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David Sedaris Is “Obsessed” With His FitBit

Fitness tracking technology is a great way to both stay motivated to get enough exercise, and track how well you’re doing. However, I think we all know a few people who take their fitness tracking to an extreme; doing anything in the name of adding extra steps to their daily count. Maybe they walk to the restroom more times than absolutely necessary or pace while brushing their teeth. Perhaps they always take the long way on a walk – no matter how much extra time it adds (or how late it makes their kids for school).

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Using a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit, can drive people a little crazy about tracking their activity. Writer David Sedaris takes an entertaining look at the obsession created by Fitbits in this article for The New Yorker.

“‘Every little bit helps,’ my old friend Dawn, who frequently eats lunch while hula-hooping and has been known to visit her local Y three times a day, said. She had a Fitbit as well, and swore by it. Others I met weren’t quite so taken…To people like Dawn and me, people who are obsessive to begin with, the Fitbit is a digital trainer, perpetually egging us on. During the first few weeks that I had it, I’d return to my hotel at the end of the day, and when I discovered that I’d taken a total of, say, twelve thousand steps, I’d go out for another three thousand.”


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Apple’s Upcoming Health App Predicted to Break Boundaries

With the growing popularity of virtualized health tracking apps, Apple is sure to have something coming down the pipeline soon not only to compete, but to surpass.

9-to-5 Mac  released details on Monday regarding their new project, and is projected to be “a tipping point for mobile healthcare”. They’re calling it Apple Healthbook and it’s designed to track blood sugar (huge factor for those with diabetes!), heart rate, breathing rate, weight, hydration, sleep, nutrition,  physical movements, and health test results, among other stats.

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How will this app stand out from the rest? One company, for example, offers over 40 health and fitness iPhone apps alone. It is said that virtual health tracker and resource apps can significantly reduce healthcare costs and are predicted to one day be subsidized by healthcare providers to promote their usage.
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Crunchies Awards Highlight Top Health and Fitness Startups

Every year, top Silicon Valley technology blogs host the Crunchies awards, an industry award for up and coming companies who are leaders and innovators in their space.

On Monday, February 10th, the winner and runner-up were announced. One Medical Group took the top spot, with Oscar getting the honorable mention. For this post, we’ll take a quick look at each of the finalists and what they bring to the health and fitness scene from a tech perspective.

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This year, the finalists in the “Best Health Startups” category were these five organizations.

One Medical Group (winner)

The New York Times calls OMG “a new model for primary care that aims to set a nationwide example.” With offices in six cities (San Francisco, New York, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, this startup was formed by a group of doctors who listened to their patients and built a totally new medial group designed specifically to meet your needs.


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The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need for Holiday Shopping

Within the last few years, the market for wearable computers has exploded. Today, we’re looking at five such devices that help you monitor your physical activity, stay in shape, keep track of your sleeping patterns, and go everywhere you go. You see, the best innovations are those that are exceedingly simple to use and assume a natural place in your life.

I looked at the latest and greatest fitness gadgets for this post: the Fitbit Force, the BodyBugg LINK, the Jawbone UP, the Nike FuelBand SE, and the Ssmart Dynamo. By and large, they do many of the same things, so how do you decide which one is right for you? Here are ten key features about each to help you decide which fits your lifestyle.

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A few key takeaways from the data I gathered.

The Nike FuelBand SE has the longest battery life. If you’re on the go more than you’re at home, this is something to consider. With the FuelBand, you can expect 12 days between charges.

If you already use a smartphone app to track your fitness or food intake, you’ll want one that plays nicely with your favorite app. The Fitbit Force, BodyBugg LINK, and Jawbone UP are the three models to look at for this.

All models have a pedometer function to track your steps throughout the day. And all models, except the FuelBand, include sleep monitoring and calorie tracking.
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Retrofit Finds That Tech Gadgets Make Weight Loss More Manageable

Weight loss is rarely a walk in the park, and some plans are so complex they can be downright intimidating. The strict dietary limitations and harsh fitness regimens of a new weight loss plan can conjure feelings of anxiety and can cramp the process entirely. A study involving the weight loss company Retrofit has revealed that their state of the art data tracking technology limits stress and confusion while producing positive weight loss results.

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Retrofit uses a 3D motion sensor called a Fitbit to track steps, calories burned, and sleep patterns to be analyzed by their team of weight loss experts. Retrofit employs a wi-fi Withings scale that calculates BMI and body-fat percentage. The data can be viewed online via software on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. In a 12-month study, lead by Retrofit, those using the technology lost an average of 19 pounds, while zealous clients who weighed themselves everyday lost an average of 26 pounds.

Retrofit CEO Jeff Hyman claims the program is effective for individuals as well as corporations looking to lower health care costs. “This statistical data proves that in personal wellness, you can manage what you can measure,” said Hyman. “In order for employers to reduce health care costs due to obesity and its related diseases, companies simply must have a weight loss program that seamlessly collects and monitors employee data.”
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