Nick Lee reviews the FitBit One, a wireless activity and sleep tracker
We are very good as surgeons at making decisions about a patient’s fitness for surgery but how fit are we as surgeons? If you are looking to increase your fitness and general stamina during the operations you undertake then a personal fitness tracker might be a device for you.
With this in mind, I decided to explore fitness trackers and was quickly surprised by the number available to buy. These trackers are not just electronic pedometers but smart health devices and I ended up trialing the Ftibit One.
The Fitbit One is a wireless activity and sleep tracker that you attach to your pocket or belt. It tracks the number of steps, calories burned and stairs climbed. While at night it monitors your sleep cycle.
It motivates you to be more active by counting your steps, which in theory makes you want to take more steps! Other Fitness trackers motivate by counting calories while the Nike Fuel Band motivates its wearer via a “Nike Fuel” activity score.
The Fitbit One is an all-day health tracker that syncs wirelessly and automatically anytime the device is within 15 feet of the Fitbit One USB Dongle attached to your Mac or PC.
Bluetooth Smart compatibility allows it to sync to your iPhone through an iPhone App. All the data collected via the Fitbit One is stored on an online dashboard which tracks steps taken, distances covered, calories burned and steps climbed. It can also track how long you slept and how many times you wake up during the night. The dashboard will also log your food intake, chart your weight and allow you to keep a health journal. If needed, it will also allow you to log your heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels.
The stats allow you to set goals and track progress with personal fitness notifications. These motivated me to use the stairs instead of the lift and to walk instead of taking the car. I was surprised how many steps I did while operating and it did encourage me to be more active. There is also the option to stay motivated by earning badges and connecting with friends for friendly competition or just support.
I liked the neat and compact form of the Fitbit One and it has motivated me to be more active. It is easy to use and one charge will last a week. One small disadvantage of the Fitbit One is that activity that did not involve steps, like workouts on a rowing machine, were not well recorded. The wireless sync and the online dashboard were a great motivation tool but, if I was honest, my children were the best motivators as they tracked my daily activity and kept reminding me how many steps I needed to do to get my next Fitbit activity badge. Maybe what I really need is a personal trainer.
Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Sheffield
Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust