I have been using my Fitbit for almost a year now and it has been a fantastic experience. Not only am I able to track my steps and my sleeping habits but also great things like pulse rate, resting pulse, and a slew of other recent features.
Today I just wanted to point out a few new features that seem to have been pushed out for my Fitbit Charge HR with my Samsung S5 Android phone recently, but since I don’t have an iPhone I am not sure if these are there as well. Let me know if you are an iPhone Fitbit user and if these line up with yours.
New Features for the FitBit Charge HR
New Home Screen Layout
There is a new layout to the homescreen of the app. One of the things to remember is that the Fitbit software is customizable so you can decide what your daily success priority is, steps, miles, floors, or other.
As well as these basics, there are others that I do not use like a food tracker (Syncs really well with MyFitnessPal) and even tracking water intake.
Now though as you can see they have added a number of hours with 250 or more steps.
The idea behind this is that many of us will go for a long walk and otherwise be mostly sedentary.
Hourly Activity Page
Pretty dots, but what does it all mean? The hourly activity will identify which hours of the day that you do 250 or more steps.
The way that we can use this in its best way is to identify which hours of the day we get very few steps in and then look at our schedule to see how we can do better.
This page I believe defaults with 8 hours or something, I cranked it up to tracking 14 hours a day so that I can track more of my hours.
I guess I should probably really add my first couple hours of the day as well.
2nd Hourly Activity Page
This is another view of the hourly activity that really just breaks down the day.
This day can of course be today or yesterday, or some Tuesday last month.
The top half really just gives those same dots from morning until night but the bottom half is interesting.
According to recent studies, the longer you are stationary the harder it is on your body. This will tell you your longest period of inactivity and the longest period on average over the last month.
Now we can try and make sure we are taking the opportunity every hour or even more often to be at least a bit active.
The cool thing with this is that since Fitbit keeps all this data on their servers anyway I have been able to go back in time and see what my trend has been every day over the last year.
Daily Active Minutes
This feature is just tracking active minutes. This would be the opposite of the sleep tracking. What our Fitbit is doing here is just tracking when we are doing something more than just walking.
This could be anything from a brisk walk to a run to cardio of other types.
You can set a goal for this and track how well you are doing over time. There is another view that lets you compare days, weeks, or even months to see when you have been most active.
Exercise and Exercise Goals
The Fitbit has had this for a little while but it is always being enhanced it seems. Since this little wristband has an accelerometer inside it, it can kind of figure out what you are doing.
It can tell if you are riding a bike, running, even using an elliptical machine. Sometimes poor little Fitbit gets confused, like when I am playing street hockey and just calls it “Sport”.
This gives us a bit of a better way to track our exercise times. As you can see here it will track minutes, average heart rate, and estimated calories burned.
This is great info to track and to again see if we are getting more and better exercise in or not over time.
Sleep Quality Tracking
This is not really new but I just wanted to add this sleep tracking in as it has really made a big difference in my life.
At times I sleep well and sometimes I do not. I know that most of the time we track out hours of sleep and with the Fitbit we can get a really good track of this with weekly averages over time to see if we are running ourselves down.
The great thing with the sleep quality though is to see how often we are not sleeping deep.
If we are restless quite a few times at night it could be a sign of stress in our lives, too much alcohol consumption, eating too late, or even a sign that we are suffering from sleep apnea.
This could be a real lifesaver.
Getting back to quality vs hours though, I have found that even if I get 8 hours of sleep that if I am restless a lot at night that I am still going to be tired, maybe not today but in a couple days.
So this can be a great bit of journalling to see how our lifestyle is affecting our sleep.
These are the features that I have found new over the last couple of months on my Fitbit. Have you seen any others that you are taking advantage of?