Fitbit is a portable, wearable electronic device or a Fitness band that measures data. This post will discuss in detail about what is Fitbit Technology, how does it work, its setup, reboot and how to reset a Fitbit to factory settings.
What is Fitbit
Fitbit is a Fitness band worn on the wrist of an individual and is intended for physical activity monitoring. The Fitbit devices are designed to monitor important indicators of health and activity, including heart rate, sleep quality and the number of steps taken (Step Count). It is a portable, wearable electronic device which can be used as a physical activity tracker and also as a smartwatch.
Fig. 1 – Introduction to Fitbit
The idea of this wearable technology was proposed by the founders of Fitbit. Inc; Eric Friedman and James Park in early 2007. Different types of Fitbit’s or Fitness bands are shown in the Fig. 2. Although there are numerous products that perform different things, the Fitness bands and watches tracks and monitors the distance you walk, swim, cycle or run as well as the number of calories you burn and take in.
Some track the heart rate and quality of sleep as well. You can also use your Fitbit to communicate, exchange updates and success info about the daily targets you have achieved with regards to fitness, and engage in competitions with friends and family.
Fig. 2 – Types of Fitbit
How does Fitness Band Work
Fitbit’s trackers use a 3-axis accelerometer, using algorithms programmed to search for motion patterns, such as those suggesting walking, swimming, cycling and movements during sleep. Independent testers report that the device is around 90 percent precise. The accelerometer collects the data from the activity and transforms it into digital readings. Thus, Fitbits record the steps and calculate the distance you have walked, calories burnt, and also the quality of sleep.
To display informative maps and graphs that can be viewed from anywhere, Fitbits wirelessly synchronizes to PC’s and smartphones, enabling users to get access to the same. Users can also get progress updates, exercises, log meals, access sleep charts, post stats and compete with others.
Fig. 3 – Fitbit Tracker log on Smartphone
Fitbits that count “floors” use an altimeter that senses whether you’re going up or down. When you go up about 10 feet, your device registers it as “one floor”. You can also record your readings in Fitbit app which helps you to keep your weight in check. For certain distance and monitoring characteristics, Fitbits use built-in or related GPS. It can also connect to a mobile and alert user to calls and messages that are sent.
Fitbit also tracks heart rate. A “PurePulse” sensor is fitted with several Fitbit trackers. To monitor differences in blood flow, it uses LED lights that focus on the skin. However, its reliability has been questioned, and readings cannot be considered legitimate.
How to Setup Fitbit
You can customize your Fitbit tracker by using the Fitbit app to connect it to your Android, iOS, or Windows mobile device, or to your Windows or Mac machine. You can follow the in-app instructions to “Set up a new device” after you have downloaded and activated the app on your selected device.
Before you can start using your Fitbit, you may need to register a Fitbit account and enter personal information. You can connect your wrist band via Bluetooth with your smartphone. Make sure your Fitbit is calibrated for the wrist on which you choose to wear it. In the “wrist” tab of your account settings on the Fitbit app, you can select your dominant or non-dominant hand.
How to Charge Fitbit
By plugging one end of the charging cord into the device and the other into a USB port on your device, you can charge your Fitbit depending upon current battery level which is displayed on the screen. Alternatively, a compatible wall adapter is required for you to use. It can take 1-2 hours to charge your battery to 100%.
You are advised to use the charging cable that came with your unit. Note that your Fitbit need to be charged more frequently after several hundred charging cycles. More regular charging is required when features such as “always-on” display and “GPS” are enabled.
Sleep Monitoring by Fitness band
Fitbit trackers are designed to automatically track sleep, sleep length and efficiency. Fitbit’s algorithms help to conclude that since you haven’t changed your position in over an hour or there is no movement, sleep has begun. Using a combination of your movement and heart-rate patterns, Fitness band calculates your sleep phases.
Your device tracks the beat-to-beat changes in your heart rate, known as heart rate variability (HRV), that fluctuate as you switch between light sleep, deep sleep, and REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep phases while you are sleeping. It uses your movement and heart rate patterns while you sync your device in the morning to evaluate your sleep cycles from the previous night.
How to Reboot my Fitbit
It can be rebooted very quickly, independent of the model the user has. The tracker has to be connected to the charging cable, so the user has to press the button on the side of the device. Holding the button for 20 seconds, the Fitbit restarts automatically. If nothing works, then the user’s last option is to restore Factory settings and risk losing all the data.
Fig. 4 – Reboot Button on the Device
How to Reset a Fitbit to Factory Settings
A factory Reset deletes all stored records, including any information that has not been synchronized with your Fitbit account, alarms, targets, and updates. You must customize your tracker again after a factory reset. Follow the steps below to know about how to reset a Fitbit Fitness band.
- Go to the Settings Menu
- Select “About”
- Choose Factory Reset or Clear User Data
For few Models, the Factory Reset option is under ‘Settings’ Menu itself.
Fig. 5 – How to Reset a Fitbit
How to Extend Fitbit band’s Battery Life
- Remember that charging your device up to 100% will take up to 2 hours. Stop charging your device under 32 ° F and over 113 ° F in intense cold or heat conditions.
- Turn off the “Always on” in settings.
- Switch off messages that you don’t need, like updates from your phone settings, alerts, and walking reminders.
- Any time you turn your hand, keep the screen from turning on. If you switch your hands a lot, the screen of your device can turn on more frequently than you realize.
Physical activity is considered as a primary factor that is associated with maintaining health and wellbeing. Thus, Fitbit is a popular choice available at a relatively affordable price and it continues to be at the forefront of the market in digital fitness devices.
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