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Old 03-03-2013, 02:29 PM   #1
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Default Any thoughts on Activelink?

Hey guys. Massive lurker here. I'm recently getting back into the getting healthy side of things after a year long go of working over night shifts (it sapped all my energy and will). My hospital has recently closed the pharmacy overnight so I'm now doing alternating weeks of 6a-3p and 12p-9p and being on call 4 nights ever other week. (yay hospital life!).

Any who, I haven't quite figured out how to get a good workout schedule. I was thinking some sort of activity monitor like Activelink, waiting on the Misfit Shine or some sort of gadgety thing would at least help me get the motivation to do something. Yes, I love gadgets.

I was checking out some reviews on the Activelink and there seemed to be a lot of good ones and some bad ones especially concerning some of the activities I gravitate towards. I tend to do lower impact things like biking, swimming and yoga with some occasionally racquetball and beach frisbee thrown in.

Any experiences anyone wants to relate with Activelink? Anything else that you think is way niftier?

I was also concerned about not being able to track any AP's without the Activelink. Has that been an issue?

Questions, I have them. ;>
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:09 PM   #2
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I don't have active link. I track steps with my fitbit and just using the online calculator. I just rarely track my activity points. I get about 2 for my pedometer steps for the day.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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I have had an ActiveLink for several months. I am buying a fitbit this week.

What I like about the ActiveLink:

1. It is way more accurate than the non-ActiveLink way of measuring activity. Back in the day (before ActiveLink) I would exercise (rowing or weights) several days a week and recording my activity points earned (didn't usually eat them but did record them). I was frustrated though with losing weight very slowly, often only a 1/4 pound a week when I was totally eating within my points.

Well, the mystery was solved once I got ActiveLink. With ActiveLink you earn no Activity points until you meet your baseline each day. So I could do 30 minutes of rowing and earn no activity points for the day unless I hit my baseline plus extra beyond that to earn a point. What I found out was that with my sedentary lifestyle I wasn't meeting my baseline each day. In fact, I was often well below my baseline. Not only wasn't I truly earning activity points -- I wasn't engaging in enough baseline activity to really justify eating my regular WW points. So, ActiveLink was an eye opener for me in showing me that the main reason I wasn't losing much was due to lack of baseline activity.

2. ActiveLink is easy to wear (I wear it on a neck chain), has good battery life and is waterproof. We have a hot tub and I wear it in the hot tub all the time. I wear it showering. I wear it at night so I never have a situation where I forget to wear it (I remove it only to sync it)

3. Online you can clearly see where your baseline is (that is the amount that WW assumes everyone is doing as a minimum) and you earn any APs that you are entitled to (I'm more active now but still not actually earning APs yet).


What I don't like about ActiveLink and why I'm getting a fitbit:

1. The reporting and information feedback is very limited. Activelink gives you a goal for a 12 week period. Basically it ramps up during the 12 weeks. All the feedback is based upon your percentage toward that goal. That goal isn't really tied to your baseline or a specific number of APs. So it isn't terribly meaningful know that I am at 75% of my daily goal. That doesn't tell me at all what I need to do to get to my baseline or to earn an AP or even what I need to do to get to 100%. Do I need to exercise 30 minutes, do I need to walk 1000 steps, do I need to lift weights for an hour? Basically you have no clue and so it is hard to get motivated when you don't know what you have to do to reach your goal.

You can plug it in and see whether you have met your baseline (this is a graph not a percentage) but again it isn't clear what you have to do to get from where you are which is a percentage of your goal to your actual daily goal. To me, that made the ActiveLink not terribly effective at motivating me.

2. The fitbit will sync when you get close to your computer so you don't have to actually take it off and plug it in.

3. The fitbit gives you more information - number of steps and calories burned which I really want. You don't get the activity points directly but there are ways to convert so that you can determine that information.

4. On the ActiveLink when you ride in a car that counts as activity. Basically it can't tell that your body jostling around in a car is because the car is doing it rather than you doing it. I understand that and have no problem with it. However, with the ActiveLink even going in and labeling that time as driving doesn't change the activity shown. You know it but you still get credited with the wrong activity.

5. With the Active Link to really get what data you get you have to plug it in. There is no display on it. There are some green lights that come on to give you some idea of progress against your goal but that is not much info. Also I can never get the lights to actually come on for me (supposedly when you shake it).

My understanding is that with a fitbit you can go in and label it as driving and it will remove the steps and extra calories that it gave you.

6. The Fitbit can be sold or given to someone else. The Active Link can't be. ActiveLink is cheaper but has a monthly fee while FitBit doesn't (you can pay for extra stuff but you get a lot for free).


