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THE FITBIT BLOG

Fitbit’s iPhone App is Now Available!

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You can now log as you go with the new Fitbit iPhone app!

Fitbitters have been talking about the power of logging food and activities when achieving and setting goals. With the new Fitbit iPhone app, the power of logging your activities and food can be carried around with you wherever you go — even when you are offline.  With the ability to log your meal while you’re out, you can keep track of every meal with no hassle and nothing gets forgotten.

The Fitbit iPhone app allows you to log food, water, activities, and your weight with a new, easy-to-use interface. Keep track of your last synced data while you’re out, and look back on the past 14 days of steps to compare. You’ll also be able to view your goals and see your progress with each one, including your Food Goal.

The new Fitbit iPhone app is completely free, and can be downloaded by going to the app store and searching for Fitbit or by going there directly by clicking here.

This is Fitbit’s first iPhone app and we’re excited to invest in creating the right tools to support all day fitness for our customers.  We’ll be updating and refining the app over the next few months, including adding Ultra support to the app, so be sure to “like” us on Facebook or check out our blog for the latest news. Let us know what you think by mailing us at welovefitbit@fitbit.com, or rate the app directly at the Apple app store.

Introducing… Food Goal!

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Food Goal Goal Zone

Fitbit is happy to announce a new, flexible way to set and maintain weight goals! Here at Fitbit, our mission is to provide you with tools that encourage a healthy lifestyle. With Food Goal, you’re given a suggested calorie “goal zone” where you’re shown a range of calories you can eat throughout the day to still meet your weight goals.

Something you might not have seen before is the way your Fitbit Food Goal dynamically adjusts itself based on your day’s activities. Your calorie count goal for the day will go up as you exercise, and now you can actually see how exercising and your diet go together to help you meet your weight goals. Going for a walk during your morning break could now mean an extra cookie at the end of the day, or a morning run could mean getting to splurge a little for dinner.

Food Goal offers four different intensities as well: Easier, Medium, Kinda Hard, and Harder. Each intensity varies in how many pounds you might expect to lose per week to meet your goal by a certain date. So whether you’d like to lose two pounds a week, or see when you might realistically be able to meet your weight goal, you can pick the intensity that works best for you.

You can start using Food Goal today by logging in to your Fitbit account and going to your “Log” tab. Once you’ve started, find some encouragement on our Facebook page or email us your success stories at welovefitbit@fitbit.com.

Fitbit Makes Finding Fitness Friends Easier

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Have you ever forced yourself to go to the gym just because you’d already
made plans to meet up with a friend there? How about pushing yourself to
make sure you get those last thousand steps in because you know your
friend will be asking how many you did?

The value of friends in supporting your goals and celebrating your
achievements is undeniable. And with everyone’s busy schedules it’s not
always easy to meet up daily, or even weekly, to get this support. With
the right online tools you can build a great friend support network
online. That’s why we’ve just made it easier to find and invite friends to
Fitbit.com.

Fitbit now connects with Facebook so that you can find all of your
Facebook friends that use Fitbit.  You may be surprised how many of your
friends use Fitbit.   Never fear if you have some friends that aren’t on
Facebook: you can import your address book and send them an email
invitation instead. To start finding out which of your friends are using
Fitbit, log on to your account at Fitbit.com, go to
your “Home” tab, and look under “My Stats” on the left. You’ll find a link
to start finding and inviting friends.

Once you’re connected with your friends, it’s easy to see one another’s
stats through the competitive leaderboard, or view one another’s profiles.
It’s important to celebrate fitness milestones with friends, but, hey, a
little healthy competition isn’t bad as well.   So go on, get over to your
Fitbit Dashboard and start inviting with Friend Finder. When you do, let
us know how you and your friends keep each other motivated to stay fit!
Find us on Facebook or email us at welovefitbit@fitbit.com

Celebrate your fitness achievements

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Ever hit your step goal and let loose a fist pump?

We’re big believers in giving credit where it’s due, so we’ve cooked up a way to help celebrate your milestones with you. Cue the trumpets, Fitbit now has badges! You’ll now receive badges for hitting daily milestones. Get your first badge for hitting 5,000 steps.

