How do Fitbits Effect You?

When a new technology immerses, people usually try and figure out if the product is worth buying and if it actually fulfills their needs. Fitbit’s message has been to promote a healthy lifestyle on the go, and their technology shows that it is easy to start being healthy by just taking steps. From this, there have been societal outcomes that have both positive and negative impacts from buying these products. These impacts have been studied and entail data and results that makes the information credible.  It is ironic however that technology is being used in order to be active, since it was once thought to stay away from it in order to be fit. Furthermore, Fitbits and wearable fitness trackers alike are showing that it is possible to be active and stay connected simultaneously.

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One study that had been conducted was to see the effectiveness of activity trackers with and without incentives in order to increase physical activity. In this experiment, participants were divided into four groups: control (no tracker or incentives), Fitbit Zip activity tracker, tracker plus charity incentive, or tracker plus cash incentive ($620). The incentives were tied to weekly steps, as well as moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) minutes per week. The results were recorded on an intention-to-treat basis at 6 months and 12 months. Other outcomes measured were health-related outcomes which include weight, blood pressure, and quality-of-life measures (Finkelstein, Haaland, Bilger, Sahasranaman, Sloan, Nang, Evenson). Ultimately, after the experiment, the most effective at increasing MVPA minutes per week at 6 months was with a cash incentive. At 12 months however, the activity tracker with or without charity incentives were effective at reducing the amount of MVPA min per week compared to the control group. So, from this data, trackers are unlikely to have a great enough health benefit to have a solution for chronic disease. Furthermore, the group that wore Fitbits with no incentive showed no improvement in physical activity going from their 6th month to their 12th month, and in fact 90% of participants abandoned their Fitbit by month 12. So, this can be a negative impact on a person because buying the product did not help their lifestyles and they just wasted money. However, for the group with the cash incentive, the study showed that there was a significant increase in activity from using Fitbits despite there being no evidence of improvements in health outcomes. So, these results state that people will usually use this technology for a long period of time if they have a cash incentive.

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Although some studies feel that fitness trackers are not worth the money and do not push people to be active, other studies seem to find that these technologies are good for personal health and are worth it. A study was performed in order to perceive the effectiveness of fitness devices, and it was proved successful (Findley). Participants were interviewed on their fitness tracker usage, and found that the main effect that they have on people is that they are great to use for motivation and accurate results. Having a fitness tracker allows people to set fitness goals, such as amount of steps in a day, in order to push them to be healthier. This is a very positive impact on people because it pushes customers to walk and be active, and is able to save a person money by not being forced to buy gym equipment. Motivation is also used within fitness devices because there is a strong communication aspect through them. Specifically, people are able to compete against their friends and co-workers in order to walk the most steps or be active for the most time. Wearable fitness trackers have a positive impact on company’s because some give monetary incentives to their employees for walking a certain amount of steps (Findley). People also feel that a device such as a Fitbit is very accurate in measuring the distance a person actually walks, which is a reason that the brand is able to stay relevant as more technological competition arises. However, a negative impact that was brought up from the interviewer was that the technology caused people to eat more because the data said they “needed” to. This did not seem to be a real problem for the participants because they found that physical activity was more important to them. Also, the participants mentioned that some people lose motivation when wearing these fitness trackers, however the reasoning behind this is that they lose focus and just have a lack of drive. So, to combat this, it is suggested to set long-term fitness goals to keep the activity and technology use on track. Specifically, it is important that there is not just a goal in mind, but a specific plan on how to get there.

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Fitness trackers are not only for motivation, but also cause communication between people. In a study, it was discovered that people who wear fitness devices have a specific way of communicating with others that have and do not have the fitness devices, and also has a positive impact showing the vital role of communication in sharing and encouraging physical activity. Fitness tracker users tend to communicate their fitness data in three main ways: face-to-face sharing, sharing via traditional technologies (such as text messaging, photos, etc.), and sharing via social media (Kreitzberg, Dailey, Vogt, Robinson, Zhu). Some people do not talk to others about their trackers unless they are asked first, and specifically, the participant was asked “how do you keep so skinny?” So, the participant responded by physically showing the person her fitness data that was tracked by her device, as well as explained her routine. The participant showed her data as a sign of proof for what she does. So, even if the conversation is face-to-face, the technology is still being used and shown in some way. When communicating via traditional technologies, when a user wants to show their fitness data to other people, they will “screen shot” their data and text the information to their friend. Doing this allows people to learn about other people’s routine and allows people to educate themselves on other ways to be healthy. The third way to communicate is via social media. Some people post their fitness data on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which make it very easy to share their information with others. This can be used as motivation for others because some groups have Facebook pages, and people will tend to post their weight loss and fitness progress in order to motivate themselves and the others that follow that page. So, it can be seen that face-to-face communication, traditional technologies, and social media can all be positive impacts to a person’s communication, because ultimately people are able to learn about other possible workouts and allows the person a better chance to find out the best work out regime for them.

