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Fitbit is demonstrating its commitment to making healthy choices more convenient and accessible to everyone with the release of two new products today, including its first-ever activity tracker for kids and the introduction of female health tracking for all FitBit app users starting this spring.
The new Fitbit Versa is billed as “your personalized daily health and fitness companion.” It is the lightest metal smartwatch available in the United States and is waterproof, offers heart rate and sleep tracking, offline music from the device, as well as payment capabilities from some models. Versa (priced at $199.95) is available for presale today through the Fitbit website and will be available for purchase through select retailers beginning in April 2018.
The Fitbit Ace is designed specifically for kids ages 8 and up to help children achieve the World Health Organization-recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity for children ages 7 to 17. With the new Fitbit family account, parents control who their kids connect with and what information they see in the Fitbit app, allowing them to safeguard their kids’ privacy and stay on top of their activity.
“The challenge of inactivity with our children is not going away and is only estimated to get worse as they get older, dropping almost 40 minutes per year from ages 9 to 15,” said Chris Watts, executive director of the National Fitness Foundation. “It is essential to provide parents with tools to help their kids be more active. Fitbit’s solution offers more than just a way to track activity–it helps instill healthy habits from an early age, making it fun and rewarding to move more and empowers parents to make health and fitness a family affair.”
Ace (priced at $99.95) is available for presale today on Fitbit.com, with retail availability coming later in 2018.
Female Health Tracking
According to a recent Fitbit survey, 80 percent of women did not know how many phases are in a menstrual cycle and more than 70 percent were unable to correctly identify the average length of a cycle, demonstrating a lack of awareness about women’s health. Created for all adult Fitbit Versa, Ionic and app users who identify themselves as female, Fitbit’s female health tracking enables users to log their menstrual cycle data and record symptoms, such as headaches, acne and cramps. This feature lets users view holistic data in one place to reveal connections between their cycle and other stats in the Fitbit app, such as activity, sleep and weight trends, to help each user better manage their activity and sleep needs during certain times of the month.
“Female health tracking will empower women with a greater understanding of their menstrual cycles in conjunction with their physical and mental health, as they start to recognize what are normal trends over time versus what could be an issue to share with their doctor,” said Dr. Katharine White, MD, MPH, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine and Fitbit Advisor. “The nuances of the menstrual cycle have not been as widely studied across populations as have other areas in healthcare. This exciting development by Fitbit could help potentially create one of the largest databases of menstrual health metrics in the world, providing healthcare and research professionals with an unprecedented ability to study menstrual cycles and women’s health with real world data.”
Dr. White told Women’s Running that one of her top tips for runners is that the actual physical act of running can increase menstrual flow while you are pounding the pavement–which, while completely harmless, can make for a potentially uncomfortable run if you aren’t prepared. Another tip from Dr. White is that tracking your period and accompanying symptoms can help you plan out your training more effectively as you can schedule in rest days around your period if fatigue is a problem you face, and plan on higher-intensity training days either side of your cycle.