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Perspectives on Diabetes Care

This is the official blog of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists where we share recent research and professional opinions on diabetes care and education.

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If you're looking for professional opinions on diabetes care and education, you're in the right place. Perspectives on Diabetes Care is the official ADCES® diabetes care and education blog that shares helpful views on diabetes care and education. 

This is where you'll find practical tips on working with people affected by prediabetes, diabetes and related cardiometabolic conditions and the latest research and viewpoints on issues facing diabetes care and education specialists and the people they serve.

 

 

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The First Three Weeks with My Fitbit

Sep 23, 2015, 15:54 PM

I

finally broke down and bought an activity monitor. I was waiting for prices to drop but that isn’t happening. So, as I prepared for a trip to Europe, I decided it was time to make the purchase. I was traveling with friends who use trackers and knew we would be walking more than usual making this a great time to start.

I am not good about researching things like this beyond asking others, which is what I did. I got some great input on what might work, ran into the store, asked an employee for help, and chose the color (black).

I did use a tracker briefly, when I got one for free. I loved seeing my steps but quickly stopped using it. Why? It was red and I almost never wear red!  It also didn’t have a screen on the device so I had to look at my phone to check progress.

The Fitbit was easy to set up with my laptop and a smartphone app. There are options I love to use and others I haven’t started using or won’t. I love seeing the steps, heart rate (which is a feature on the Fitbit Charge and the reason I chose this model), distance covered, floors climbed and time slept (which I really need to work on). I originally put in fluid intake but didn’t use it and haven’t used the calorie/weight monitor features.

During the first few days, I was working, running errands and doing laundry (in the basement) so I got tons of steps. When we were traveling, I was getting anywhere from 18,000 to 30,000 steps per day! This was great because I was eating many more calories than I do at home. I am back to normal life now and have been hitting around 17,000 to 18,000 steps per day with work and home activities. I am pretty active so getting the suggested 10,000 per day isn’t an issue. I still love using the tracker for other reasons. For one, people with diabetes that I see ask about trackers, so it is good to have some exposure. Also, seeing sleep and heart rate is good for me. And, I really should start using the water intake feature (I just re-added it, so I will see how it goes).

I have found that the device isn’t perfect. I definitely got steps while sitting (especially on a particularly bumpy ride in Ireland). I don’t get accurate readings when I run regarding distance (steps are likely correct). I could have gotten the model with the GPS but it was too big. The unit isn’t waterproof and doesn’t pick up activities such as biking which would be a consideration if someone is doing water exercise/swimming or biking (I believe there is a way to manually add information but I haven’t done that yet). Some people might not like having it on all of the time, but I am used to wearing a watch so I don’t mind it.

I would love input on other people’s experiences with this tracker or other brands/models. What are the pros and cons? I think this is similar to the idea of picking out the right insulin pump with consideration of features, size, color, etc.

Please comment! Thanks.

Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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