What I Learned When I Stopped Wearing a Fitbit After Seven Years

When I first started tracking my data with a Fitbit pedometer, it was more of a novelty but fast forward seven and a half years and a great deal has changed.  Fitbit has exploded and gone from a no name company to a 4.1 billion dollar consumer brand.  The writing was on the wall when they needed money two years ago this August, they raised 43 million.  They recently went public (NYSE: FIT) doubling in price since its initial offering; trading at more than $42/share at the close of the market on Friday.

Canalys has estimated that fitness tracker sales have increased by 150 percent year-on-year and revenues blew away projections increasing by 175 percent in 2014 with reported sales of 745 million. The word on the street is that no one knows the exact number of Fitbit products sold in 2015, but they own 60 percent of the market.

fitbit
photo credit: http://fitnesshealthcheck.com

On a personal note, I found myself feeling a bit “naked” recently when I realized I was not in possession of my Fitbit.  I have worn a Fitbit One (pictured) religiously since 2008.  During that time period, Fitbit has informed me, that I have:

  • Traveled 4,015.78 miles.
  • Taken 7,941, 480 steps.
  • Climbed 18,431 flights of stairs (and on May 24, 2015 completed 125 flights).

Pretty cool data.  So, when I found myself one Thursday afternoon with my Fitbit nowhere to be found …I felt like I was, well, not getting credit. Not getting credit for all the steps that I took and all the flights of stairs I climbed for the remainder of that day.  One of the best things about the whole quantified self component including Fitbit, is that it holds you accountable!  I have a goal of trying to accumulate 275,000 steps each month or about 70,000 steps each week and 10,000 steps and 10 flights of stairs a day.  Some initial findings during the period of time that I was without my Fitbit:

  • Really missed the accountability.  Individuals typically have good success working with knowledgeable trainers because it makes them accountable.  No trainer? the next best thing could be the right technology.
  • A decrease in overall daily activity.
  • Missed knowing if I reached my daily goals (10k steps and 10 flights of stairs).
  • Missed the “extra” activity.  For example, if you’re close to reaching your 10,000 steps a day goal – you might take the dog out for an extra walk before bedtime in order to reach it, getting a little bonus activity.  That seemed to mysteriously fade away too!
  • Decreased motivation: I did not seem to push myself as hard during my workout and throughout the day when not wearing a Fitbit.
  • Loss of the Hawthorne Effect: people do better at a task when they know they are being observed or have to “check-in.”

A few days later I realized where I had left that Fitbit of mine and now I’m back on track.  One new thing I realized since finding it though, I have trouble hitting my 10 flights of stairs/day goal when visiting in Florida.  Boy it’s flat down there!

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Authormichael wood

Michael is CEO of Michael Wood Fitness, Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub and Founder of the Sports Performance Group. Named Best of Boston by Boston Magazine and Top 100 Trainer in the U.S by Men's Journal. Michael is a former Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Connecticut and member of Power Bar Team Elite.

3 Replies to “What I Learned When I Stopped Wearing a Fitbit After Seven Years”

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  2. Thanks Cathy – so true!! Enjoy your summer and Fitbit too

  3. I totally agree.. If I leave mine at home charging for one day, I feel like I’m naked too!! I love my fitbit!!

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