Review of "Fitbit Alta"

published 26/02/2017 | leetscram
Member since : 12/03/2011
Reviews : 211
Members who trust : 27
About me :
Thanks for all the rates. Trying to keep up with everything!
Excellent
Pro Great motivation, good value, great App
Cons Other products have more functions
exceptional
Durability
Comfort
Value for money

"Getting a bit fitter"

In my youth I was a bit of a fitness fanatic, playing some sort of sport almost every day of the week from memory. This was partly because the Sega Megadrive did not have the immersive quality of the modern day 'social' consoles but also because my parents really encouraged me to keep active. I probably kept this up until about my mid-twenties but something went a bit wrong at that point and my working life started to take over.

Since having a child and a busy career, I've found it really hard to get the motivation to exercise, finishing work at 5pm if I'm lucky and then wanting to see my son before bed time. Before you know it, it's 8pm and another day goes by without any exercise. When I was invited to play in a charity football match, I realised just how unfit I was and wanted to start doing something about it. With work and time still a problem, a colleague of mine recommended the Fitbit.

Fitbit Alta

The Alta is the most basic of the Fitbit range but still does plenty for your money.

The Fitbit Alta is a small device that goes round your wrist like a watch. It works via a battery and you charge with a USB from a socket or your computer. The device itself has a digital interface that displays your activity for the current day;

1. Number of steps you've taken
2. Number of calories you've burned
3. Number of miles you've covered
4. Minutes of exercise you've completed in the day
5. Current time and date

To switch between the different measurements, you simply touch the screen to track progress over the course of the day.

Setting the Alta up is very easy. You just download the Fitbit App to computer and plug the device in using your USB connection. Whilst downloading, you create an account so it starts tracking all of your figures. Once the Fitbit has fully charged, you are ready to go. The next step is downloading the App to your mobile (available on iOS, Android and Windows) and link the account. Whenever the Fitbit is in range of your mobile, it will sync and download your statistics automatically.

The App

The Fitbit App gives a detailed report of your progress. It is also where you can customise the Fitbit and set goals, reminders and keep track of what you eat or drink if combining with a diet to ensure your calorie intake stats have some sort of value.

All Day Activity - Tracks your steps, distance and calories each day as well as activity minutes. Within the App, you can see the whole history of your progress and see if you are improving.

Reminders to Move - if you are in an office job like me, you can set the Fitbit to remind you to move every hour if you have not done your target number of steps. This is very useful to ensure you actually take a break.

SmartTrack - if doing any exercise, Fitbit automatically picks up what you are doing. For example, it knows if you are on a bike and marks the exercise down appropriately. If going for a run, there is a built-in GPS if you want to follow your route.

Friends- you can add friends to your Fitbit network and compete against other as motivation

Sleep Tracking - if you keep the Fitbit on in bed, it tracks your sleep and tells you have restless you are during the night. This could be quite useful if you are often tired to try and work out what might be causing it on certain days.

The Fitbit Alta battery lasts for about 7 days without having to charge. I tend to leave on charge on a Sunday night so as I'm good to go for the week.
What do I think of it?

The recommendation is that 10,000 steps per day leads to a healthy lifestyle and initially this was my target. Early in 2017, there has been a suggestion that there is no actual scientific proof this leads to good health but nonetheless it has given me a motivation to get up and be active.

10,000 steps per day if more difficult than it sounds, equating to somewhere around 5 miles. For me, this is walking there and back to work (15 minutes each way), a 40 minute lunch time and time spent in the office. When I get home I play with my son for at least 30 minutes and by that time I tend to hit my 10,000 steps. Some people say that they don't believe the step number is that accurate but if you play around with your stride length in the settings, I find it is pretty spot on.

The step reminders are really useful and has pushed me to actually get up from my desk at work a lot more often. Sometimes, this might just be a stroll up and down the office or even just to get a glass of water. If not for the exercise, it clears your mind and gives you time to think a little bit.

Competition

I've got 3 friends in my Fitbit social circle and the competition is really motivation for me. I continually want to achieve more steps than they do and that more than anything is helping me keep fit. If on a Sunday I see I'm a few thousand steps behind, I tend to take my son to the park or go for a walk which is far more productive than what I mind have done previously on a Sunday.

I've started running again in earnest and the way that Fitbit tracks my time and distance is really useful and shows me that I'm improving (or not some weeks!). Once you get into the habit of hitting 10,000 steps in a day, it starts becoming surprisingly easy and I've amended my goal up to 14,000 after owning the Fitbit for around 4 months. I tend to get over 14,000 about 5 days per week with maybe 20,000+ on a couple of days with two days off as I like to call them where I do between 8,000 and 12,000.

By nature, we all tend to want to achieve goals and having yours at the touch of a screen is really motivational.

I haven't found a huge amount of benefit from tracking my sleep and don't tend to wear the Fitbit in bed. If you are tired a lot, seeing at what points you wake up or are restless could be valuable but it isn't something for me. However, I have noticed that if I've had a good diet on a specific day, my sleep pattern is a lot better but I probably did not need the Alta to tell me that.
Will Fitbit Alta get me fit?

In isolation, the Fitbit Alta won't get you fit and the scientists are probably right. However, what it does do is promote a good way of living as to achieve my steps per day it makes me socialise and get out of the house. I also know that a better diet helps me sleep better. As I enjoy exercise, it has pushed me to start finding time to run again and the goals I've set have been incredibly motivational in getting fitter.

If you get round to adding your food and drink to the App as well, it will give you are more accurate picture as to whether you are being healthier with your diet as well as the exercise. This is not something I do but instead just try to ensure that I eat probably and drink enough water. We all know what is good and bad for us to eat deep down.

I would absolutely recommend getting a group of friends invested in the product as well as the competition is very productive.

Where to buy

The Fitbit Alta is available via Amazon or direct from the Fitbit website for £99.99. For something I use every day and with the amount it does for me I think this is decent value. I would expect to get a pretty decent longevity from and even if I only use it for a year that's about 36.5p per day which isn't bad putting it into perspective.

Some of the more expensive Fitbit products can track heart rate, number of floors you climb, have full GPS capability, sync to your phone to display text messages and music . The Fitbit Surge does all this but comes in at £199.99.

I would quite like the heart rate monitoring as it would be interesting to track what causes it to become elevated and may show at what points you are stressed. This would be really interesting at work when speaking to certain colleagues! Similarly, my father in law is a window cleaner so the number of floors climbed is invaluable to somebody in that sort of profession.

The Fitbit is available in a number of different colours and you can buy different straps as well with a variety of styles.
Recommendation

So, the Fitbit Alta has started to help me get back on track with my fitness and stop using the excuse of my work or home life for not doing exercise. The common interpretation of these devices is that they just track steps but with the motivation they give you there is so much more which can really start to help you develop a more healthy lifestyle. As each person has different goals, the customisation available is great for those that are just starting out or for the more experienced fitness enthusiast.

The product has really worked for me so I will give it a 5 out of 5.

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Comments on this review

  • calara published 18/03/2017
    great.
  • rolandrat123 published 08/03/2017
    vh
  • euphie published 28/02/2017
    e :o)
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Product Information : Fitbit Alta

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Cellular / Type: Activity tracker

Manufacturer: Fitbit

Long Name: Fitbit Alta

EAN: 0810351026860, 0810351025412, 0810351025375, 0810351025436, 0810351025337

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Listed on Ciao since: 28/03/2016