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Fitbits and other wearable fitness trackers are able to have an impact on society as a whole. Specifically, Fitbits are being used in order to combat the “obesity epidemic” in American society. In a study focusing on people aged 19 to 20 years old, participant’s tracked their activity and diets using Fitbits and used Twitter for messaging for 2 months (Chung, Skinner, Hasty, Perrin). Dietary intake, physical activity, and Tweets were all tracked daily, and a survey was completed at the end of month 1 and month 2. Also, the participants were divided up into two groups, one group of people considered “overweight” and another group considered “healthy weight”. From using Fitbit’s for 2 months, results show that participants increased their fruit and vegetable intake by 92% and decreased their sugar-sweetened beverage intake by 67% (Chung, Skinner, Hasty, Perrin). The experiment also used daily challenges for the participants, which allowed them to compete against each other to walk the most steps in a day. Results showed that more steps usually occurred during the week rather than the weekend. Also, it is important to note that all participants used their Fitbit’s and most self-monitored their activity every day for the experiment, which states that two months is a good timeframe where less people would abandon their device. Additionally, it was measured that the overweight participants logged in their food diary 82% of the day, compared to 73% of the day for healthy weight participants (Chung, Skinner, Hasty, Perrin). This is positive because it shows that people who are overweight are willing to use this technology in order to be fit. So, research shows that from a societal standpoint, Fitbits are able to be used to fight against obesity and encourage living a healthier lifestyle. This is good for product developers because if technology is able to help an issue like obesity, then there is a chance that it can be used for other societal issues as well.

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Fitbit’s and wearable fitness trackers have been able to peak curiosity about fitness products to see if they work and if are really worth it. There are both positive and negative impacts of having this technology, however the overall goal of a healthier lifestyle is one that can improve society. Fitbit’s have been able to set a high standard for fitness devices, and they are continuing to update their technology to cater to consumer needs. Technology is not just able to be enjoyed sitting down, rather it can be used wherever a person goes and for many different opportunities.



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Findley, K. (2015). Perceived effectiveness of fitness trackers among adults. Current Issues in Health. 1, 1-19.

Finkelstein, E.A., Haaland, B.A., Bilger, M., Sahasranaman, A., Sloan, R.A., Nang, E.E.K., & Evenson, K.R. (2016). Effectiveness of activity trackers with and without incentives to increase physical activity (TRIPPA): a randomized controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2016, 1-13.

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Kreitzberg, D.S., Dailey, S.L., Vogt, T.M., Robinson, D., & Zhu, Y. (2016). What is your fitness tracker communicating?: Exploring messages and effects of wearable fitness devices. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 17:1, 93-101. Doi: 10.1080/17459435.2016.1220418

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Fitbit Adoption and Diffusion

When new technologies are released, there is a risk of whether or not the product will successfully diffuse within the market and ultimately make a profit for the company. Fitbit would like to be able to have as many users for their product as possible, and would like to be able to attain critical mass. From the popularity of Fitbit, there have been a variety of studies of how this product is used, and who specifically is using it. Ultimately, it is important for each company to try and make their footprint for their product so everyone can remember what it did for society.

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It is common for a company to want to get its product’s message out to as many people as it can, and ultimately have a large amount of users. According to data taken on August 6th 2015, there are currently more than 19 million registered users that wear a Fitbit ( This amount is large compared to other companies that sell wearable fitness trackers. For example, the amount of Apple Watches that were sold in 2015 was approximately 11.6 million ( It can also be noticed that people are not just having one Fitbit, and they keep on updating their device as new versions come out. For example, about 21.4 million Fitbit devices were sold in 2015, and in 2016 there were already over 4.8 million devices sold in the first quarter ( This is because the updates include adding features, such as being waterproof, allowing the device to keep track of a person’s heart rate, and having the ability to see text messages on the device without looking at a phone. So, it can be seen that Fitbit has done relatively well in getting people to buy their product by allowing the users to want more than they already have.

