Fitbits are the fad in the health and fitness world. You can walk down Broadway in downtown Columbia and see at least a couple of the familiar bands wrapped around the wrists of bystanders. The Fitbit movement is motivating all ages and body types to jump on the health bandwagon and wear their new gear proudly. And all of this makes me think, “Are Fitbits a fashion fad or fitness?”
The Fitbit Skinny
Fitbits are a self-proclaimed “wristband that makes fitness fashionable.” They began creating multiple Fitbit products in 2007, but the most popular wristband worn by many is the Fitbit Flex. The band tracks activity throughout the day and night including steps, distance, calories burned, active minutes and how long and how well you sleep. The wristband’s features include progress display, wireless syncing, style and accessories, a 5-day battery life and water-resistance. Fitbit Flex is sold for $99.
As of March 31, 2015, Fitbit had sold over 20.8 million devices since they began making the fitness wristband. That’s a lot of wristbands!
2014: A Year of Fitbit Fashion
In 2014, Fitbit announced a partnership with the fashion brand Tory Burch. The collection is cute, fashionable and comes at a pretty penny ranging from $38 to $195. And the kicker is they don’t come with the Fitbit Flex technology, so you still have to pay an extra $99 if you don’t already have a Fitbit. That’s almost $300 to have a piece of jewelry that doubles as a step counter.
Amazon also offers many fashionable accessories by other manufacturers to pair with your Fitbit for the budget conscious starting around $5.50.
From the Professionals
We all know living a healthy lifestyle is important. Mandy Schick, owner of Schick Training and certified personal trainer, and Laura Detert, owner of Open Studio Pilates and certified Pilates teacher, concur.
“There has to be a good balance in any fitness routine,” Mandy believes.
“When we are doing something good for our health, the body immediately knows; you just need to quiet your mind and learn how to listen,” Laura agrees.
Mandy feels Fitbits can be a good investment for the average person. “A Fitbit will help keep them accountable and motivated to be active,” she says. “With my clients who are just getting started in a fitness routine, walking is key. I can give them a daily or weekly step goal, and the Fitbit helps them track their progress and motivates them to keep walking to hit their goal.”
“While I may be in the minority, I believe that Fitbit devices actually diminish your connection to your own body and may even damage it,” Laura says.
“I think for someone more advanced, it wouldn’t really work as well,” Laura adds.
“They probably have other ways of tracking their progress and don’t need the motivation,” Mandy says. “Some people get obsessed just with the amount of steps they take but are still not focusing on a good diet and a weight training program.”
“I’m not a fan of the Fitbit because it seemingly encourages us to treat our bodies like computers,” Laura says. “We are not computers. We are far more. We are pure consciousness; everything that is, ever was and ever will be.”
Another reason Laura dislikes Fitbits is because of the electromagnetic field radiation it puts off. “Most of us are bombarded on a daily basis with multi-tiered EMF (electromagnetic field) radiation from cell phones, wireless tablets, computers, wifi, etc. We certainly don’t need additional radiation strapped directly to our wrists, especially during sleep,” Laura says.
Taking it to the Streets
Of course I had to know the public opinion too, so I took the topic to the polls. Fifty people shared their opinions, and out of those participants, 80 percent consider Fitbits a fitness tool, though only 46 percent of participants actually own one. Of those who own one 69 percent actually wear their Fitbits and all but one wearer reviews data and feel wearing a Fitbit enhances their fitness. The person who doesn’t think his/her Fitbit enhances his/her fitness wears their Fitbit as a fashion statement.
So there you have it. Although Fitbits are a fashionable fad, they appear to be mainly for fitness after all.