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My Fitbit: Making sense of digital health

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
My Fitbit: Making sense of digital health

So a few weeks ago I was strolling through the aisles of my local Best Buy electronics store when something caught my eye.  Now I'll admit my home bathroom scale is not in very good shape.  It's about twelve pounds off.  But on the shelf at Best Buy was something called a Fitbit Aria digital scale.  So bang on, I'm in the market for this new scale and at around a hundred dollars, I thought it was time to enter the 21st century.

The scale connects by WiFi to an online dashboard that allows me to input several different health benchmarks.  Weight, blood glucose, blood pressure, activities.  What's more there are secondary devices made by Fitbit that make excercise a lot easier to chart.  

A few days after purchasing the scale I dropped another hundred dollars on something called a Fitbit One.  The One is a digital step and sleep monitor that tunes into your same online digital dashboard.  After downloading a Bluetooth app to my smartphone, I can keep a log of all my physical activities at any point of the day.  The One straps to my wrist or hip and is an all-day investment that tracks the quality of sleep I get and the amount of steps I take which inevitably results in a healthier life.

Furthermore, the Fitbit dashboard contains an extensive calorie tracker and food diary that enables one to chart nearly every aspect of weight loss and maintenance.  It lists badges of achievements and enables you to connect to others in the Fitbit community.  Not only that, but the dashboard can be opened up online and allow you to share your statistics in a social media-like environment and rank you according to your daily averages in whatever community groups you decide to join.  Currently I belong to both the Canada group and the Toronto group.

The wealth of information tracked by this simple digital step tracker is incredible.  The purchase of these accessories allow the end user to entertain a Weight Watchers like program without the ongoing expense or hasske of meetings.

Out of the box, the Fitbit dashboard gives you several different diet difficulty levels to follow.  I chose "kinda hard" (yes, an actual level) in order to attempt to lose twelve pounds in about sixty days and so far I am ahead of the game with only about two pounds left to hit my goal.  My sense of pride is strong and I could never have accomplished the same without this little assortment of digital miracles.

Got a story to tell about digital fitness lifestyle management?  Tweet @TorontoDigital with your input.

Twitbits - Grand Theft Auto V was released this week and received universal acclaim across mainstream media outlets.  I had the chance to tweet Brad Ross of the Toronto Transit Commission about advertising standards that permitted such a misogynistic and violent game to be freeely advertised on streetcars and subways.  Call me a Puritan but I don't see any standards when it somes to advertising the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) game rating across transit outlets. The M rating symbol that GTAV received was featured on the streetcar I saw but barely visible.  Ross told me 5 complaints triggers an automatic review so tweet ne if you feel like going forward. Until next time, this is @TorontoDigital over and out.

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AlternativeJournalism (Peter Harris)
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