The adoption of Fitbits has doubled since 2014, and this in part is from the popularity of the wearable fitness tracker market as a whole. Specifically, 61% of all wearable’s sold in the United States are Fitbits ( This is compared to the worldwide market, which states that Fitbit has a 34.2% share of the wearable’s market ( Since the Fitbit is the market leader for wearables, it is sometimes questioned as to why Fitbit has this large position in the industry. The reason is that Fitbit does a great job in marketing its product and spreading awareness of it to the public. Additionally, Fitbit has many partnerships with fitness and health-focused companies such as Myfitnesspal and Runkeeper, which are able to keep the brand relevant, and allows the product to expand its abilities ( For example, using a Fitbit and Myfitnesspal allows someone to track their steps, as well as track their calorie intake for the day. Another reason why Fitbits have a large adoption is because they can be credited for being an innovator in wearable fitness ( From this, people wanted to adopt this new technology because they were curious about it and wanted to try something that not many people have tried before. Also, Fitbit let it be known that everyone could use it, and it was an easy way for someone to find a way to be active during the day and live a healthier lifestyle. Ultimately, its adoption is one of the key features of Fitbit’s success.

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Fitbit has been able to achieve widespread use since its release. The United States has not been the only country impacted by this wearable item, but other countries around the world are also using it to live healthier lifestyles. About 70% of Fitbit’s sales are from the United States, 12% is from Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and 8% is from the Asian Pacific ( Other than the widespread adoption of Fitbits, there is also widespread use for them. For example, Fitbit partnered with Tory Burch in order to infuse fashion with technology. Fitbit’s mission was to create a collection of stylish accessories such as wristbands, pendants, and bracelets. Since Fitbit is known for its slick innovative design, they took the opportunity to work with Tory Burch in order to make another line that would be “super-chic” ( With these watches, customers would be able to continue to be fit while wearing something that is more fashionable. This is another case in which Fitbit partners with another popular company in order to create brand awareness and keep their name within the media. So, this shows that Fitbit does not want to restrict itself to one idea, but wants to be able to reach out to many different types of people in order to gain profits.

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Fitbit was first introduced in 2007 by James Park and Erik Friedman, who had seen potential in putting trackers in small wearable devices ( People were attracted to this idea, and it is part of the reason why Fitbits are still relevant today. Despite the success that the company has had, wearable technology has still not hit critical mass. It is thought that it has not reached this optimal point of adoption because of the few limitations that the wearables market has as a whole. First, these wearables are generally expensive, so not everyone is able to afford them. Additionally, some think they do not need to buy a wearable tracker because they feel that a phone is able to do the same thing that the technology can, and that the extra cost would not be worth it ( Fitbit tries to prove this wrong, and updates its products with activity that would be hard to track with a phone, such as the recent update that allows a person to swim with their Fitbit on. Also, some people against wearables think that people would not get the results they wish to get from wearing this technology ( Fitbit again went against this theory and stated that their product actually encourages a healthier lifestyle. They did this by stating that a company that uses Fitbits actually have 24.5% less in health coverage costs, which is saving the company about $1,300 annually ( So, some people may be hesitant in adopting this new product, however Fitbit seems to have the answers of why it would be good for society as a whole.

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Fitbit seems to want to appeal to many people by showing them that there are a variety of easy ways to be active. Fitbit sells millions of devices each year, and it is important to note the demographic of people that continue to use it. Specifically, young adults between the age of 18-34 are about half of the owners of Fitness bands (49%). Also, about an equal amount of men and women use wearable fitness devices, specifically 48.3% are male and 51.7% are female. Additionally, research states that women use Fitbit’s smartphone app nearly twice as much as men (29x per month vs 16x per month in January, respectively), and access the application nearly every day. Also, research states that wearable owners tend to have more disposable income, as in one-in-three users earn $100,000 or more in household income ( This statistic references how Fitbit’s are generally expensive, and this statistic proves it because a good amount of users earn a decent income.

