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THE FITBIT BLOG

What do your sleep stats tell you?

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We’re posted previously about the importance of a good night’s sleep. By wearing your Fitbit to track your sleep, the data and trends can help you identify why you may not wake up feeling rested, or why it takes you a long time to fall asleep. The benefits of healthy sleep are many: maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, energy levels and good food & activity choices.

Several members of the Fitbit community have used their Fitbit sleep graphs to do just that – analyze their personal data and work with professionals to sleep better and wake up rested. Because our Fitbit community says it best, we thought we’d share just a few of the experiences you’ve shared with us. See how your fellow community members used their Fitbit data to sleep better and change their lives:

“I’ve had my fitbit for months. I show anywhere between 25 and 55 red lines a night. And this is with it set at normal, not sensitive. Most are from just moving; I’m not aware of it. If I get out of bed the red lines are very thick.

There is a definite pattern. There are usually no red lines for the first 1-1/2 to two hours. Then it’s nearly constant. When a friend got a fitbit and only had up to five awakenings, I decided to go and have a sleep study. I’ve been waking up exhausted for years.

My sleep study doctor was very interested in the fitbit. He believes that it uses some of the same technology that the sleep lab uses. My sleep study showed that I didn’t have any problems until I hit what’s supposed to be my REM sleep — 1-1/2 to two hours after falling asleep.

I started using a CPAP machine. The new nose pillow masks are very easy to get used to. I feel better than I have in probably ten years.”

And here’s another Fitbit community member’s observations:

“I don’t know how it does it with fitbit on our wrists, but it really does know when we are awake vs asleep. I was shocked when I got my fitbit in March and it said I was waking up 40-60 times per night. I printed the graphs and took them to my doctor. I had a sleep study done and fitbit was right on the mark–47 for the sleep study machine, 47 for fitbit!

I am now using a CPAP machine and feel better than I have in years. Thank you fitbit!!

How can your data help you make changes to live a healthier life, sleep better, or be more active? Fitbit’s a good way to find out!

Today we’ll give you a little peak under the covers (pun intended) at our community’s typical sleep stats. Interested in seeing how your sleep stats compare?  Check out the premium benchmarking feature- there’s a free trial – and take a look at your detailed sleep report for more insight.

Here’s to a good night’s rest!

New Free Features and Premium Membership

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This week we launched a number of new features on Fitbit.com to help you work towards your activity and wellness goals.  Many of the features we’ve released this week are the result of requests we’ve seen from users like you, so keep your suggestions coming! We’ve also launched a new premium membership with  additional features to help analyze your activity, food and sleep to see results more quickly.

We are excited to continue to develop and release new product features for both free and premium users.  As always, your data belongs to you, and you’ll always be able to enjoy a full-featured free account.

So let’s explore the new free features:

  • Blood Glucose Trackers – by popular request, you can now track your blood glucose in the morning, afternoon and evening.

  • Blood Pressure Tracker – Enter your readings and we’ll graph these over time for you
  • Heart Rate Tracker – Track your resting, normal and exertive heart rates
  • Custom Trackers –  Choose a goal and track it. Trying to limit caffeine, increase push-ups, or decrease desserts per week? How about tracking the length of your commute to see how it affects your mood?
  • Body Measurements - Body Measurements – Now you can add the measurements of your neck, waist, thigh, biceps and many more on the “Track my Weight” page.

You can find all the new trackers in the Tracker tab on Fitbit.com

And here’s a peek into the premium membership features, which offer additional analysis of YOUR data to keep you motivated and help you reach your wellness goals more quickly.

  • Digital Trainer – Have you hit a plateau? The Fitbit Digital Trainer reviews your current activity level, and sets you on a 12 week plan fitness plan to gradually increase your movement.
  • Benchmarking – Rank yourself against your peers.  With benchmarking, you can see how your stats compare to others of similar age, gender or body type.  With 4,736 combinations of settings to choose from, you’ll have lots to explore and motivate you.
  • Trackers - Track anything your heart desires! Track more detailed data for heart rate and blood glucose, and add as many custom trackers as you like.  Get creative!
  • Reports – See in-depth analysis of your data. Access your personal reports to quickly identify changes for a healthier you. Reports provide in-depth analysis of your historical trends for sleep, food and activity.

Each of the premium features has a free trial period (no credit card required), so you can test the features with YOUR data – access a detailed activity report, sample our benchmarking tool, and test out the digital trainer, she’ll get you on a path to increased activity.

