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Is he aware his wristband doesn’t match the rest of his workout gear?

Fitbits are the fad in the health and fitness world. You can walk down Broadway in downtown Columbia and see at least a couple of the familiar bands wrapped around the wrists of bystanders. The Fitbit movement is motivating all ages and body types to jump on the health bandwagon and wear their new gear proudly. And all of this makes me think, “Are Fitbits a  fashion fad or fitness?”

The Fitbit Skinny

Fitbits are a self-proclaimed “wristband that makes fitness fashionable”. They began creating multiple Fitbit products in 2007, but the most popular wristband worn by many is the Fitbit Flex. The band tracks activity throughout the day and night including steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes and how long and how well you sleep. The wristband’s features include progress display, wireless syncing, style and accessories, a 5-day battery life and water-resistance. Fitbit Flex runs for $99.

As of March 31, 2015, Fitbit has sold over 20.8 million devices since they began making the fitness wristband. That’s a lot of wristbands!

2014 – A Year of Fitbit Fashion

In 2014, Fitbit announced a partnership with the fashion brand Tory Burch. The collection features four double-wrap bracelets, three metal hinged bracelets, three metal pendants and five silicone printed bracelets. They’re cute, fashionable and come at a pretty penny ranging from $38 to $195. But the kicker is, they don’t come with the Fitbit Flex technology, so you still have to pay an extra $99 if you don’t already have a Fitbit. That’s almost $300 to have a piece of jewelry that doubles as a step counter. I guess it’s up to the buyer to decide if it’s worth it or not.

Amazon also offers many fashionable Fitbit accessories by other manufacturers to pair with your fitbit for the budget conscious starting around $5.50.

From the Professionals

We all know living a healthy lifestyle is important. Mandy Schick, owner of Schick Training and certified personal trainer, and Laura Detert, owner of Open Studio Pilates and certified pilates teacher, concur.

Mandy believes, “there has to be a good balance in any fitness routine”, and Laura agrees. “When we are doing something good for our health, the body immediately knows; you just need to quiet your mind and learn how to listen,” says Laura.

Mandy feels Fitbits can be a good investment for the average person. “A Fitbit will help keep them accountable and motivated to be active,” says Mandy. “With my clients who are just getting started in a fitness routine, walking is key. I can give them a daily or weekly step goal, and the Fitbit helps them track their progress and motivates them to keep walking to hit their goal.”

Laura says, “While I may be in the minority, I believe that Fitbit devices actually diminish your connection to your own body- and may even damage it.”

Both women agree there are drawbacks to the Fitbit.

“I think for someone more advanced it wouldn’t really work as well. They probably have other ways of tracking their progress and don’t need the motivation,” says Mandy “Some people get obsessed just with the amount of steps they take, but are still not focusing on a good diet and a weight training program,” she adds.

“I’m not a fan of the Fitbit because it seemingly encourages us to treat our bodies like computers,” says Laura. “We are not computers- but far, far more! We are pure consciousness; everything that is, ever was and ever will be.”

Another reason Laura dislikes Fitbits is because of the electromagnetic field radiation it puts off. “Most of us are bombarded on a daily basis with multi-tiered EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation from cell phones, wireless tablets, computers, wifi, etc. We certainly don’t need additional radiation strapped directly to our wrists- especially during sleep,” says Laura.

Fitbit Features Benefit Users

If you are a Fitbit user, the additional features are a benefit. “To get the most out of your Fitbit, use the additional features,” says Mandy. “If you have a MyFitnessPal account that tracks diet and exercise, you can link it to your Fitbit,” she advises.

There are multiple apps that can link to Fitbits too, one of them being Moodtrek. Moodtrek is a smartphone app that connects with a Fitbit to track activity, sleep and mood to help people deal with depression. Care providers can see how users are changing over time to better help them determine the best treatment plan for each patient.

Some Fitbits have a small screen and a clock. They can also sync with your phone to alert you when you have a phone call or message coming in. There are many other features the Fitbit has to offer too, but those are just a few.

Despite the drawbacks, both experts agree a Fitbit can potentially help boost activity levels especially for those beginning on their fitness journey. Of course, I had to know the public opinion too. So I took the topic to the polls. Fifty people shared their opinion. 80% consider fitbits a fitness tool, though only 46% of participants actually own one. Of those who own one 69% wear their Fitbits and all but one of them review their data and feel their Fitbit enhances their fitness. The person who doesn’t considers wearing their Fitbit as a fashion statement. So there you have it.  Though Fitbits are a fashionable fad, they appear to be mainly for fitness after all.  

More about the Author

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Monica Pitts

Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.

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