9 Days of Garmin (vs Fitbit)

I’ve been a big fan of Fitbit ever since a Fitbit Force back in January 2014, as it has helped me lot in my fitness goals. But times are changing and I’m planning to get a Garmin Vivoactive this spring.

Still, the band on my Force has been in terrible shape for months, getting unstuck from the device and being slowly torn apart, only to extend it’s life by glueing it back on (again and again and again :)). After a couple of months of watching the device decay (tracking works fine, but externally it’s in bad shape), I found the excuse to buy a second-hand Garmin Vivofit (first generation), also for… research purposes :)

I’ve been wearing both for 10 days now, and I’ll release some numbers in another post. Until then, a couple of comments:

Fitbit report on the left, Garmin on the right.

Fitbit report on the left, Garmin on the right.

Pro Fitbit : If sleep is important for you, you get a distinction between time spent sleeping and time that you’re overly moving around. This gives you for example a record for a 7 hours spent in bed but only 6.5 hours sleep time. On the other hand, Garmin will give a 7 hours record and a graph of how much you were restless. It will also ask you about your mood when you woke up, which might give some idea later on if you could analyse the data. The point of course is which way allows for better insight and thus actions to improve. I would go for the Fitbit way of doing things. That said, I’ve had these numbers form Fitbit for over a year but I haven’t acted on them… :)

Pro Garmin : Garmin has a couple of nice motivating features. First, the flashing indicator when you’re not moving. If you stay sit for a long time, a red indicator shows up in Vivofit’s screen and wont go away until you add some steps to your count. That’s a great idea as there is a lot of research that moving throughout the day is critical to your health even when you’re also doing sports. Garmin also has a “moving goal” feature where you it decide a daily goal for steps and you can see directly on the device how many steps you have left until your goal. Mine started at 7500 steps and is currently at 10200 as my average is over 12000.

All in all, if I had to make a choice, it would be a hard one. I’m currently trying to figure out the differences in the numbers they produce and deciding what my workflow will be like when(?) I ditch the Fitbit… :)

Tags: , , , , , , ,