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Comparison of Fitbit Charge and Oura Ring – activity and sleep tracking

I was intrigued talking to a friend about the first generation Ōura ring he had and decided I wanted to try it out for myself. I also had a Fitbit Charge HR and an Android Wear (not WearOS because they didn’t update it, I’m not bitter) watch that I was using. I figured a comparison is in order! All of the following data can be found on this Google Docs Spreadsheet.

One feature that Oura champions is heart rate tracking. Because the ring is snugly on your finger, they can do some cool stuff with tracking how variable your heart rate is, they also use the HR data for tracking sleep (just like Fitbit does). So here is how the Resting Heart Rate compares with the Oura and Fitbit:

It looks like the Fitbit is taking a longer average rate, while Oura is doing a shorter sample window but I’d say they’re both showing similar things.

Speaking of heart rate, let’s see how sleep tracking compares. In this graph, I’ve added the values from Sleep As Android, a sleep tracking program that I run on my phone as an alarm clock and tracks sleep. I actually have data going back to 2015 (I sleep more now since I quit my day job and stopped going to work at 5:30 am). Sleep As Android added support for using an Android Wear/Wear OS watch for tracking movement and heart rate to indicate sleep cycles, otherwise you stick your phone on your mattress and it measures the movement.

The plots for Fitbit and for Oura are REALLY close. Easily within a reasonable margin of error. SAA + the watch tracks at about the same, except it shows me sleeping about 0.5-1 hours longer on a given day. I suspect that the Fitbit or Oura data is more accurate since both are far more consistent with their heart rate data. SAA will often not show HR data at all.

OK, what about activity tracking? I’m right-handed and have Google Fit tracking on my left hand with Fitbit and Oura on my right. Fitbit has an option to select “handedness” – if you wear the tracker on your dominant wrist, it lowers the sensitivity to account for more non-step movement from that hand.

I’m guessing that having my Fitbit on the dominant hand with the lowered sensitivity accounts for the consistently lower numbers from Fitbit.

So what’s the take-away from this? It seems that the Oura ring is a very comparable sleep and activity tracker. The Fitbit has some other features that are lacking in the Oura (Social challenges against other users, differences in workout tracking, no way am I wearing the Oura while weight lifting) but I think I’m done wearing two watches – the Oura works good enough. If you happen to work in a profession where the ONLY allowed jewelry is a ring, the Oura would be phenomenal.

By |2018-10-03T11:48:27-06:00October 3rd, 2018|Categories: On Tour|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Day 060 – 100 days of Keto (Chow)

This entry is part 49 of 81 in the series 100 days of keto
  • Weight: 204.9
  • Blood ketones: 0.2 mmol/L

Ran again last night, there was a comment yesterday about my routine, Looks like I’m doing a 4 minute warm up, then 5 rounds of 2 minutes running+2 minutes walking, followed by a final 2 minutes of running with a sprint and then 4 more cool down. I use a program that makes the sounds necessary to control certain treadmills that I did a screen recording of so I can play the video on an old Samsung S3. Works pretty well. For kicks I’ve combined a screen capture of the routine along with a heart rate graph as recorded by my Fitbit Charge HR.

Did 3 keto chows again yesterday and I’m planning on it today too. I’ve got some odd pain in my right jaw, near my ear. Since I’m doing a almost completely liquid diet it hasn’t really bothered me too bad, it only hurts when I bite down or open my mouth really wide (when I do something crazy like yawning). Anyway, it feels like a muscle issue but it’s been going on long enough (5 days) I’m going to the dentist today.

By |2016-03-03T08:22:35-07:00March 3rd, 2016|Categories: 100 days of keto, Keto Chow|Tags: , , |2 Comments

The Effects of a Year in Ketosis (video)

This entry is part 110 of 208 in the series Ketogenic Diet

Jim McCarter gave an interesting presentation at the Quantified Self Conference this year. You can check out the video at https://vimeo.com/147795263

By |2016-10-14T07:17:56-06:00December 22nd, 2015|Categories: Ketogenic|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

The apps and tools I’m using to track my progress

This entry is part 30 of 208 in the series Ketogenic Diet

A coworker asked me a while ago about all the stuff I’m using, I figure I might as well document it. Here are the Apps, monitors and other things I’m using to track stuff about my health.

