Fitbit: The future of fitness

Curtis Newton, Staff Writer

The Apple Watch isn’t the only recent technological breakthrough in wrist-wear: enter the Fitbit, the device/app that tracks wearers’ steps, calories burnt, hours slept, and more.

According to the official Fitbit site, “…fitness is not just about gym time. It’s all the time.”  The device, which can be clipped onto clothes, or worn on the wrist (depending on the product), takes this mantra to heart by tracking the user’s steps, floors climbed, calories burnt, distance walked, and sleep patterns. This data can then be synced up to the Fitbit app, which compiles all the information into graphs and lists. Fitbit users set goals for themselves on a weekly basis. The goal, for instance, may be to get eight hours of sleep a night. Fitbit’s sleep graph will set up a chart and note the days with a star when the user has reached or exceeded their goal.

A defining characteristic of Fitbit is the competition it creates between people. Friends can make a group on the Fitbit app and compete with each other weekly to see who can walk the most steps. When they sync their data, the app compiles it all into a scoreboard. “…it’s a healthy competition,” said Nathan Buckley ‘17, a member of a Hollis Brookline Fitbit group. He notes that the competition gives exercise a more social edge. “It’s an activity tracker… but it’s social, so you can push yourself with other people…” Buckley states. He likened the drive to compete with Fitbit to striving to get better grades in school.

When lagging behind in competition, people do what they can to catch up. “Sometimes it’s a little crazy…” says Jenna Swabowicz ‘17, the current leader of the HB Fitbit competition. “I had some people over for vacation… we ran around [the] house.” Swabowicz also mentioned that she runs laps around her house when she’s falling behind. Buckley also noted that he once jogged in place to catch up.

The Fitbit, all in all, provides a new type of exercise for the modern day with a competitive edge. With it, people can motivate themselves to walk more and keep up with the competition. “It makes you want to go out for a run,” said Swabowicz. Fitbit keeps people healthy, and reminds everyone that fitness is, as the Fitbit website says, “Somewhere between first tries and finish lines.”

Fitbit trackers comes in many forms, including the Zip and One, which can be attached to the user’s’ clothes, or versions that can be worn on the wrist, such as the Flex, Charge, and many more. Prices of Fitbit devices range from $59.95 to $249.95.