Fitbit stuff - I don't have mine yet but here were my concerns:

1. Fitbit One is not waterproof so that is a negative. The new Flex (basically a bracelet) will be but isn't out yet.

2. You use a clip with the Fitbit One and some people have had the Fitbit fall out of the clip and they have lost it. It doesn't have the around the neck option. That is a negative to me - the biggest negative.

3. The Flex solves the loss issue but the display on the Flex is just a few lights. The big draw of the One is the display on it that will show you steps and calories. If I didn't care about that I would get the Flex.

4. The Zip is similar to the One but smaller but it won't monitor sleep. I like the sleep monitoring so I'm going for the One.


For awhile I plan to use both the ActiveLink and the Fitbit and to compare them. If I like the Fitbit I will probably drop the ActiveLink subscription.
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Old 03-03-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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I also wrestled with getting the Activelink. I think, for me, it would only discourage me to do a long work out and not earn any points. Yes, I understand the reason why it's set up that way - but I feel like I need to be my own biggest advocate and set myself up for success. I NEVER eat my activity points, and I very very rarely touch weeklies, but if I did, then I might be more attracted to the Activelink.

Instead, I bought a $30 pedometer from Amazon just to help motivate me to know how much I've moved in a day and how much more I should move. This is my second day, but I'm pretty happy with it. When I get more serious, I'm looking into Nike Fuelband or the new fitbit flex.
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Old 03-03-2013, 10:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
My understanding is that with a fitbit you can go in and label it as driving and it will remove the steps and extra calories that it gave you.
There is also an app you can use if you have a smart phone. I saw it on the fitbit wesbite. But I think my fitbit counts my driving that I've noticed.

Quote:
You use a clip with the Fitbit One and some people have had the Fitbit fall out of the clip and they have lost it. It doesn't have the around the neck option. That is a negative to me - the biggest negative.
I got a pedometor leash and attached it to my fitbit. I also wear it on my bra. I've had one lost before in a mad rush. I check multiple times a day that it's still in my bra.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:24 AM   #6
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I 100% without a doubt absolutely LOVE my ActiveLink. I cannot say enough good things about it. I've yet to find any negatives.

What I don't like about ActiveLink and why I'm getting a fitbit:

1. The reporting and information feedback is very limited. Activelink gives you a goal for a 12 week period. Basically it ramps up during the 12 weeks. All the feedback is based upon your percentage toward that goal. That goal isn't really tied to your baseline or a specific number of APs. So it isn't terribly meaningful know that I am at 75% of my daily goal. That doesn't tell me at all what I need to do to get to my baseline or to earn an AP or even what I need to do to get to 100%. Do I need to exercise 30 minutes, do I need to walk 1000 steps, do I need to lift weights for an hour? Basically you have no clue and so it is hard to get motivated when you don't know what you have to do to reach your goal. Everyone's baseline is different. You have an assessment period of 8 days where you wear your ActiveLink and it figures out where your baseline is based on what you do on a daily basis already. Clearly, what you're already doing isn't working or you wouldn't be on WW/wearing an ActiveLink. lol You can go into the site and see the percentage. What you need to do to get to your goal on ANY device is MOVE MORE.

You can plug it in and see whether you have met your baseline (this is a graph not a percentage) but again it isn't clear what you have to do to get from where you are which is a percentage of your goal to your actual daily goal. To me, that made the ActiveLink not terribly effective at motivating me. You can view it as a percentage. The ActiveLink is incredibly motivating for me. You shouldn't be trying to meet your baseline, you should be trying to earn APs. Your baseline is what you should already be doing to maintain your current weight.

2. The fitbit will sync when you get close to your computer so you don't have to actually take it off and plug it in. This doesn't bother me at all. It's a super quick process.

3. The fitbit gives you more information - number of steps and calories burned which I really want. You don't get the activity points directly but there are ways to convert so that you can determine that information. Since I'm following WW I'm not concerned about the calories or numbers of steps.

4. On the ActiveLink when you ride in a car that counts as activity. Basically it can't tell that your body jostling around in a car is because the car is doing it rather than you doing it. I understand that and have no problem with it. However, with the ActiveLink even going in and labeling that time as driving doesn't change the activity shown. You know it but you still get credited with the wrong activity. I have not experienced this at all. My ActiveLink doesn't spike/show activity when I'm in the car. =/

5. With the Active Link to really get what data you get you have to plug it in. There is no display on it. There are some green lights that come on to give you some idea of progress against your goal but that is not much info. Also I can never get the lights to actually come on for me (supposedly when you shake it).
There are 6 bars that go around the ActiveLink. Again, you're not trying to meet your baseline, you're trying to reach your goal - which you can change/manipulate/alter online. Each bar represents 25% and it goes up to 150% so you can see if you're way over your goal and really kicking butt. You shake it and put it on a flat surface and it'll read.

