Fitbit hacks?
December 27, 2011 11:36 AM   Subscribe

I got a Fitbit for Christmas! Do you have one? What should I know about it? Any tips/tricks/hacks for getting the most out of it?
posted by exceptinsects to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
I've had a FitBit for about eight months, and I love it still. It gets me out on long stretches of activity, but it also encourages me to just be less sedentary overall. For example, I used to sit on the edge of the tub while flossing and brushing, and now I pace around. I will even admit to walking around in loops in the backyard after the kids are in bed if I am in close enough range to get up over a big milestone, like 20,000 steps in a day.

I was also going to suggest joining the MetaFilter team on Health Month, but kanata beat me to it.
posted by ambrosia at 11:48 AM on December 27, 2011

My Fitbit proved to be surprisingly waterproof, which I discovered after I threw it in the washing machine and remembered it mid-cycle. I don't recommend trying this, of course, but it's nice to know you can wear it in the rain and not worry.
posted by workerant at 11:54 AM on December 27, 2011

Don't lose the wristband or the charging base, since they do not sell replacement parts separately. If you do lose the wristband, the Fitbit forums recommend buying a tennis wristband (one of those soft terry-ish things), cutting a slit in it, and using that instead. I'm going to try that myself with part of the sports-store gift certificate I got over the holidays. Enjoy! I really like mine.
posted by mishaps at 2:07 PM on December 27, 2011

> If you do lose the wristband, the Fitbit forums recommend buying a tennis wristband (one of those soft terry-ish things), cutting a slit in it, and using that instead.

I also found that the leg part of an old knee sock worked well as a Fitbit sleeping wristband.

Mine died (near as I can tell) due to excessive sweat where I had it (mid-bra). I might get one of the new ones. I didn't use the little holder that comes with it, just clipped it on, which might have been a contributing factor.
posted by booksherpa at 4:51 PM on December 27, 2011

You should definitely join (it's free) where your fitbit will earn you points that you can use towards some nice rewards (I got my husband a free pair of nice pants and a shirt from Bonobos with the points I had earned from everyday walking with my fitbit.

There are also some motivating challenges with other people on earndit that you can participate in if that helps you be more active...
posted by franc.o.bolos at 8:37 PM on December 27, 2011 [7 favorites]

And if you do lose the charging base you are out of luck trying to get a "new one" with a new unit - in my experience with several, they are not interchangable - though I don't know if "not at all" or "outside manufacturing runs" - A number of video baby monitors, for example, have interchangable cameras and monitor units but only when manufactured within the same run.

Can't hurt to put your email address on the sticker, I got one back that way.

If you lose it in the house or a known area, and happen to have the base set up with a movable computer, you can narrow down the part of the house you lost it in by walking the computer around every few min to a different spot so it can auto sync.

Putting it on a bra strap provides mostly accurate results, and doesn't suffer from the 'pop off the waist' problem. Putting it on a pocket was kind of so so with accuracy for me.

If you are using it to track sleep, you can only do it "once" per night - too much moving around in your sleep or bathroom breaks will take it out of sleep mode. You cannot put it back in sleep mode.

You must sync at least once a day to capture/retain data - seems to lose data between "sleeps" in my experience.

iPhone app doesn't do much.

If you are having issues with it syncing, unplug the base unit and plug it in again.
posted by tilde at 12:23 PM on December 28, 2011

I don't think you have to sync once a day, but I only use it to capture steps and nothing else. It seems to be able to go at least 2-3 days without losing past days that mode.
The newer models, which you probably have, seem to be more durable than the earlier ones.
Honestly, I just wear mine and use it make sure I'm getting 10K steps a day. I found the sleep info to be pretty uninteresting, and everything else more of a bother. Wear it on your bra, if it makes you break out take heart, that wore off after a month or so for me.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:23 PM on December 28, 2011

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