Did you know that Fitbit has a fitness tracker designed specifically for kids 8 and up? I wear a Fitbit Charge 2 and Mr. Tweenable wears a Fitbit Ionic. So when Fitbit began promoting the release of their Fitbit for kids, I was ecstatic because I thought I would get one for the kids so that everyone in the family could have one. We can commit to being active and have something to help keep us all accountable. The name of the new device is Fitbit Ace.
It’s fair to say we are a family of Fitbit fans, we like their simplicity. They run with a simple app on our phones. We like the fact you can connect with friends. We like the 1-year warranty. Plus we find Fitbits do what they are supposed to do, which is count steps, very accurately.
Why A Fitness Tracker?
A fitness tracker to me is helpful and essential because it truly motivates me to be more active. I push myself to move more when I’m wearing it. The one I wear has a setting that will remind me to move every hour. This works perfectly for me because I work at a desk and it’s easy for me to go practically all day sitting. The same can be said for children. These days we can be more sedentary than is healthful for us so wearable technology as they call it gives you real time feedback on whether you are on targe to reach your goal or not.
Kids are more inactive than ever before. Schools have smaller budgets and funding for physical education is being cut. In addition, kids spend less time outdoors playing than in previous generations. This means we are seeing kids’ obesity rates higher than previous generations too. Physical activity is a habit that is built in our youth. If kids are active as they grow up they are more likely to be active as grown ups. The trend of inactivity at younger ages does not bode well for their later years.
I’m focusing on kids here but the same is true, maybe even more so, for adults. To make matters worse, kids learn these habits from the adults they see and the lifestyle that the adults in their lives set up for them. As they say, “more is caught than taught”. I believe this is why my kids are interested in having one of their own since they see Mr. Tweenable and I with them. When my daughter found out there was one coming out for kids; she basically began begging for one. She is very interested in using one of her own. She will try to use mine if I let her. She always offers to get some steps in for me.
Why a Fitbit
Fitbit is not the only fitness tracker on the market. Other popular brands include Garmin, Xiaomi, Jawbone, Samsung. Fitbit has recently experienced some challenges. The Apple Watch in recent years has overcome Fitbit’s prior 36% marketshare. As it stands today, Fitbit’s brand is third in sales.
But Fitbit is the first to market a device specifically for children and address some of the parenting concerns regarding the use of wearable technology. While it’s unsure what the future holds for the fitness tracker market, we like Fitbit because we’ve used one for many years. I’m actually on my third Fitbit and find that they are easy to find, come with a year warranty, work as intended, have a simple, easy to use design and companion app. The Fitbits work well for me because I have simple tracking needs with no need for multiple sport settings.
Introducing Fitbit Ace
Cost: $99.95 USD
Where to Buy: Amazon.com
Sizes: The band is one size fits all for wrists 4.68 to 6.35in long.
Target Age Range: The Fitbit Ace is designed with children ages 8 – 12. It allows the kids to get in on the action while addressing some safety and security concerns.
Security Features: Most fitness trackers interact with a web based application. So children younger than 13 are not supposed to have accounts since their profiles are sharable with the entire community. Also some of the activities such as calorie counting and weight goals can communicate the wrong messages to kids at this age. It’s too early to focus on these things, instead it’s better to focus on physical activity feeling good and connecting us with others. Ace connects through a parents account and has specific parent and child views.
Activity and step tracker progress tracking: Ace tracks both minutes of activity and steps. It keeps track of both over time. When goals are met, a display of fireworks goes off on the screen to celebrate success.
Set goals and reminders: You can set goals for the number of steps per day, the minutes of activity, and you can set reminders to move.
Step challenges: Kids can participate in challenges with other family members.
Sleep tracking: Ace tracks sleep time and quality when worn while sleeping.
Rewards/Badges: Kids can earn rewards and badges when they reach goals and milestones. This is additional positive reinforcement.
Spill, shower, and puddle proof: Ace is water resistant to sustaing splashes and spills but should be dried immediately to prevent damage and is not designed to withstand being submerged in water.
Battery life/Charging time: The battery life is about 5 days and charging only takes an hour or two.
I will post a full Fitbit Ace review here detailing how it goes once we buy our kids theirs. But when I was doing research; I was surprised to learn that once it was released, the Fitbit Ace doesn’t seem to do as well as I would have expected. Reviews Amazon are about 50/50 positive and negative.
The positives are that people who love it, love it. It works as expected for them. The negatives focus mainly on the band size. Some users report the 6.10 inch band is too small and doesn’t fit 8-year-olds. The second negative being reported on is the difficulty with the application and set up and that kids will not have their own profile and the features are limited as a result. The third negative is the price. Some feel that the Ace is identical to the Alta2, another Fitbit device, but it does less, so that should be reflected in the price.
Is Fitbit Ace right for your kids?
Fitbit Ace may be a good choice for you:
- If you are purchasing for a younger or a smaller child. Measure your child’s wrist to make sure it’s under to ensure a comfortable fit. Some have gotten around the smaller band size by purchasing the Alta 2 wristband accessory. But this solution is not acceptable for everyone since it effectively raises the price of the product.
- If you are familiar with the Fitbit app and set up and do not mind reentering log on info when entering the application.
- If you don’t mind entering family members into the family account in order to participate in challenges or you don’t generally participate in them.
- If you have other family members using Fitbit and your child would like to participate.
Fitbit Ace may not be a good choice for you:
- If your child already has their own cell phone or other device which will support an app and you do not mind them using the app and community.
- If they have wrists larger than 6.10 in.
- If your child finds this type of information about their activity level demotivating.
Tell me in the comments below…
Do you have a Fitbit? Would you consider buying a fitness tracker for your kids? What would be your pros/cons of getting them one? If you have a Fitbit Ace, what are your thoughts on it?
Or, if you have questions about the Fitbit Ace, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer those for you.