Pondering Getting Fit The Lazy Way

I’d like to be fitter. Not ‘running a marathon’ fit but more just a little all-round fitter.
We do have a Wii and indeed Wii Fit Plus but these days it always seems as though I’d have to throw somebody out of the lounge to use it. So wouldn’t it be a good idea to make more of my everyday activities and try and measure them and therefore motivate myself to extend them. With this in mind I started doing some research into what technical toys would help me with this because a) I’m a geek and b) how better to avoid actually doing any exercise than Googling about it. I started with the FitBit because I’d heard them mentioned quite a lot recently.

FitBit Flex


Waterproof wristband for continuous wear
It really is very attractive looking and comes in a variety of colours. This is a sexy gadget.
Monitors sleep and provides a silent alarm.
No, I didn’t know I wanted this when I started looking but an alarm that wakes me and not my partner sounds wonderful.


Does not contain an altimeter
No, I didn’t know I wanted this either but reviews mention as a drawback when contrasting it with the FitBit One.
Does not play well with Linux or Symbian smartphones
Apparently I need an Apple or Android smartphone or a Windows PC or a Mac. Now there are some Linux solutions that might work and I can access some other OSs at a pinch but it all sounds like a hassle.

So naturally that led me to look at the other FitBit devices.

FitBit One


Has an altimeter
This tracks how many stairs you climb and apparently can tell the difference between stairs and escalators. I’d like to get credit for my stair climbing.
Monitors sleep and provides a silent alarm
Still sounds good.


Not a wristband
Has to be carried in a pocket during the day and fitted into a cumbersome looking wristband at night. That makes it likely to be forgotten, left behind and indeed inadvertently washed!
Does not play well with Linux or Symbian smartphones
This may be a common problem and Wine doesn’t seem to be the solution either.

So what other alternatives can I find?

Nike Fuelband


Is also a watch
One less thing to wear on my wrist. It also has a display which shows more details of your progress than the Flex does.
Nicer website than FitBit
Apparently the website is clearer, less cluttered and more motivating. That’s probably not a huge difference though.


Doesn’t track sleep
Not that that was part of the original aim but it still sounds interesting.
More expensive than the FitBit
I’d never let price stop me buying the right gadget though.
Syncing may be tricky
I’ve not found any certainty as to whether it’ll work with Linux and that I’d really need to know.

So by now I’ve now seen other devices mentioned.

Jawbone Up


Nice wristband apparently
So far so good.


Only syncs to Apple and Android phones
There’s apparently no desktop syncing so there’s no way I can work around that. Gadget fail.



Physiological sensors
They make direct skin contact and seem to be measuring more than just movement.


Seems food focused
This may just be the website emphasis but I’m not planning on tracking what I eat (certainly not right after Easter).

Finally before I give up I find one last option.

Basis Watch


It’s a watch
It tells the time and also tracks sleep.
It measures lots of things
It measures steps taken,heart rate and perspiration (we’ll not dwell on that) and the website has pretty graphs of all of this.


It’s ugly
The styling is square and horrible. It’s big and bulky. It’s hard to love.
It’s not cheap
It’s more expensive than the Fuelband.
It only syncs to Windows PCs and Macs
I haven’t found any information as to whether it will work on Linux. There is also an Android app (or will be) but that doesn’t help me at all.

So where on earth does that leave me? Confused mostly. No fitter than when I started and wondering whether to go and play on the Wii instead.

3 thoughts on “Pondering Getting Fit The Lazy Way

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