My first few weeks with Fitbit

My Fitbit.
My Fitbit.

So I’m one of THOSE people now with wearable tech. My Fitbit Flex came as a prize for participating in a corporate wellness program. I walked evenings in the Pacific Northwest through October (think rain, cold, dark). But this was a nice perk to receive at the end of that.

Wearing this thing at first reminded me of a hospital band or one of those free drink bands you get at a concert venue. It should be poking the OCD part of me to walk more every day, or at least worry about getting in 10,000 steps (which I’ve done exactly once since wearing it). Instead, what it has done is make me obsess about my level of sleep.

Fitbit has shown that I’m a fitful sleeper. If I get enough sleep it’s not a problem, but less than 7 hours and all of my restlessness that it measures as “awake time” adds up, though it says my sleep runs from 88 percent to 96 percent efficient for the time spent in bed. So measuring my lack of activity has fascinated me more than the actual walking part of this, which to that end I do OK. I’m usually about 1,800 steps shy of 10,000 steps by the end of the day, which I COULD correct if I walked farther at night.

Here is why I don’t worry too much about my walking: behold my standing desk.

Standing by choice. I do get odd looks from some co-workers but the movement is growing within our building.
Standing by choice. I do get odd looks from some co-workers but the movement is growing within our building.

So the interesting thing about the standing desk is that I have felt better since starting to work this way. My knees don’t hurt anymore and I have more energy. I stand through most of the day, sitting for lunch and the occasional desk work where the standing desk doesn’t quite fit. I kind of feel like I’m playing the keyboards at a rock concert with this new arrangement. It may look space age, but believe me this was cobbled together with extra pieces in my department no longer used from another era of wooden mail slots (turned on its side to hold my screens) and later I raised my keyboard/mouse with an overturned plastic mail in-basket and a leather file holder that doubles as padding for my wrists. Ingenuity at its finest. Perhaps I should go into rebuilding cars …

My attempt at an ergonomic keyboard setup.
My attempt at an ergonomic keyboard setup.

2 thoughts on “My first few weeks with Fitbit

  1. Congrats on the FitBit insights! I’ve been thinking of getting one. I used the free FitBit app on my phone for several weeks last fall and was astonished at how challenging it is to get to 10,000 steps a day. It turns out that one particularly strenuous class I take at my gym translates to 10,000 steps in a single hour, but the single hour is tough enough that I’m only willing to do it once a week (at most). I bought a FitBit for my mom to encourage her to walk more as she’s recovering from breast cancer treatment, and she seems to be enjoying it.

    As far as stand-up desks go, I rigged one up myself a year or two ago. For a long time I was standing most of the day, but I did get a barstool-height chair so I could take occasional breaks (the desk doesn’t lower, so I needed a tall chair). As time goes on, I find myself sitting more and more. So I need to do something about that.

    You’re not the only one who’s a fitful sleeper! I don’t sleep well at all, and when I do manage to fall asleep, I’m told I snore a lot. Which could mean sleep apnea, which in turn can lead to all sorts of scary health consequences. Jeff’s going in for a sleep study soon for the same reason, and if our insurance is willing to pay a good chunk of the cost, I might do so as well. My dad has a CPAP machine that keeps his airway open while he’s sleeping, and he says the difference in how he feels, mentally and physically, is enormous.


    1. The standup desk really makes a difference in how I feel. It took about 2 weeks to get used to standing all the time, now I don’t notice it. The Fitbit is worth getting for the sleep monitor if nothing else.


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