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Walk this Way… and tracking it! October 31, 2016

Posted by wastedspacer in Health, Technologies.
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Following my ongoing attempts at a healthy lifestyle I  have used unreliable pedometers for some time. As part of our work health initiative, we were presented with a wrist-strap Fitbit a couple of years ago. After turning my wrist green I returned it for a refund and returned back to my older pocket-based tracking device. In my case the Withings Pulse which has been my tracker of choice for the past few years.

The Pulse has suffered a number of near losses including almost making the wash cycle several times, falling in the path of oncoming traffic and even dropping it somewhere at the Consumer Electronics Show where miraculously I was able to backtrack and find it! It certainly shows the ravages of being in my pocket mixed with keys, change and all manner of unmentionable items. The case is broken, the battery life degraded from 2 weeks to about 6 days, the paint worn and even the touch sensitivity has failed but it still faithfully records my steps. I was considering getting another Pulse but decided instead on the Fitbit One pocket/clip-on unit.

As my wife and friends all use Fitbit devices this was a logical solution since we can compare steps to “compete” in a way at least to encourage us to walk further distances. Given some comparisons to Fitbit walkers who always seem to get more steps in than I do over the same time, I have always wondered about the accuracy of the devices so I compared miles traveled with a Google map distance and the Withings Pulse over a 3 mile circuit and they tallied closely.

The speculation from my friend Laurence is that my gait is somewhat different so I actually use less steps to cover a given distance. Now I have the Fitbit One, I decided to test the theory. Both my Withings Pulse and Fitbit One were rattling around in the same pocket – the results are below – the Fitbit shows 4197 steps vs the Withings 3944 (about a 6% difference):


Fitbit One – Top, Withings Pulse – Bottom

Not a huge difference and in the grand scheme of friendly comparative step counts in the pursuit of health – totally irrelevant!

My iPod also does step counts, I might actually try another comparison …

…. to be continued.