This is the day I have been waiting for—F!
I’ve been doing research on Fitbit for a class project and I have way too much I can say. Since we have to keep it brief for the A-Z bloggers who are very busy writing posts every day and visiting other A-Z bloggers there is a short version and you can continue on for more informaton if you’re interested.
Fitbit is a company that makes fitness trackers, at it’s very core it’s a pedometer and the goal is to achieve 10,000 steps per day. There are various trackers with different types of features to help you be healthy. Fitbit also has a blog with all kinds of posts to motivate people to keep moving. For my project, I read all of the blog posts under the category of Success Stories to get a feel for what people gain from using Fitbits.
Many new Fitbit users start out by aiming to achieve 10,000 steps per day. While on the journey, they realize there are other benefits that occur when one achieves this goal. They have more energy, they feel better, and their symptoms (disease, pain, mental state) improves. The benefits they enjoy from this new lifestyle motivates them to branch out into other activities like running, yoga, or working out at a gym. It makes people who may not even think of themselves as athletic want to participate in 5Ks, marathons, or other extreme competitions. All of the success stories on the Fitbit blog, show how using a Fitbit device helps the users feel better and see themselves in a new way. In keeping with the Fitbit mission of transforming lives, it seems the implicit idea is that walking is the gateway to other activities. This could be why the blog focuses on so many more activities than one would expect would be necessary for a pedometer.
I recommend checking the success stories if you would like inspiration.
If you would like to know more about the types of reasons people started using Fitbits please keep reading.
There were a variety of health reasons that prompted users to start using Fitbits. Sometimes the users found implementing regular exercise improved other issues they were having as well. For some heart disease was a concern either for themselves or because a parent had heart issues. Other symptoms mentioned were high cholesterol, overweight/gastric bypass surgery, pre-diabetes, heart murmurs, sleep apnea, and thyroid disease. Often users will begin keeping track of their diet such as by using a smartphone app like MyFitnessPal and this leads to revelations about changes they could make to improve their diet.
Under the epiphany category, we find people very much in need of a lifestyle change but could not commit to making a change until there was a particular activity their weight prevented them from being able to take part in.
For example, Moira was active in the past but accumulated weight during sixteen years of caring for her sick daughter. Even though she was overweight, she wasn’t motivated to make a change until one day when she was shopping for clothing to go skiing. She could not fit into any women’s clothing and had to shop in the men’s department. She was so disappointed that she couldn’t fit into any women’s clothing she decided to make a change. She began walking 10K steps per day and if she didn’t meet her goal she would jog in place at night while watching tv. She became motivated to change her diet, do yoga and resume swimming. Then she signed up with a personal trainer. As she started feeling better from the exercise, she became motivated to change her diet as well.
Return to Activity
A Fitbit tracker makes people more conscious of squeezing in activity throughout their day to meet the 10K steps per day goal. It can inspire people who had been active in the past as well. Then they evolve in their fitness they look for new challenges and may start seeking out races like 5Ks or half-marathons.
Blog posts in this category featured people who already worked out regularly and participated in races. They participated in competitions like marathons, Ironman, and Tough Mudder (a 12-mile obstacle race that involves challenges like diving into extremely cold water and sprinting through electrically charged wires). In some of these cases, these people used their activity to raise awareness and funds for diseases like Diabetes and Melanoma. In other cases, the users were slightly overweight though they exercised regularly. They began tracking their food with an app like MyFitnessPal and realized they weren’t eating as healthy as they thought or they were indulging in junk food that was adding on extra calories. Fitbit devices encouraged them to keep moving in addition to their regular routines.
Fitbit believes that more movement will improve peoples’ lives and that using a tracker will help their users achieve their goals. People have different defining events that cause them to start using a Fitbit device. However, the belief is establishing a healthier lifestyle by fitting more movement into what you are already doing or starting simply by achieving 10K steps per day. It also involves setting goals for yourself, which may begin with weight loss. Core beliefs are expressed through the blog which suggests walking is just the beginning and will lead to other activities and changes such as improved health, improved eating habits, seeking more challenging goals, and influencing family members and peers. Fitbit provides a framework for their users by giving examples of how other users approach fitness; however, we see it goes beyond the basic idea of achieving 10K steps per day and allows the user to decide how they will do this. The success stories highlight users who achieve their goals, and encourage others to begin or continue their journey in the same direction.