4 1/2 hours a night.


Buy the Fitbit Force – Its amazing. The device is stylish while accurate. The numbers are motivating. The website is intuitive and easy to use. If you are in the market for a high end pedometer – you shouldn’t hesitate on this purchase.

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