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TOPIC: NOOB ?s on Flex - active minutes, sleep setting and weight

 
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June 20, 2013 8:01 AM
I apologize, I'm sure this is covered somewhere but I was having trouble finding answers with the search feature. I just got my Flex yesterday as a gift and although I have read all the online help info, I have some things I still don't understand:

Very active minutes - what exactly do they mean by that and how are they measured? I'm not even sure how it measures a step as I move my arms almost as much seated at work as I do walking.

Sleep settings - what is the difference between "normal" and "sensitive"

Weight - should I be entering this on Fitbit or MFP or both?
  16695847
June 20, 2013 8:09 AM
If you have your Flex and MFP synced, your weight will sync when you enter on MFP. I discovered this this morning. The rest, I don't know yet.

But here's what I could find:
Sleep:
https://help.fitbit.com/customer/portal/articles/176054-what-is-the-difference-between-the-normal-and-sensitive-sleep-setting-
Very active: https://help.fitbit.com/customer/portal/articles/1020095
  11100846
June 20, 2013 8:40 AM
Thanks for the link to the sleep settings! I'd been looking for that on the Fitbit page and could only find things telling me I could choose normal or sensitive, not definine them. As I have a sleep disorder I am medicated for, this is a feature I am very interested in. Surprisingly, last night it said I woke up 17 times during my six hours of sleep but that my sleep was 94% effiecient. Not quite understanding their analysis, but it was probably hampered by the fact it was set to "normal".

The very active minutes link I'd found, but I still don't understand how they determine you are being very active, which I guess is what I was meaning with my question. Do they determine "very active" by your arm movemen tor by the distance travelled or by some other measure?
Edited by Sailorwind On June 20, 2013 8:42 AM
  16695847
June 20, 2013 8:42 AM
I think the biggest driver in very active minutes is pace.
  11948731
June 20, 2013 8:43 AM
QUOTE:

I apologize, I'm sure this is covered somewhere but I was having trouble finding answers with the search feature. I just got my Flex yesterday as a gift and although I have read all the online help info, I have some things I still don't understand:

Very active minutes - what exactly do they mean by that and how are they measured? I'm not even sure how it measures a step as I move my arms almost as much seated at work as I do walking.

Sleep settings - what is the difference between "normal" and "sensitive"

Weight - should I be entering this on Fitbit or MFP or both?


Very active minutes: Fitbit classes activity at four levels sedentary, lightly active, moderately active and very active. It is the highest of those levels. You shouldn't get them seated (maybe if rowing vigorously) and you probably shouldn't get them for a leisurely stroll either. For the most part, you should be sweaty if you sustain that level long enough and a bit breathy. Since fitbit is designed mainly for walking and running it does kind of bias towards those activities and may credit walking a little higher than it should. I get very active minutes walking if my speed is around 4mph or higher (I think 3.9 mph actually). When you log an activity, the level depends on the calorie burn per minute. I think the threshold for when it is considered very active varies a little by your BMR stats though.

Sleep: I have it on normal, with sensitive I seemed to get very little sleep. Just try it both ways and see which seems most accurate for you. I don't think there is a definite one-size-fits-all answer on that.

Another poster answered weight. I log my weight to fitbit as it gets logged here and also to the other app that I have linked to fitbit. I am not sure whether MFP logs weight to fitbit if you log weight here? It works from fitbit to here because some people have the fitbit scale which automatically posts to their fitbit.com account. You probably want to keep your weight the same on both sites though.
June 20, 2013 8:53 AM
QUOTE:


The very active minutes link I'd found, but I still don't understand how they determine you are being very active, which I guess is what I was meaning with my question. Do they determine "very active" by your arm movemen tor by the distance travelled or by some other measure?


I don't have a Flex, I have a One. But all the fitbit's have a tri-axis accelerometer so they track movement forward and back, side to side, and up and down (vertical). They aren't strictly a pedometer. The fitbit formula for your device analyses the movement and credits you with steps, calorie burn, activity level minutes based on the movement data each minute. I am not sure you really need to move your hand to get activity on the Flex, but it sounds like you can lose activity if your hand is in a fixed position where it cannot "feel" your body movements. I think there may be pedometer watches that use arm swing to count steps, but that isn't really what fitbit is doing. Well, they kind of keep it secret exactly how they work this out probably to avoid sharing the formula they tested and developed with competitors (like all fitbit/activity trackers--heart rate monitor companies generally try to keep their formulas secret too.) I've noticed with the other fitbit's impact seems to be a factor in the activity level--I am not sure whether it is actually impact or the up and down movement. But it makes sense since fitbit does somehow choose to apply either our walking or running stride to our steps and impact would be a big factor in a device categorizing walking vs. running. Some say steps per minute, I think that is a big factor but when someone runs they take fewer steps yet they are traveling faster and farther with each step. To some extent fitbit can identify the difference for many people so it has to be more than "steps per minute". The staff member who posts on the fitbit forum said it is speed and "intensity" from the movement data but did not elaborate on what fitbit factors into "intensity". Depending on the type of fitbit you have and where/how you wear it, it may miss some of your movement. The one/ultra seems more inclined to underestimate some intentional exercise activities. I am not sure about the Flex as I don't know exactly how they sort between smaller movements like typing and gestures and the larger movements that burn the most calories.

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