Activity Monitor

I grabbed a used Fitbit Flex off eBay about a month ago to see if I would like it better than the Jawbone Up I had. Ultimately the Fitbit won and the Jawbone is in my backpack in case anybody on craigslist decides they want to buy it for $40. The Jawbone app was actually far better than the Fitbit one and gave me better information but I like the bluetooth sync function of the Fitbit and couldn’t find an Up24 for cheap. Neither do automatic sleep tracking, you had to tell the device it was nap time and again tell it when you woke up. The more expensive trackers do more stuff automatically. Both Up and Fitbit talk quite nicely to all the other apps mentioned here, sending activity data over automatically.

Fitbit Web UI

Fitbit Web UI

Fitbit Android UI

Fitbit Android UI

Weight Tracking

The Withings app/website does a great job of tracking weight, blood pressure and a number of other metrics. It’s also free to use and will send the weight data to a large number of applications. By having it send that data I don’t have to go into 5 different apps to update my weight all the time, it just does it automagically for me. You can use the Withings app and site with the Withings Wi-Fi scale or one of their fitness trackers, but you don’t need to. I did eventually end up buying a Withings scale but I used the app for about a month and a half before that. You can also import and export all the measurements very easily. I imported my weight logs from all the way back to October 2006.

Withings Web UI

Withings Web UI

Withings Android UI

Withings Android UI

Nutrition Tracking

I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for 2 or 3 years to (occasionally, up until 4 months ago) track my nutrition. Currently I’m on a 87 day streak of putting in my food, weight and activity. I use MFP as a sort of “central hub” for everything else. All my activity monitoring, weight and workouts head here. On a Ketogenic Diet I also need to track how many carbs I’m eating and it does a good job of that. There’s some settings and a userscript that enhance MFP for keto diets. It’s particularly nice to be able to scan a barcode to add food and with how I’m eating mostly the same stuff every day it’s a cinch. I used to use My Net Diary but MFP is way more useful.

MyFitnessPal Web UI

MyFitnessPal Web UI

MyFitnessPal Android UI

MyFitnessPal Android UI

Workout tracking

I’m using Digifit on my phone to track exercise (via a heart rate monitor, see below). On an ideal day I’m doing 30 minutes of elliptical in the morning and 30 minutes of running/walking in the evening. They have Android and iOS apps that have limited functionality unless you pay the $1.99 or whatever to upgrade it – it was worth it and I used an account that is shared on all my family’s phones and devices to pay so my wife gets the upgrade too. It can be used indoors on exercise equipment (which is what I mostly do) but it really likes going outside to fire up your GPS and correlate actual distance and speed with heart rate. It gets weight data automatically from Withings to use in calorie calculations.

Digifit Web UI

Digifit Web UI

Digifit Android UI

Digifit Android UI

Heart Rate Monitoring

I bought a Jarv Bluetooth 4.0 Chest Heart Rate Monitor for myself and then another one for my wife about 3 days later since it works so well (then we can work out together!). It works exceptionally well and communicates to Digifit just fine, although occasionally it takes a bit of prodding or wetting the chest contacts to wake it up. Coupled with Digifit, it does a much better job at calculating the actual calories you are burning. This morning with the heart rate monitor, Digifit calculated that I burned 439 calories in 30 minutes on the elliptical. That’s a far cry from the machine’s solely weight based calculation of 870.

Ketone Level Monitoring

After a few weeks in Ketosis you get accustomed to what it feels like and can mostly just Keep Calm & Keto On. I do still occasionally check my ketone levels. When I first started I bought a 200 pack of  2 Parameter Glucose & Ketone Test (URS) Urinalysis Reagent Strip (C 200 Strips). I also picked up a very, very cheap blood alcohol breathalyzer about 2 months ago for fun because the super cheap ones can’t distinguish the difference between alcohol on your breath and acetone. Actual breathalyzers that cost more than $5-10 can tell the difference just fine. I’m very proud to report that this morning I blew 0.05% even though I have no alcohol in my system at all.

Cheap Breathalyzer

Cheap Breathalyzer

Ketone Test Strip looks great!

Ketone Test Strip looks great!

By |2016-10-14T07:18:04-06:00January 14th, 2015|Categories: Future Foods|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments