Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fitbit versus Body Media's Bodybugg - Take II

About 4 months ago I wrote a blog entry in which I compared the Fitbit Flex to Body Media's Bodybugg.  At the time I had only recently purchased the Fitbit Flex and was uncertain as to its accuracy, durability and overall ease of usage. My knowledge of the Bodybugg on the other hand was extensive as it was an old trusted friend that I had been using for years.


There has been significant interest from my readers about the comparison I made between these two devices.  The hit counter built into this blog allows for the referring URL to be determined and there have literally been hundreds if not a thousand or more hits that have come to the blog from the Google search "Fitbit vs Bodybugg.  Therefore, now that I have a lot more experience with the Fitbit it makes sense to re-visit this subject.

The key discovery from the extended usage of the Fitbit is that the Fitbit does not seem to accurately reflect the amount of calories expended during a day.  Though the Fitbit does an excellent job tracking the distance walked each day, it has a hard time turning non-walking activities into an accurate calorie burn.  Even when the activity log function is used, the Fitbit seems to discount the amount of calories that are burned for non-walking, non-running activities.  Bike riding is clearly one of those areas in which the Fitbit does a horrible job calculating the number of calories expended.  I use multiple instruments to track/estimate the number of calories I burn during my bike rides and the Fitbit routinely under counts the calorie burn by 20 - 30%.  This inaccurate calculation of calories burned is the most significant drawback to the Fitbit.

The Bodybugg on the other hand is extremely accurate in it's calculation of calories burned in any activity.  The drawback to the Bodybugg is the awkward manner in which you must wear it.  While the Fitbit is a relatively "bland" bracelet that you wear around your wrist, the Bodybugg is worn wrapped around your bicep.  Not only does it look dorky, it must be worn in very close contact with the skin which makes it feel tight and uncomfortable.

The real decision point between the devices comes down to the user's need.  Is accuracy the most critical feature for the wearer?  If it is, then the only choice is the Bodybugg.  If the accuracy of the caloric burn isn't extremely critical and the wearer is more interested in steps taken, or comfort then the Fitbit is the device of choice.

As for me - I retired my Bodybugg shortly after I purchased the Fitbit.  Despite the accuracy issue I am sticking with the Fitbit and using my experience with caloric burn rates to compensate for its inaccuracy.  I'll follow what new advancements Body Media comes up with and if they can package the Bodybugg in a different way so that it is more comfortable, I will definitely make the switch back.

Given it was a holiday yesterday, it is a short work week - yay!  I hope every one has a great rest of the week ahead!

Thanks and peace to all! ~ J.

1 comment:

Tawn said...