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THE FITBIT BLOG

How To: Hack the Time Change to Maximize Your Sleep

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Kelly Glazer Baron, PhD is an Assistant Professor in Neurology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on sleep and circadian rhythms, and the role of circadian rhythm and the disruption in obesity. She previously wrote about getting out of bed in the morning.

charge sleep

Nearly everyone looks forward to the ending of daylight saving time (DST) for the chance to capitalize on an extra hour of sleep. It’s especially true today, that first Monday, when it feels so much easier to get up before 7am.

Scientific studies show that there are real benefits to even one extra hour of sleep for the few days after the end of DST, including lower instances of traffic accidents and a reduced rate of heart and stroke-related incidents.

For those who are chronically sleep deprived, this week provides a much-needed opportunity to catch up on sleep in the short term. But what can you do to leverage this shift to help keep your sleep on track? Here are some tips below: read more

Wrist Tracking and More with Fitbit Flex

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We are so thrilled to be announcing Fitbit Flex to everyone. For many years, we managed to keep our research team very busy developing the technology to make Flex, our first wristband product, work the way we want it to work. We wanted to make sure we captured actual steps taken without capturing “steps” from everyday hand motions, like typing, gesturing, or even eating.

One big challenge we faced was that while we managed to not calculate steps from these sitting activities (eating), and avoid steps from driving, we wanted to capture steps when you’re walking but your hands are held still. When would this happen? Well, walking with a stroller of course! It’s actually a common complaint among wrist tracker users. To determine the right algorithms to sense and capture these steps required lots of development and testing.  If you have been near our office in San Francisco, you would have seen many researchers running up and down the street with strollers, wired with all these gadgets to see how we can capture those movements.

Additionally, we waited until now to launch a wristband because we wanted to be able to offer wireless syncing with Android phones as well as iPhones, iPads, and iPods with Bluetooth 4.0. We’re very excited to announce that our products will start syncing with the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Note 2 in late January/early February, and more devices will follow soon! Viva la mobile!

To keep up with all of our new developments and let us know what you think of Flex, make sure to “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

New and improved ways to track your activity

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Hi there! I’m Christine, and I’ve been working on the product team at Fitbit for the past few months. I’ve been working on enhancements to the website, including improving logging and social features.

Since Fitbit launched, we’ve received many feature suggestions (in addition to building a giant list of our own ideas!). The requests for activity based features generally fall into 2 types – integrating with 3rd party apps (like RunKeeper) and enhancements to our logging tools.

I’ll focus on the second category, where we’ve launched several new improvements (and we’ll post more about our 3rd party integrations on this blog, soon.)

Before we get into the details of what’s new, it might be worth explaining why a person with a Fitbit would want to manually log an activity (since the tracker was made for that!). Here are some common use cases.

  • Forgetting to wear the tracker
  • Doing an activity that is not tracked well (like cycling or swimming)
  • Wearing a heart rate monitor or using another tracking tool while wearing a fitbit

We’ve observed that these use cases are frequent, and being able to support them via manual activity logging helps our customers get a more accurate picture of their overall fitness. Now, here are a few of those enhancements:

    Activity search and custom activities

    Activity search and custom activities

  • Popular workouts added. If you log manual activities, you can now choose from a variety of yoga styles as well as pilates, elliptical, treadmill, bootcamp, spinning, kickboxing and several Wii and Wii Fit games
  • Activity search. You can search for activities ( in addition to browsing) which makes finding and logging your workouts faster than before.
  • Custom Activities. You can create and log favorite workouts that are not in activity search. This is great for new workouts and ones that vary based on intensity and routine (such as P90X). Find this in the search results box (pictured above) and in the favorites area
  • Editing calorie estimates

    Editing calorie estimates

  • Editing calorie estimates. When you enter a manual activity we estimate the calorie burn, but now you can enter your own – particularly useful for those of you that workout with Heart Rate Monitors (pictured right).
  • Tracker Record with name & notes added

    Tracker Record with name & notes added

  • Tracker Activity record labels (pictured right). When you add records from your tracker you can now give them names and notes. Tip: you can add these records either by using the start/stop button or if you forget to use the button during a workout –  by adding one from the activity log page ( We think this is a handy but hidden feature)

If you have a suggestion or request for Fitbit’s product roadmap, please come post them in our forums.