The Fitbit has a really great feature, you can set it to vibrate at certain intervals if you have been inactive for an extended period of time. This is a fantastic feature for people with desk jobs or other low activity jobs that typically go hours without getting up and moving. With all the current research, we understand that sitting has become the “new smoking”. This really just means that it is terrible for our health and body. It is also something we can control. Sitting for long periods negatively affects your posture, which can lead to back problems, it can also impact your digestive system which can lead to a whole host of other issues. So having something that tells you to get off your a$$ may be a pretty helpful tool!
The Fitbit has another feature that I personally think is not only cool but also very informative. It will track your sleeping, which is a big factor in overall health. Wear it to sleep and it will track your deep sleep and restless sleep and how many times you woke up. I am interested in this piece because I always have clients, friends and sometimes myself, that seem tired even though they have gotten the magic “8 hours of sleep”. This will allow the user to see, of those 8 hours slept, how many were truly deep restful sleep. It will even let you know how many times you woke up, which often times we aren't aware we're doing.
If you feel so inclined to, you can input your daily food and water intake into the computer program associated with your Fitbit. It does sync to some of the more popular “calorie tracking” websites as well, if you already use another one. I am of a fan of these websites for the sole purpose of looking at your overall macronutrient profile, meaning how many carbohydrates, proteins and fats you are consuming. They can be beneficial to see the disparity between how much food you are eating in a day compared to the amount of activity you get. The Fitbit allows you to chart and graph multiple days, weeks and months so you are able to look at progress over a given amount of time, which is awesome for tracking progress.
So is it a necessity to own a Fitbit in order to get results? Absolutely not. Can it make the process more fun? Probably. But most importantly, research does support the idea that if we are “tracking” and monitoring what we do and eat, we are more likely to hit our personal health goals. While the accountability a fitbit provides isn't the same as an actual trainer or coach I think it is an extra piece that can be beneficial. As a personal trainer I can review my clients’ Fitbit to see what they have been doing on days they aren’t meeting with me. Therefore, combining the two can hopefully lead to even better results!