Let’s not forget the name of the game is total cumulative steps––it’s all about how much you’ve done over time. You’ll also earn badges for racking up major mileage with your trusty tracker.

Badges will appear on your Fitbit.com dashboard once you’ve hit certain targets. You can share them with friends on Fitbit.com as well as by posting them through your Facebook or Four Square account.

Badges are pretty cool.  One of the biggest achievement we have is when you have achieved 3,000 miles which is nothing short of amazing.  It’s approximately the distance of San Francisco to New York! If you’ve received the 3,000 miles badge, please let us know on Facebook or Twitter or email us at welovefitbit@fitbit.com.  We’d love to hear how you did it and salute you — virtual fist bump!

Dad Stunned Into Action – Getting Back into Shape

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Tyler -- On a way with his daughter for a few more steps

Tyler -- On a walk with his daughter for a few more steps

At Fitbit we like to ask our users for feedback. Very often we like to share our customers experiences with the community because they are so inspirational and insightful. Here’s a great one from Tyler, hailing from Prince George:

“I was shocked, absolutely shocked. When I saw that I was just hitting 3,000 steps a day, it was a wake-up call. I knew the heart healthy number was 10,000, and here I was, only doing a third.”

Tyler played college basketball and always prided himself for being an athlete. But life got a little busy.  He became a new dad, with an active little girl.  He spends long days at the job. Plus, he was having knee problems. He purchased the Fitbit Tracker to help him get him back on his fitness plan. But reality hit when Tyler got his Fitbit Tracker and saw after the first day what those bright little numbers were saying. 3,000 steps. Ouch. “There is no way to argue with the numbers.  I wasn’t as active as I thought I was.”

After using the Fitbit Tracker for 6 months and aiming for 10,000 steps a day, Tyler has lost 25 lbs. Now he runs up and down the stairs chasing his little girl with ease and without any knee pain. “Fitbit gave me a good wake-up call. Now all my friends and family have one and we all compare and compete with each other. Fitbit Trackers have definitely helped our family get more fit and heart-happy.”

Tyler hit on something that we often forget — that half of the fitness battle is just being able to objectively and easily assess how active you are on a daily basis.   If you know someone like Tyler, please forward this inspirational story. We also would love to hear your inspirational stories –welovefitbit@fitbit.com

From 9 to 5 — it’s time to get moving!

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The New York Times recently highlighted a study titled “Trends over 5 Decades in US Occupation-Related Physical Activity and Their Associations with Obesity”; the study concludes that there is a correlation in the decrease in workplace activity with the increase in obesity in America.  I don’t think this conclusion is much of a surprise for many of us.   I mean, how many times have we re-engineered our work activities to be more streamlined, more efficient since moving around at work doesn’t seem all that fun.

Proof exists all around us; all we have to do is look around at our office mates. I won’t name names but I have a few friends who are complete office turtles: IMing or emailing correspondences to the desk next-door, housing mini water coolers on their desks, and depending on the sandwich cart to deliver lunch. And my favorite proof point, I have a friend who gets his hair cut AT his desk. He doesn’t even have to leave his chair, because the company offers a service in which you can schedule a haircut at your desk.  The study also concludes that our national obsession with improving our diet isn’t going to solve obesity; we need to also consider our activity levels at work.

When placed in this framework, it seems to make a lot of sense why squeezing in a few gym workouts isn’t going to solve the obesity program. 30 minutes on a treadmill two to three times a week, to offset the 40+ hours of sitting at our desks?  I don’t think so. And I doubt anyone would ask us to revert to a work lifestyle of breaking stones and hauling timber.  The researchers conclude that what we should instead do is get more active throughout the day.

Good point, but I think we can take this recommendation a step further. We need to get more active together and support each other by building activity into our social interactions at work.  We do it with food and our diet. We talk about recipes, diets, and just how many calories are glazed onto that Krispy Kreme donut (180, btw). We encourage each other to pick healthy restaurants for lunch. But when our minds turn to being more active at work, we automatically think of solitary activities. I admit it — I’ll walk by myself between meetings. I’ll walk outside for a quick break at lunch. But, why can’t we build up the social aspect of walking more at work?

