Walking with my Fitbit Flex

Friday, 28 February 2014

Fitbit 271Just got an email from Fitbit to say I’d walked 1000km. I’ve had a Fitbit Flex on my wrist most of the time since 23 October last year, so it’s taken me 128 days to walk that distance. An average of 7.81 km a day.

◄ my wrist, my Fitbit Flex

A Fitbit Flex is an activity tracker you wear on your wrist, there are lots of them as you’ll soon find out if you Google ‘activity tracker.’ My Fitbit Flex records every step I take during the day and from my height and gender calculates how far I’ve walked. The idea is that you should try and walk 10,000 steps a day, which for me works out at about 7.5km or 4.7 miles. I’ve not made any particular effort to reach that 10,000 step goal, but it would appear that over those 128 days I have averaged a bit over that target level. I’ve not had a single day of serious walking in that period and only once did I top 20,000 steps in a day (23,043 in fact)

If I remember to switch it to sleep mode it will also record how long I sleep and how well. I’m a pretty solid sleeper and it would appear that I usually get at least six hours sleep a night, but rarely more than seven. Although I do manage to fit in a daytime nap sometimes. It doesn’t really record cycling (but my cycle computer does that) or swimming (and I’ve got a Garmin Swim Watch to look after that most tediously boring of exercises).

Your Flex lights up little dots, one for each 2000 steps, and gives you a celebratory wrist shake when you reach that 10,000 step daily goal. But you can also look at your ‘dashboard’ via the Fitbit website anytime you want and see how you’re doing for today or on previous days.

26 02 2014 - Fitbit record 542▲ What’s most interesting – for any tech geeks out there – is how your day is noted down. Here’s what I did on Wednesday 26 February in London when I clicked up 16,372 steps. .

• Got up around 6 am, still jet lagged after flying from Australia a few days previous. Walked around to the newsagent and got papers.
• Nothing much until 7 am when I went to the gym. There’s a brief sprint on a treadmill (which for some reason doesn’t count as very active), but apart from that gym activity doesn’t generate that many steps. And since the gym is almost next door I don’t have to walk far to get to it.
• Then I’m back home, for a couple of hours, nothing much further than computer to kettle to shower and back to computer. Before setting off around 11 am to pedal on a Boris Bike to Westfield Shopping Centre where I wander round looking for an optician and the Tesla electric car showroom (test drive in the new Model S lined up for next week). Click here for my previous Tesla drive. For some reason 1.5km in the middle of that spell qualifies as ‘very intense activity.’ Then I pedal to Kensington and there’s more walking around.
• Around 1 pm I’m back home and for the next 5 hours I’m in front of the computer and not walking very far.
• At 6 pm I’m up and out, round to the tube station, Earls Court to Southwark for dinner (with Simon Calder, travel editor of The Independent). From 730 to 930 pm clearly I’m stationary again. The conversation included airlines, aircraft, ETOPs problems (Google that one), songs that feature aircraft and airports (Sydney from a 727 at Night by Paul Kelly my favourite), Bulgaria, Romania and assorted other, often travel related, topics. Then there’s another burst of activity getting home before I get an early night, around 11 pm.