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Fitbit has adopted many different ways for it to be used in order for the technology to be successful. Specifically, the most popular way for people to use Fitbits is to track the distance that they ran. People also used their Fitbit’s for activities such as biking, strength training, elliptical workouts, yoga, and many more fitness activities. Also, different age groups tend to do different workouts when using Fitbit’s. For example, strength training is done more often with millennials than for Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers. Additionally, Baby Boomers do a lot of their physical activity gardening, however millennials and Generation X’ers do not ( So, Fitbit’s are able to get information on the kinds of exercises that different generations perform in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Other than to track physical activity, people also use Fitbits to make sure they are getting enough sleep. Fitbit’s are able to track this by sensing movement during sleep, and see how often a person is awake during the night. People find this important because the amount of sleep a person gets is very important to their health, and it can affect their mood for the day. Ultimately, people use Fitbit in order to get fit the way that they want, because one athletic remedy is not best for everyone ( So, Fitbit’s customize a persons exercise experience, and allows them to enjoy being healthier and getting the results that they want.

Despite not reaching critical mass, Fitbits are still successful products used in society. They have been able to keep this success throughout the years by staying proactive in all the advertisements they make and products they send out ( Fitbit has been a company that consistently updated its product in order to keep consumers excited about it and wanting more. They were able to collaborate with popular companies, make their products waterproof, and make marketing campaigns that focus on individual success with Fitbits and the ways it can be used in every day life. Fitbit has placed itself in a market where there are many ways to innovate an already new product, and customers are showing that they appreciate it by buying their product instead of other companies’.

A company’s success can occur from getting many people aware of their product and brand. So, Fitbit made sure to advertise the message of having a fun and easy way to exercise. After the message came out, widespread use of the product started to occur, and different people were using Fitbits for different reasons. Ultimately, the adoption and diffusion were reasons for Fitbit to continue to update its products and work hard to maintain being the market leader for wearable fitness devices.



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What is MyFitbit?

When children are growing up, they are at times scolded by their parents to go outside and play, rather than staying inside and watching the same show on television for hours on end. Also, people today have the ability to talk to their friends while playing a game on a console all day and night without leaving their house. However, technology developers are noticing this, so they have created a way for people to use technology as a way to push them to exercise and have a desire to live a long healthy life. A Fitbit is an example of one of these new technologies, and has recently become an enticing exercise accessory and application. The Fitbit can be used in a variety of ways, and has many reasons as to why it is seen as an innovator in the exercise and lifestyle markets.

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A Fitbit, which was created in 2007, is a fitness tracker that encourages people to exercise and attempt to attain a certain amount of footsteps per day in order to reach their “daily step goal” (usually about 10,000 steps). The Fitbit is worn around a person’s wrist like a bracelet, and usually has a digital face that would be able to show the ways a Fitbit can be used, such as counting the amount of steps walked, time, distance, calories burned, and flights of stairs walked up. These digital figures are able to be seen on the watch by either pressing a button on the side, or by raising the watch towards the users face (using motion detectors). This technology is able to track a person’s steps by using a 3-axis accelerometer to understand their motion. An accelerometer is a device that is able to turn movement into a digital measurement (data) when attached to the body. So, this accelerometer is designed to look for motion that most resembles walking in order to correctly display the amount of steps exerted ( The Fitbit is also looked at as an accessory, because there are many different colors that a user can attain such as black, blue, teal, and plum. Other than colors, there are trackers that have extra features such as tracking a person’s heart rate. Having a user know their heart rate shows them the speed of their heart as they are active or staying still. Heart rate is trackable because the PurePulse LED lights that the technology has is able to detect blood volume changes as a person’s capillaries expand and contrast (pulse) ( Ultimately, the Fitbit is not just a fitness tracker that only keeps track of steps.

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When a person first buys the wearable Fitbit, they are asked to immediately download the Fitbit application (app) in an App Store. Once a person downloads that app, they are prompted to enter in the code they receive when they bought the Fitbit, make an account, and answer basic questions about themselves. These questions include asking about the user’s birthday, weight, height, and how much they usually exercise. Getting this information will help customize the app towards the individual in order for the user to achieve his or her health goals. Ultimately, the app plays a huge part in using a Fitbit, and it also connects and syncs with other fitness apps such as Myfitnesspal. This can be useful because Myfitnesspal focuses on accurately calculating the amount of calories eaten in a day, so when synced with Fitbit, it can show the amount of calories logged on Myfitnesspal on the Fitbit app. So, Fitbit has a way of getting differnet fitness apps consolidated onto one app.

