By Millie Pope | Image: www.fitbit.com
There are many new devices on the market to help one track their fitness efforts and results. One of the most well known is the Fitbit. Within this brand there are several different types of Fitbit products. Fitbit is a company that was started by two individuals in 2007 who recognized that the leading technology in sensors combined with technology could bring great benefits to the health and well being of many individuals.
With this concept in mind the American Company Fitbit came into being and began to produce a selection of activity trackers that were able to provide some important activity data.
The First of these devices to be developed by Fitbit was the Fitbit Tracker. Fitbit has extended the involvement of the devices with the implementation of a interactive website where one can become a member. There are apps available to extend the Fitbit experience.
Scientists in the health field have taken an interest in this type of technology focusing on what real value devices such as these have to offer. There have been several studies that have been performed. While there are many reasons that Fitbit users have for using these devices, some of the studies being performed are beginning to provide answers to some of the questions being raised concerning the Fitbit technology.
Could devices such as Fitbit be beneficial to postmenopausal women?
This was a study that wanted to evaluate how trackers can be used as intervention tools as opposed to their use for altering behaviour. The Fitbit Tracker along with the website were utilized for the study. The goal was to determine how this accelerometer based Fitbit Tracker and site would work as a physical intervention for women in post menopause. At the conclusion of this randomised trial it was concluded that the women in the study accepted it well and increased physical activity was noted at 16 week. It was determined from this study that this form of technology when in line with the theories of behaviour change can increase physical activity interventions.
Do trackers such as Fitbit give accurate information for Energy Expenditure which is important for weight loss applications?
The purpose of this study was to determine how much energy was expended during various activities using the Fitbit wireless activity tracker as one source data provider and Oxycon Mobile Portable Metabolic System as the other. The goal was to check the accuracy of the Fitbit which was worn on the hip. Participants were subjected to a variety of different activities where comparisons of the data provided by the two devices were compared. The conclusion was that the hip worn Fitbit underestimated the energy expended by the participants during some of their assigned activities, while it over estimated during the carrying of groceries. It is believed according to this study that the underestimation values could create issues for weight loss management applications because accurate data is important for tracking energy deficit.
Can health care providers rely of Fitbit to provide them with data about patient physical activity in between visits?
In this study participants were fitted with 3 Fitbit One (hip devices) and 2 wrist Fitbit Flex to provide the data. The participants were then put through a series of exercise activity. The conclusion was that both the Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex provided reliable data and indications that the hip based Fitbit One performed better than the wrist based Fitbit Flex. It was indicated that this technology may be something that health care providers could rely on to gather data concerning the activity of their patients.
These studies along with the many reviews and feedback about the Fitbit devices and website provide strong support for the various products and their applications.