Want more info?  Check our membership comparison chart or start exploring.

Fitbit & Facebook – Share Stats with your Friends

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Looking to share your Fitbit stats with friends & family?  Now it’s easy to let Fitbit post your daily or weekly steps to your Facebook Wall and share your success with your connections.  It’s a great way to stay motivated, and we bet you’ll find the positive reinforcement from connections a great source of encouragement.

It’s easy to set up once, and we’ll take care it from there.  Here’s the 411:

  • Head over to your Share Stats page.  You can get there from the Share Stats link directly under the profile photo on the home page.
  • Use the Share on Facebook button to link your Facebook & Fitbit accounts
  • Choose Daily or Weekly Sharing
That’s it, we’ll automatically post your stats based on your preferences, so you can spend your time being active! You can also like our Fitbit Facebook page and our blog updates and stay connected with Fitbit for new features and Fitbit news.

Tweet Tweet! Using Twitter? We support that too!  You can read more about Fitbit & Twitter in our Social Motivation post.

Find motivation and inspiration in Fitbit Groups!

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Looking to add further motivation to your current routine or connect with others in a group goal?  Then our new feature may be just what you’re looking for! We just launched Fitbit Groups, and there’s already a great selection to choose from including:

You can find all the groups in the Fitbit Community.  It’s easy to join a group and connect with other group members.  Introduce yourself to the group through the messaging platform and check your group leaderboards for friendly competition.  Have a great idea for a group?  Create one and invite your friends!

We’re looking forward to seeing all your tips to meet your personal activity and wellness goals.  And we’ll publish the best of them here.  Today’s favorite comment:

Just Noticed Groups Function Today

How Wonderful!

-Fitbit user Lil.bit.counts2

Try the new fitbit journal feature

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We all have days where we wake up on the wrong side of the bed (or at least our significant others think so!), or hit the snooze button and skip the gym.  Now you can track your mood, allergy level and generally record your daily observations with the new fitbit journal feature. And use the information you record to identify trends and correlate your sleep and mood with other factors that may be affecting your activity level.

You can start using your journal by choosing the Tracker tab followed by Journal.  How to get started:

1. Have the “allergy blues”?  It could be those pesky proinflammatory cytokines.  Want to learn more? There’s been some interesting research relating allergies, depression and poor sleep.

2. While we can’t automagically detect your mood – it’s easy to record. Now how does that make you feel?


3. Or use the text field to enter other observations.

As always, you can make this information private (you only) or share with your friends or everyone.

Looking to lose & keep the weight off? Try food logging!

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Who wouldn’t want to lose weight more quickly, and have a better chance of keeping it off?

It’s as simple as keeping a food log.

Research such as a study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows that keeping a food log on a regular and consistent basis was a key factor in weight loss.  Accountability and awareness were determined to be two of the key factors.  Just as the display on the Fitbit Tracker does for activity – motivating you to increased levels with the ability to “gut check” yourself throughout the day.

We all know that food logging takes time, so we’ve added features (and look for more in the future!) to make food logging easier than ever.

A few of the ways we try to make food logging easier for you:

  • We have a database of over 85,000 foods, and we’re adding more all the time, so it’s easy to find the exact food you were looking for. Don’t see it? Add it to our Food Suggestions Forum or add the nutrition information directly from the label by choosing “Add New Food” and we’ll add it for you.
  • Make it a favorite!  If you are anything like me, you might have a tendency to eat the same foods fairly consistently. Make a logged food a favorite by starring it and it’ll be at your fingertips every time you log food.  Right now, I need coffee.
  • If you are really consistent, create a meal and add instantly.  Banana, coffee and peanut butter bagel every morning?  No problem.  Add it with the click of a mouse.
  • Type ahead.  Give us the first few characters of a food, and we’ll show you an array of choices to get you started.
  • Logging all your food at the end of the day?  You can easily drag & drop foods between meals if you forget to use the drop down.
  • And don’t forget to fill your water glass!

Blog comments

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A quick administrative note about the blog comments.  We’re glad you are reading and participating with us on the Fitbit blog.  But to keep the blog posts clean, we publish constructive or on-topic comments – and do our best to respond to specific questions via email.  Many of you have commented with specific feature requests. We are rapidly releasing new features and definitely following the Feature Suggestions in the Fitbit Forums.  While we can’t share our product development roadmap publicly, please know that we are listening and encourage your suggestions to make Fitbit even more useful for you!