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By using the Fitbit app, a user is able to track the amount of sleep achieved during the day and night. This can be used to allow people to learn about the amount of sleep they are actually getting, because it is very important to get enough sleep in order to be healthy. It can be questioned if a wearable piece of technology is able to accurately calculate how much sleep a person gets in a night, however, Fitbit uses a simple algorithm. The technology is able to auto-detect sleep based on a person’s movement. So, if a person does not move for a long period of time, then the Fitbit is able to confirm that they are sleeping ( Also, if movement is detected even though the person is still sleeping, it is logged that the person was “restless”. Additionally, if a person wakes up in the middle of the night, it will display that the person did in fact wake up, and it will show how much time the user was awake before/if they go back to sleep.

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Other than fulfilling individual needs, the Fitbit also allows users to engage in friendly competition with other Fitbit users. People are able to add friends on Fitbit in order to compete against them, and they can do it by giving each other their Facebook account (if they linked it up with Fitbit) or email address associated with Fitbit. When friend requests are confirmed on the app, the users are able to see how many steps their friends have throughout the week, and in turn, can serve as some motivation. If seeing a friend’s progress is not enough, within the app, there are “Challenges” that a user is able to challenge their friends list to. These challenges include “Goal Day” (reaching a step goal within the day), Weekend Warrior (taking the most steps on Saturday and Sunday), “Daily Showdown (taking the most steps in a day), and “Workweek Hustle” (taking the most steps from Monday through Friday). Other than doing challenges with friends, users are able to taunt, cheer, or message their friends. This can increase the communication of an exercise app, and gives the receiving user a notification of the action and they can either reply to the message or send a taunt or cheer back. Ultimately, Fitbit is showing that it is not just an app and accessory for exercise, but also a way to connect with friends.

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Losing weight and living a healthy and active life can be difficult, however technology is trying to make it easier. Fitbit is innovative in a way that it did not just go into the wearable market, but it also went into the market for mobile apps. Since technology today is leaning towards being smartphone focused, Fitbit was able to take this trend and capitalize on it. Having an app for a fitness tracker allows people to have information on their health and fitness that they would not get from looking at their watch. Also, the technology within the item such as the accelerometer and PurePulse LED lights show the different types of information that is able to be received from a small wearable technology. Fitbit’s design and characteristics are also different than other activity tracker’s before them, and there is a reason for the success of the technology’s brand. In a way, wearing a Fitbit can be seen as an every-day accessory, something that not many exercise trackers were able to do previously. Wearing a Fitbit is like putting on a watch for the day, and it is easy to use which makes the product so popular ( Realistically, a person never has to take their Fitbit off because it can track all their daily activity, and progress can be seen by opening an app or raising their wrist. Simply, the Fitbit is not just innovative in the technology itself, but also in the impact that it has on society.

Approximately ten years ago, elementary school teachers would tell their students to attach clip-on pedometers to themselves during recess and walk around to see how many steps they walked. A clip-on pedometer, which was patented in 1965, is a portable electronic device that counts the amount of steps a person walks by tracking their hand or hip movements ( Today, technology for exercise equipment is very different than it used to be and is much more accurate. Instead of just noticing hand or hip movements, which could be inaccurate if a person just shakes their hand with the clip-on pedometer in it, a Fitbit is able to notice the complete motion of walking for accurate data. Another major difference between the older pedometer and a Fitbit is the vast amount of information a Fitbit can track compared to the limited use of a clip-on pedometer. Clip-ons are usually limited to distance walked, steps, and calories burned, compared to a Fitbit that is able to track sleep and flights of stairs climbed as well. Also, a Fitbit is able to store a user’s activity data for 30 days, compared to the clip-on pedometer which does not usually keep track of past performance. Increased technology and interactivity is allowing Fitbit to thrive and highlights key differences compared to older clip-on pedometers.

The Fitbit is becoming a pioneer in fitness tracking technology and has innovative qualities that are driving people to buy and use it. This product is able to have many uses such as monitoring sleep, exercise, or dieting, so it is not limited to emphasizing one area of health. With many new technologies, there can be the question as to whether or not this technology is only a fad or if it is truly a technology that will stay for years.


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