There’s a group here at Fitbit who pledge to walk up the 14 flights of stairs to our office together after lunch every day. Now that’s support and it’s social!  (And they make it productive — as they do discuss work).  Here’s my question: what can we all do to help our work friends move more throughout the day?  Get your thinking cap on and step count up —  I’d love to hear your suggestions about what the American work force should do.

Updates to your profile page

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We take the privacy of all Fitbit users very seriously. To address some recent concerns about logged activities of Fitbit users showing up in search engine results, we have taken several immediate steps.

Some quick background:

  • As you know, Fitbit users can decide voluntarily to log their physical activities. You must do this manually and this information is not collected automatically.
  • When setting up their profiles, users have had the option to make their profile activity records private, though the default setting has been to make this information public.

As of Sunday, we have taken the following steps to protect our users’ privacy:

  • All activity records on Fitbit.com were hidden from view from both other users and search engines, no matter what the user’s current privacy setting. We have also updated our default settings for new users for activity sharing to “private.”
  • We submitted requests to Google and Yahoo/Bing to remove any indexed user profile pages from their search engines. As a result, user profile pages and their activity records have already disappeared from Google and should disappear within several days at other search engines. Once removed, previously indexed activity records should not be accessible to the public at all from that search engine.
  • For now, we have removed other personally identifiable information from users’ Fitbit profile pages regardless of privacy settings.

We are dedicated to making this the best fitness platform possible with users in full control of their data.  For many people, sharing information is an important motivator for them to achieve their fitness goals.  We will be in touch with our users about new choices they will have when they want to share information.

James Park

CEO, Co-Founder, Fitbit

Success & Sleep

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We love Arianna Huffington’s short talk on the importance of sleep in leading a more “productive, joyful, inspired life”.   Sleep well!

Keep your New Year’s Resolution this year with Fitbit!

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Getting fit tops the list of New Year’s Resolutions each year, and predictions are that Weight Loss will once again top 2011 resolutions.  Unfortunately, most people don’t keep their resolutions even through the first month of the year!

If becoming more fit, increasing activity or weight loss are on your list this year, then Fitbit can help.  The good news is that if you’re reading this, you’ve already made a step in the right direction. And just by wearing a Fitbit Tracker, you’re likely to increase your activity level by 25%!  Now that’s a resolution you can keep!

A few easy tips to get started:

  • Keep your resolution by setting a realistic & measurable goal – what could be easier than automatically tracking and increasing your steps with a Fitbit Tracker? Be lazy with your tracking, get active with your life!
  • Integrate fitness into your daily routine – get off the bus one stop earlier, take a lunchtime walk, or take the stairs!  Those small changes really do add up and they are easy to track with your Fitbit Tracker!
  • Set an attainable step, distance or weight goal based on your current activity level on your Fitbit dashboard.  Or start a free trial of our premium membership and digital personal training plan to gradually increase your activity over 12 weeks.
  • Keep record of your progress – to log food, increase activity, or use a custom tracker to monitor your personal resolution.

Need further inspiration & motivation?  Check out Fitbit Groups – there’s something for everyone, whether your goal is to run your first 5k or walk 5k steps a day.  Or invite a friend to join you on Fitbit.com – it’s free, and owning a Fitbit Tracker isn’t required.

Start your year off right. Here’s to a healthy and happy New Year, and one resolution you can keep!

We love data!

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And we hope you do too – especially data that you can use to help make behavioral change – and live healthier.  And there’s a key member of the Fitbit team we wanted to introduce you to who is our own data expert: Shelten Yuen.  Shelten heads Research at Fitbit and he’s responsible for the “smarts” in the Fitbit tracker. He loves analyzing data and solving complex problems — and you can see it in his previous research in beating heart surgery (with robots, no less) at Harvard University, where he also got his Ph.D., and his research in missile defense at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Shelten continues headlong down this path at Fitbit and he’ll be joining us on the blog on a regular basis to share interesting analysis on the data Fitbit collects, and share data trends with the Fitbit community.  Look for his first data analysis piece soon!