Fitbit rises in popularity at Wellesley

By AMANDA FOUN ’17

Contributing Writer

Today, technologies like Fitbit are constantly changing and reinventing  various aspects of our lives. Over the past few years, Fitbits have risen  in popularity. There are two main different styles of Fitbits. Some can be worn on the wrist like a bracelet while others can be clipped onto jeans. They also come in a variety of colors. The Fitbits currently on the market include the Fitbit Ultra, the Fitbit One, the Fitbit Zip, the Fitbit Flex and the Fitbit Force. Each one has unique qualities, but they all make it much easier for individuals to lose weight or stay healthy. They are health trackers that allow people to track their fitness both day and night.

Although Fitbits are small, they track many aspects of life including physical activity, daily diet and sleeping patterns. Fitbits also track everyday activities such as steps and distance. In addition, there is an web and mobile Fitbit tool that anyone can access with a Fitbit. Using the website or the app, people can record the food that they eat and track their caloric intake. Furthermore, Fitbits can track weight, body mass index, and percentage of body fat. Finally, Fitbits can also serve as “silent” alarm clocks. This alarm feature causes the Fitbit to vibrate gently and wake the user. The alarm clock also allows the device to measure sleep quality. That is, it measures how long and how well a person has slept.

The way Fitbits work is very similar to how Wii remotes work. A three-dimensional accelerometer inside the Fitbit tracks user movement. It collects data on the user’s frequency, duration, intensity and patterns of motion to ultimately provide the user with information on distance, calories burned and sleep quality.

At Wellesley, many students have started using Fitbits. They are popular among students because of how portable and discreet they can be. Some Fitbits are even just a little larger than a quarter. Students enjoy using Fitbits because they provide them with a more positive attitude toward fitness. Fitbit devices send encouraging messages to the user through the app and then congratulatory messages when they, for example, have walked a certain number of steps.

Fitbits are even becoming popular among the administration and faculty at Wellesley College. To promote healthier lifestyles, Wellesley has encouraged staff members to join the “Active You Wellesley Walking Challenge.” Staff members form teams and each team member is given a free Fitbit. The team with the most steps by the end of a two-month period will be awarded with a prize.

Although Fitbits can serve many purposes, they are very expensive. Depending on the model, the price of a Fitbit varies from $60 to $100. However, each Fitbit gives individuals free access to online and mobile tools to help them set goals, log their food and view many more health related matters. Ultimately, the product is an easy and discreet way for individuals to integrate fitness into their daily lives. Fitbits remind users how important health is and can motivate them to prioritize fitness.

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