We know, we know. There are a lot of activity trackers on the market these days. We’ve already reviewed a ton — and we still have lots more to try (reviews coming up, y’all!). That said, when we heard that one of our fave sites (full disclosure: Erin and I have both written for them) was coming out with its own activity tracker that synced up to its already amazing online presence that has helped millions get healthier, we knew it was a must-try — and a must-review.
I mean, SparkPeople was one of the first sites in on the whole online-tracking-of-health-and-fitness thing, and year after year they have proved to change people’s lives. (In fact, in the years before FBG began, SparkPeople was pretty much the first online outlet I ever used for healthy motivation!) So, you know, I had high expectations of the SPARK Activity Tracker. And, not surprisingly, I found it to live up to the hype. I know some of the people behind SparkPeople, and, well, they rock. And they know what works and what doesn’t. And this activity tracker works for the everyday person looking to get fitter and healthier.
In many ways, the SPARK Activity Tracker is like a lot of the devices on the market today. It count steps and your activity, and it ties into an online portal to give you more tracking info. It’s incredibly easy to set up and easy to use. It took me no more than five minutes to go from package to wearing it, including getting it synced up to my free SparkPeople account. You can clip the SPARK on your waistband, shoes or bra, and it stays put (in fact, one of my only minor complaints with it is that it’s almost too tight — I had trouble hooking it on my thicker sweat pants). Then the SPARK tracks your steps and activity, including the ability to tell the different between your steps taken and your actual workouts. From that, it gives you a more accurate calories-burned estimate.
The clip-on itself is simple and basic. Kind of like the Fitbit, you can tap it a few times quickly to get a visual marker of how active you’ve been that day, with little green lights illuminating around the logo that indicate active minutes. For more details, simply sync it up wirelessly to SparkPeople.com and you can see all your stats pop up, along with your usual SparkPeople stuff. This activity tracker is such a natural addition to SparkPeople.com. If you’ve been a user, it’s definitely an awesome addition. And if you haven’t been a member on SparkPeople, I highly recommend it — activity tracker or not! It’s free and has such a robust and supportive community for people looking to lose weight.
A few other things I like about this activity tracker? It’s relatively inexpensive at $59.95, and it’s waterproof up to 100 feet! Meaning that if you accidentally hop in the shower or throw it in the wash, it’s not ruined — yay! Also, worked into the online component are tips and feedback to help get you more active. So if you’re not hitting your goals, you’ll get ideas to get you there. It’s also run by a battery, so there’s no charging. Granted, you have to replace the battery every 6 months or so, but they include an extra one in the packaging to get you through your first year, at least. And, the little tracker works on all fitness equipment including bikes, elliptical machines and treadmills. So all those active minutes you rack up really do count!
If you’re a total data junkie — one who wants to toggle through calories burned, heart rate, etc., directly from a device — this isn’t for you. But for the everyday person who is looking for something simple and basic to track just how active they are along with having free access to an interface that tracks eats, workouts, goals and a supportive community, you can’t beat the SPARK Activity Tracker!
Do you have a favorite activity tracker? Which one should we review next? —Jenn