Fibion is a new fitness gadget that is meant for tracking, first and foremost, your sitting (also known as the “smoking of our generation”) habits and help you to move more and sit less.
I tried Fibion out a few weeks ago and really loved it. Sitting is something that even fitness professionals struggle with, especially nowadays when a big part of our work is done at the computer…
Fibion was born in Finland where I used to live for four years prior moving to the US. But that's not the only thing I love about this fitness tracker 🙂
It's super accurate, which is possible thanks to all the scientific analysis the guys behind it have done. I'm happy to having been able to test out the end product!
Combating Sitting, Our Biggest Enemy
The Fibion crew started developing this product many years ago, with the greatest goal being getting people off from chairs. That was back when the hazardous effects of sitting started to get more and more attention in scientific research.
The first test subjects who came to Fibion folks' lab years ago were hooked up to big machines and put through many hours of scrutiny in order to collect the research data. Fast forward to today, a tiny device in your pocket tells you all you need to know about your daily sitting habits, and also gives you recommendations on how to change them.
This tiny gadget helps you to analyse your daily sitting habits and compare them to your daily activity levels.
Many of us do a hardcore workout once a day and therefore consider ourselves being active, but if we're still sitting 10+ hours, we're doing a lot of harm to our bodies. In fact, even 30 just minutes of continous sitting can be harmful.
Fibion measures exactly how much time of your day you spend sitting and how much you spend on being active. It divides your daily movements into following categories:
- long time sitting (more than 30 minutes without moving)
- short time sitting (up to 30 minutes)
- light walking
- brisk walking
- brisk activity (this is where your heart rate goes up a lot, more than 6 times compared to your resting heart rate, that typically happens when you work out).
What's Different About Fibion
Another fitness tracker, you may think. But hang on there, let me tell you a few cool things about it that make it stand out…
You don't need to buy the device, the measurement is done by your fitness professional who gives you the device to use for one week. After wearing it in your front pocket for a week, you get your activity report, nicely visualized (with awesome colorful charts) from your trainer. She will also help you read it and set goals for the future and possible follow-up measuring.
It's more accurate than other similar products. You'll be wearing Fibion device in the front pocket and at your thigh level, which means that it actually tracks your moving when you're actually moving and sitting when you're actually sitting.
I don't know if you've noticed but some other trackers keep adding steps to your account even if you're just doing dishes or standing in place and moving your arms back and forth.
It's easy to use. It's super small and there are absolutely no buttons on it, so all you have to do is to remember to tuck it into your front pocket every day for seven days. After that, you give it back to your trainer and she'll give you the visual report (see below) and helps you to read and understand it.
Why Sitting Is Bad For You
Did you know that on average, we spend 9.3 hours every day sitting–that's more than we spend sleeping!
In case you've been living under a rock and don't know why sitting is bad for you, here are some reasons. According to Mayo Clinic, prolonged periods of sitting are associated with the increase of following health issues:
- Metabolic syndrome (a combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels)
- Cardiovascular disease
In addition to all that, there are other things to be aware of when you're sitting too much:
- There's no movement in your leg muscles, which may lead to muscle and postural imbalances
- You're very likely to develop muscle soreness and tightness
- You're more prone to injuries.
All great reasons not to sit all day. Get your butt off from your chair and get moving!
What You Will Learn After Seven Days
What I really love about Fibion is that it creates beautiful graphs of your results, which makes reading and understanding them really easy.
I wore Fibion for seven days. Here's a few examples of results that I got back:
- Distribution of my daily activities per every day. Here's how I spent one Saturday:
- Sitting 5h and 14 min
- Standing 3h 53 min
- Light walking 2h 21 min
- Brisk walking 2h 20 min
- Bike riding 6 min
- Brisk activity 31 min. The last one is my workout. See, I told you most of my workouts are max 30 minutes long 🙂 But I do a bunch of other things to stay active throughout the day. It all adds up!
2. Energy expenditure by every day by activities. On the next graph, you'll see how much energy I burnt on the same day during all those activities (see the last, highlighted column):
As you can see, I spent
- 118 kcal on standing up
- 280 kcal on light walking (See! Get up and move, that's a lot!)
- 460 kcal on brisk walking (Yep! Move a little faster and your body will thank you!)
- (kcal on my 6-minute bike ride were so low that the accurate number is not calculated at this point)
- 190 kcal on my workout.
- Also, Fibion adds resting energy expenditure and TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) to your daily energy expenditure. On that day, I burned 2876 kcal.
How does Fibion know how much energy you spent? You'll give your details (age, sex, height and weight) to your personal trainer or other fitness professional, who adds them to the data on her computer and gets your basal metabolic rate (mine is 1769, as you can see in purple).
A really cool thing about Fibion is that it also adds TEF (thermic effect of foods) to your calorie expenditure. To my knowledge, other fitness devices don't do that.
3. In this picture you can see how big part of my day I spent being “passive” (sitting) and how much being “active” (standing, walking, working out etc). These pictures illustrate the average of this week.
The sitting part is on the left: the purple color indicates short term sitting and pink long time sitting. Fibion also gives you “badges”–if you're doing great, you'll earn a three star badge, and if there's a lot room for improvement, your badge will only have one star.
I earned two star badges for both my long time and short time sitting of that day, so I could definitely do better. I want three for both!
You get the similar graph for activities. That's the graph on the right side. Light blue indicates the total of your physical activity. I earned two stars, so I've got some work to do if I want to earn three!
On the other hand, I earned three stars badge for moderate to vigorous activities, shown in dark blue. Apparently, I spent 96 minutes of my day in the moderate to vigorous activity zone.
4. On this graph, Fibion is comparing your sitting time to your active time, and calculates your score. The smaller the minus on the pink side and the bigger the plus on the blue side, the greater the number the Fibion Score at the middle.
After a 7 day period you have pretty good understanding on where you're sitting at sitting-wise (pun intended!).
It's super important to decrease the number of long time (more than 30 minute) sitting periods. Once you keep that in mind and get yourself up from your desk often enough, you get way better results and your sitting vs active score improves significantly.
Seeing those results really makes you think where you could really add in more movement, or even just more standing. You'll also realize that just getting up and moving every once in a while can benefit your body more (also in terms of energy expenditure) than doing 1 hour super vigorous training.
After the measuring is done, the system lets you to set yourself goals that you want to achieve by the next measurement. It's not obligatory, of course, but you can do a follow up measuring. It's neat to see after a few weeks or months, when you've probably made some changes in your moving lifestyle, if the pink side of the seesaw has gone higher and the blue one dropped a bit.
I think that Fibion is a really cool and super helpful product for those who want to get a better picture about their daily sitting habits. Believe me, seeing the numbers can be a very eye opening experience.
It's super important to stand up and keep moving as much as possible, not only workout hard once a day and then sit back into your chair for the next 12 hours. Getting up and moving consistently is the key.
If you'd like to know more about Fibion, feel free to ask me! I do my best to answer you and if needed, I check in with nice folks on Fibion.
If you're local and would like to do the measurement, let me know! I'll be happy to do it with you and explain you the results.
Disclaimer: I received Fibion free of charge. All opinions expressed here are on my own.