Fitness Band Problems

I was thrilled on Christmas Eve to open my present from the boyfriend, and inside was a Fitbit Force.

I had been thinking of purchasing one, and he had read my mind. Plus, it was a wristband that could function as a watch, tell me how many floors I’d climbed every day, help me get an idea of what calorie burning looked like, track my sleep, and give me goals to reach (because who doesn’t like to level up?). It even had a silent alarm that I could use as a backup in case I slept through my Morning Worm alarm (but come on, who’s going to sleep through a siren?).

I had a happy few weeks of wearing my wristband all the time, only taking it off to shower. It went with me everywhere and stayed with me while I slept, ate, went on walks, lugged groceries up my stairs, and raided with my guild. It even stayed with me while I was sick and my step count was atrocious since I was hardly getting out of bed.

But, there was trouble in paradise.

I began to get a skin irritation that looked like mosquito bites, or at least, how I react to mosquito bites. I switched wrists to avoid the irritation, and then that wrist flared up too. Still thinking they were mosquito bites, I continued wearing the wristband, putting band-aids over them to prevent my shirt sleeves from rubbing them, slathering on topical Benadryl like my life depended on it, and generally being miserable, both with the itching and the gross appearance of my wrists. After even going to the doctor and getting them looked at, and many weeks of using hydrocortisone cream, they are finally getting back to normal. That’s when I saw this article, and realized I’d been wrong all along.

The Fitbit Force had been causing some users skin irritations, probably because of the exposed metal (a combination that includes nickel)  that comes in contact with your skin. Despite being decidedly not allergic to nickel, I’m assuming some chemical reaction between my skin and the metal and sweat caused my skin to flare up into the disgusting picture it was a few weeks ago. Fitbit is recalling all of them and giving any users a full refund. They also have said that they will be developing a next generation wristband, coming soon (TM).

On the other hand, Fitbit has another wristband, the Flex, that is completely waterproof and can be worn in the shower, in the pool, etc. However, it does not have a screen or an altitude sensor, so I would not be able to track floors climbed.

So, even though I’ve been asking around already, tell me what you think. Once I get my reimbursement check, what should I do?  Should I go with the Flex? Should I wait for the “next-generation” wristband they’re coming out with next? Or should I forsake Fitbit completely and go with a Nike Fuelband or something similar? Let me know in the poll below and your thoughts in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Fitness Band Problems

  1. Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve seen someone reference “soon (TM).”

    I voted for the Flex, but I’m just a basic kinda gal. I don’t like having the newest and best of everything. It actually weirded me out a little a couple years ago when I upgraded my cell phone to the Samsung Galaxy S3. I’m glad the S4’s are out now so I can go back to being behind the times.

    1. See, the only thing I think I’d really miss is the sensor that tracks when I climb stairs. Otherwise, I like that it’s a little smaller, there’s not yet another screen to look at, and that it’s water resistant enough that I could swim and shower with it. But then there’s like the Nike Fuelband etc. that has about the same water resistance, but seems to mostly track running. I do already have a Nike+ sensor, so it wouldn’t be a terrible idea for me to go that route. Decisions, decisions!

  2. While I loved the Flex I had a reaction to it after about 2 weeks. I contacted Fitbit and they gave me a refund.

    1. The Flex gave you a reaction? That makes me think I might need to go with a different band. It makes me sad, because I really liked my Force a lot, but I have scars on my wrists now, and that’s really no fun.

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