Fitbit Kitchen Review

As I have been humbly attempting to slim down ever so slightly, I have been more in touch with what’s going on in the fitness world these days. One very interesting trend is the aid of technology in helping us track our goals, and in this article I am speaking specifically about one such device: the Fitbit Flex. While scouring the internet for a review that spoke to how it would perform in kitchen-like settings I was left wanting, and therefore have decided to put this together for others considering the device.

Fitbit Kitchen Review

Unlike some of its competitors, the user can adjust the size of the wrist band.

The Fitbit Flex is a device that is worn on your wrist that tracks many things for you throughout your day and night. What I was most drawn to was the ability for the device to count my steps, and track the quality of my sleep. I know there are many apps for the iPhone that can track your steps and distance traveled but they posed a few critical issues for me. These apps make use of the phones GPS ability, which means that they are constantly sending and receiving data. Running GPS apps greatly diminishes my phones battery life, and when you are working 12 hour days it isn’t as simple as plugging the phone in when you get home from work. Currently I am working in the country, which means that cell coverage is fairly spotty. Moving in and out of coverage could yield inaccurate counts. Perhaps my biggest qualm with these apps is the idea of some third-party company having information of my whereabouts 24/7. I’m sure this information is being collected anyway, but in this case I am choosing not to volunteer for the program.

Even if I had been totally OK with all of the limitations of a GPS-powered app, the Fitbit goes one step further in its ability to record sleeping data. As a chef, I am constantly tired. The idea of being able to analyze my sleep trends and make adjustments so I can get a better nights sleep was very appealing to me. In the morning I can look at the information it collected and know how long it took me to fall asleep, how many times I was restless, when I was in periods of deep sleep, how many times I was awake, when I fell asleep and woke up, and the length of total sleep. Pretty neat.

Fitbit Kitchen Review

It is pretty amazing what something the size of my finger tip is able to do…

The Fitbit has its own battery which lasts about 5 days. During that time, it will sync with your computer and your smartphone using its Bluetooth technology. It is at its most robust when paired with the mobile app. During the day you can open the app, watch it sync and get an exact count of steps. However the app goes far beyond this, displaying the sleep feedback, as well as the number of minutes you were highly active, incorporating a food/calorie tracker, the distance traveled, a social element where you can cheer or taunt your friends, weight tracker, and water intake tracker. It also allows you to access the silent alarm feature. The best part about this is its use of Bluetooth 4.0 which allows constant communication between the devices but is not a drain on your phones battery.

The silent alarm feature is a fun one and in theory is quite a good idea. You can set the alarm either through the online portal or through the mobile app. In the morning when it is time to get up, the device vibrates in relative silence, gently waking you up without disturbing your partner. However, one of my major complaints about the device is that it does not allow you to modify the length or pattern of the alarm. As mentioned before, I am quite tired a lot of the time, and so in the morning when I am to be roused, an alarm that vibrates three times on my wrist doesn’t go very far. If I remember correctly it woke me up the first morning. Then I realized that if I just ignore it for about a minute, it goes away, and sleep resumes. There is no way to lengthen the alarm, and there is no snooze capability for some odd reason.

Fitbit Kitchen Review

I find it comfortable to wear. When you tap the device LED’s light up to show you what percentage of your daily goal you have achieved.

As for in the kitchen: overall it is great. It is waterproof (says you can wear it in the shower, but why would you?) so you don’t have to be too careful or aware of it while you are working. There are two times that I do take it off though: doing dishes and when I am elbow deep in meat. The dishes are self explanatory, and I just don’t like the idea of the device getting some ground beef stuck in it somewhere and rotting. When I take it off I just throw it in my pocket. Throughout the day when I want to know where I am at I just double-tap the device and it lights up indicating which percentage of my daily step goal I have achieved.

There are a few annoying things, but not many. You have to set it to sleep by tapping it for threeish seconds, and in the morning if you forget to wake it up it doesn’t count your steps. Most of the time this is fine, but when you are using a robot coup or hand blender, the vibrations running through your hand are enough to kick it into sleep mode. Again, not a big deal, but something to watch out for if you want an accurate tracking of your steps. It also seems to struggle with tracking your steps if you are carrying something in your hand and therefore are not moving your arm with your strides.

I am very happy with the device, it does everything I wanted and expected it would do and a few extra things as well. I do think there are some things that could be improved upon but I would give it an 8/10.

Fitbit Kitchen Review

Many reviewers took umbridge with the wrist band, claiming it too difficult to do up. The first couple times were tricky, but it gets easier. I am happy to know it is secure on my wrist.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Fitbit Kitchen Review”
  1. Rosie says:

    The EXACT review I was looking for. My concerns at first for wearing one in the kitchen were about water-resistance. Now, a glaringly more obvious concern comes to mind – heat – working over flames, in and out of ovens, etc. Have you experienced any negatives about working the line and wearing your fitbit? Thanks for the review, I’ve found it very helpful!

    • thecheflife says:

      Glad it helped out! I had no problems with the heat, with the one exception being that you will get quite sweaty and grimy under the band. The unmentioned issue may also be one of safety. I was taught in culinary that you weren’t allowed to wear watches in the kitchen as the band may catch on something and drag it (think a pot full of hot oil). However, I never had any issues with this, nor did I have any chef ever say anything about it.

      • Rosie says:

        Wonderful. I’m now sold – FitBit should give you some sort of commission. I was also taught the no-no on watches, jewelry, etc. Paid mind to it only when I couldn’t remove a ring due to swelling from an (gross) infected cut I received – but FitBit, here I come. Thanks again.

  2. Jennie says:

    Everything is very open with a really clear description of the challenges.
    It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!

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