How many steps do you take a day?

We try out a gizmo that counts every step you take

Tried & tested

How many steps do you really tread in a day? And how many should you be taking? Holly Sands tries the FitBit Flex for a true reading.

The promise
The FitBit Flex is an adjustable wristband, with a smart chip that logs your steps and sleep and transmits them to your online account whenever you’re within 20ft of the USB stick plugged into your computer. The manufacturers claim 43 percent of users take more steps when using the product.

Step by step
After charging the smart chip using a USB attachment, I slot it into the wristband, which I then strap on. I decide to go about my day as normal, to get a fair gauge of how many steps I take in a typical week day. Supposedly, the recommended number of steps for weight control is 10,000 per day, with UAE residents said to take an average of just 5,000. Indeed, the results from my first day are alarming – just 4,736. The next day, with undeniable proof that I am not moving nearly enough etched on my conscience, I make an effort to get moving, clocking up 6,747 the next day, 12,645 the day after (when I spend an afternoon out of the office on a research mission) and almost 13,000 each day of the weekend.

The results
FitBit undoubtedly provides some motivation for moving more – especially when the abysmal four-figure total greets you the next morning. I am now factoring in 30-minute walks after dinner before flopping on the sofa, a 15-minute walk after lunch before heading back to my desk and getting out of my cab a five-minute walk from home on the way back from work.

Pros
• The FitBit is extremely user-friendly, including the option to set your own goals.
• The battery only needs charging every five days.

Cons
• If you want to log your food intake, the number of listed items is limited, and features mainly American products.

4/5
Price 529. Available from Virgin Megastores, locations include Mall of The Emirates (04 341 4353).

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