Social Motivation

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Many of you have shown us through your activity levels that you are a pretty self-motivated group, but some days each of us could use a little motivation from friends & family to stay active.

You already know you can compare stats and invite friends on fitbit.com, and now you can share your activity levels on Twitter too.  Set it up once, and we’ll auto-tweet for you.  In fact, here’s my tweet from earlier this week, tweeted while I was sleeping (with my fitbit on my wrist, of course).


And I woke up to an inbox full of encouraging messages to start my day off on the right track! Set up an auto-tweet and wait for the motivation to come to you. In your profile on the right hand side, use the Share on Twitter link to connect with your Twitter profile.  We’ll take care of the rest.

Facebook addict?  It’s easy to link your twitter and facebook for even more motivation.

You can also follow Fitbit’s progress on twitter and facebook – we’ll be sharing our favorite customer tips and success stories, announcing features, and generally getting and staying motivated with you.

Shipping

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We’re finally shipping these things!

Confirmation emails will start going out Friday, September 25th and first units will be available for shipping out of our warehouse on Tuesday, September 29th via USPS Priority.

You must confirm your order to receive your Fitbit. You’ll have 1 week to confirm your order. The email will contain a link to a confirmation page where you’ll also be able to securely update your shipping and billing information in case it’s changed. Your credit card will only be charged *when your unit ships*.

Not everyone will receive their confirmation emails on Friday. In general, you’ll receive your email when your unit arrives at our warehouse. 10% of orders will be fulfilled during the first week and all orders will be fulfilled by the end of October based on the current pace of manufacturing.

The website will be open to everyone on Tuesday, the 29th. We’ll be continuously adding new features to the website and device, so stay tuned to this blog.

Thanks everyone for your patience!

Quick Fitbit Beta Test

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Hi everyone,

As a lot of you are aware from the heavy comment traffic on our last post, we’re doing a quick beta test to stamp out the last few remaining bugs.

Here’s where things stand

Fitbit firmware and desktop sync software. This is the software running on the Fitbit itself and the desktop software which uploads data from your Fitbit to our website. There’s 1 nasty firmware bug remaining and a bunch of lesser ones. We’ve selected 10 people to receive hardware to help us stamp this one out.

Earlier today, I think we came up with the fix for the nasty bug. The greater number of testers will help us get some better confidence that the issue is solved, but we probably to have these units running for at least a week, since we’ve found that it can take up to a week for the bug to come up. Sometimes, it will pop up within hours, but other times it can take a while. For instance, I currently wear about 5 Fitbits simultaneously and the bug only hit hit 1 of them after 6 days of use.

Also, the Mac desktop software needs a lot more banging. There’s only a few macs in our company, so it’s not gotten the coverage that the Windows version has. And hopefully, no one finds another major issue. Anyways, we’ll be Fedex’ing Fitbits to our hardware testers on Wednesday and I will probably add 2-3 more people who own Macs to test the hardware as well.

Again, these are free units you’ll be receiving. No need to return them (unless you manage to break it in a novel way, in which case our engineers will want them back to look at it; but you’ll get another test unit) and you’ll receive your actual Fitbit later.

Fitbit website. We’re also opening the website to testers. I didn’t want to state a date before we got all our production servers up and running. Now, we’re pretty close to finishing that task and so we’ll be opening up the site to 25-50 beta testers on Thursday morning 10am PDT. I’m just going through the previous commenters in sequential order and selecting people, while also making sure there’s a good selection of Mac users in there. I’ll be emailing site testers Wed night and if I can’t find your email, I’ll post a comment. I *think* we’ll gradually add more people over the week, but I’m not sure, yet. In any, case, I know a lot of you are eager to help us out, but I think we should be all set for now based on the existing commenters. We think the site is pretty stable, aside from minor bugs and known usability issues that we are addressing, but testers will help us shake out any last minute issues.

Some people have been curious about the stated specs and how the actual hardware is performing. Battery-wise, things look pretty good…between 5-10 days depending on your usage pattern. If you compulsively turn on the display 50 times an hour all day, then it’s going to be around 5 days, otherwise, it’s closer to 10. Wireless performance looks pretty good. While we stated 25-50 feet originally, we’ve found that the device can connect at that range, but to transfer large amounts of data, like 7 days worth of minute by minute data, you actually have to be a bit closer, like 15-20 feet with clear line of sight. That said, every time I sit at my desk, it auto-connects to the base and transfers pretty much immediately. It’s pretty cool. I have a hard time trying to prevent it from auto-syncing when I sit down.