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A Fitbit is a piece of technology that people can wear around their wrist to measure their daily steps, heart rate, and more.
Manufacturers have designed Fitbits to motivate people by measuring their progress toward their health and fitness goals. These devices usually allow people to track their achievements during exercise and assess the data via the Fitbit smartphone app.
Many Fitbits are available, with various features. This article discusses some of the best options.
Fitbit is a collective term for numerous devices, which the American company Fitbit, Inc., produce.
People wear a Fitbit on their wrist to track their daily steps and help them improve their health and fitness.
Depending on the specific model of Fitbit, a person may also use it for:
- tracking their sleeping patterns
- monitoring and tracking their heart rate
- keeping track of the level of oxygen in their blood
- GPS tracking during exercise
- storing and listening to music
- receiving call and text notifications
- paying for items when out and about
Some people find that Fitbits help motivate them to go walking more regularly. Studies have shown that walking regularly can have positive effects on a person’s fitness and general health.
A 2020 study suggests that adults who take 8,000 or more steps each day have a lower risk of death from numerous diseases than those who take fewer than 4,000 steps each day.
This finding builds on evidence from a 2015 study, which showed that regular walking was associated with decreased mortality for males aged 65–74 years.
A 2019 study found that the use of pedometers — a device that tracks a person’s daily steps, similar to a Fitbit — can positively affect a person’s health. In the study, older adults who took part in a 12-week walking program with a pedometer were less likely than the control group to experience heart problems and fractures.
Tracking steps, therefore, may encourage a person to walk more.
Another 2015 study showed that Fitbits could motivate people to exercise more often. This study, which included 51 postmenopausal women, showed that participants with a Fitbit increased their overall physical activity and number of steps each week compared with participants who used standard pedometers.
It is worth mentioning that some studies have shown that not all Fitbit measurements are 100% accurate.
One 2018 study notes that although Fitbits are a useful tool for motivating people to become more active, their measurements are not always entirely accurate.
Therefore, it is advisable to use discretion when considering Fitbit measurements and not rely on them to inform decisions on healthcare.
People can choose from many Fitbit devices. Below, we look at four of the best Fitbits on the market in more detail.
All of the Fitbits below work with the Fitbit smartphone app, where detailed data are available.
Please note that the writer has not tested any of these products. All information is research-based.
Fitbit Versa 3
The Fitbit Versa 3 allows a user to track their steps and heart rate and to monitor the oxygen levels in their blood. It also has built-in GPS to track a user’s pace and distance when exercising.
The “Active Zone” feature means that the Fitbit buzzes when the person enters their personalized target heart rate zone.
The Fitbit Versa 3 also has various functions that a person can use during sleep. It can measure the duration of light, deep, and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, as well as skin temperature and breathing rate.
This model is also water-resistant up to 50 meters (m), offers call, text, and app notifications, and has a 6-day battery life. A person can listen to music on apps, and they can load credit and debit cards to the Fitbit and pay for things on the go.
This model also allows people to take Bluetooth calls hands-free from their wrist if their smartphone is nearby.
The Fitbit Sense has many similar features to the Versa 3. The two models share the same GPS and heart rate tracking functionality and offer the same sleep options. Both also have the Active Zone feature and can monitor the oxygen levels in a user’s blood.
The Sense model also has the same battery life, Bluetooth call functionality, apps, payments, and waterproofing as the Versa 3.
However, the Sense has some features that the Versa 3 does not.
For example, the Fitbit Sense has an EDA Scan app that detects electrodermal activity and can display a graph in the Fitbit app to show a person’s response to stress.
The Sense is also compatible with an ECG app that detects abnormal changes in heart rate. Anyone who notices irregularities in their heart rate can share these data with a doctor if necessary.
Fitbit Charge 4
The Charge 4 is shaped more like a fitness band than the previous two Fitbits. It measures heart rate, pace, and distance while a person is exercising.
This model provides the same Active Zone feature as the two models above and allows a person to record select exercises and see the workout details in the Fitbit app.
The Charge 4 has similar sleep functions to the previous two models. However, it does not measure skin temperature.
The Fitbit Charge 4 features a variety of apps, music streaming options, and payment functionality. However, it does not offer a user the chance to take phone calls.
The Charge 4 also has a 7-day battery life and is water-resistant up to 50 m.
Fitbit Inspire 2
The Fitbit Inspire 2 has a slim, streamlined design with a monochrome display. As a fitness tracker, it lacks some of the smart watch features that users can find on other Fitbit models.
The Inspire 2 allows users to count their steps and track their heart and breathing rate during exercise. It also has the Active Zone feature and offers a cardio fitness score to users.
The Inspire 2 displays the number of calories that a person burns throughout the day and has sleep functions similar to those of the Charge 4.
The Inspire 2 is a cheaper model than the other Fitbits above, making it a more affordable option. It also has a 10-day battery life, meaning that it has the longest battery life of the products on this list.
People who are unsure about buying a Fitbit can find similar features on offer in numerous other products.
For example, various fitness trackers are available that record detailed data when a person is exercising. Many offer smart watch functions and come with apps similar to the Fitbit app.
Another alternative that some people may wish to consider is a more simple pedometer. These are often more affordable than fitness trackers and Fitbits but still allow users to track their steps, distance covered, and calories burned throughout the day.
There are also smartphone apps that can offer similar services to these products.
Fitbits can motivate a person to exercise more often. They can also give a person a greater understanding of their fitness progress over time.
A person should choose a Fitbit based on their personal preferences.
Some may want a more simple model that offers basic data tracking, has good battery life, and is durable and waterproof. However, more experienced athletes may wish to choose a Fitbit that can provide more detailed data and in-depth analysis during exercise.