I'm already really active and my goal isn't to see if I'm at my baseline, but to exceed my goal everyday. I've altered my goal to aim for higher APs. I love that I can shake it and see if I'm near my goal or not. You can log into the site and identify every activity you do which will give you more bang for your buck. I clip my ActiveLink to my bra every morning. I set it on my ring stand and just put it on then. It's become part of my morning routine.

I tend to do lower impact things like biking, swimming and yoga with some occasionally racquetball and beach frisbee thrown in. If you go online and register your activities it'll convert them. But yes, those are lower impact activities and won't register as high as running/high impact because the workout isn't as strenuous. Many people said they felt like the ActiveLink didn't give them all of the points they earned - the most common mistakes with WW APs is people over estimate because it makes them feel better about what they are doing. It's recommended that you get at least three 30 minute sessions of high intensity activity in.

I could go on forever, but the truth of the matter is - I love it. I'm a competitive person with a touch of OCD so this gives me something to "compete" against. lol
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:26 PM   #7
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That's what was sort of drawing me to the Activelink. I get a little lost in the numbers, and I like having something telling me how close (or over!) to goal I am. I don't necessarily care about how many APs I'm earning because I don't eat them back, but I want a motivator that tells me this is how much more I need to do today.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SoMuchFattitude View Post
I 100% without a doubt absolutely LOVE my ActiveLink. I cannot say enough good things about it. I've yet to find any negatives.
Quote:
What I don't like about ActiveLink and why I'm getting a fitbit:

1. The reporting and information feedback is very limited. Activelink gives you a goal for a 12 week period. Basically it ramps up during the 12 weeks. All the feedback is based upon your percentage toward that goal. That goal isn't really tied to your baseline or a specific number of APs. So it isn't terribly meaningful know that I am at 75% of my daily goal. That doesn't tell me at all what I need to do to get to my baseline or to earn an AP or even what I need to do to get to 100%. Do I need to exercise 30 minutes, do I need to walk 1000 steps, do I need to lift weights for an hour? Basically you have no clue and so it is hard to get motivated when you don't know what you have to do to reach your goal. Everyone's baseline is different. You have an assessment period of 8 days where you wear your ActiveLink and it figures out where your baseline is based on what you do on a daily basis already. Clearly, what you're already doing isn't working or you wouldn't be on WW/wearing an ActiveLink. lol You can go into the site and see the percentage. What you need to do to get to your goal on ANY device is MOVE MORE.
No, your baseline is not based upon what you are doing. Your goal is based upon what your doing. Your baseline is based upon your age, your gender, and your weight. Anyone of your same age, gender and weight will have exactly the same baseline. What will differ is that person's goal.

Yes, I understand fully that what you have to do to get to goal on any device is to move more. But that is too vague for me. I like to know what specifically I need to do to get to my goal. Move more isn't enough for me. I do have my fitbit now. If my goal is to walk 10000 steps in a day then I know that if I've walked 8000 I need to walk another 2000 steps to get to that goal. If I'm at 80% of my daily goal on my ActiveLink I don't know if going and rowing for 30 minutes will get me there or if rowing for an hour will get me there or if walking 2000 steps will get me there. Sure, I can trial and error it (which I've been doing) but to me it is more motivating to be able to know exactly what task I have to accomplish to meet my goal. Move more just isn't specific enough for me.

Quote:
You can plug it in and see whether you have met your baseline (this is a graph not a percentage) but again it isn't clear what you have to do to get from where you are which is a percentage of your goal to your actual daily goal. To me, that made the ActiveLink not terribly effective at motivating me. You can view it as a percentage. The ActiveLink is incredibly motivating for me. You shouldn't be trying to meet your baseline, you should be trying to earn APs. Your baseline is what you should already be doing to maintain your current weight.

I do not believe you can view your baseline as a percentage. If you can then please tell me how. What you can view as a percentage is your progress toward your goal which is not the same as progress toward your baseline. I like being able to see my progress to my goal but I also would like to see the percentage of my baseline.

Quote:
2. The fitbit will sync when you get close to your computer so you don't have to actually take it off and plug it in. This doesn't bother me at all. It's a super quick process.
Before I got the fitbit this was just a minor point to me. However, now that I have the fitbit I really like the wireless syncing. It will also wirelessly sync with my iPad. This feature is by no means a deal breaker, but it is a nice to have.

Quote:
3. The fitbit gives you more information - number of steps and calories burned which I really want. You don't get the activity points directly but there are ways to convert so that you can determine that information. Since I'm following WW I'm not concerned about the calories or numbers of steps.
We all like to measure progress in different ways. For example, many people on WWs use pedometers and the way they track activity is by inputting into the WW the number of steps and then WW tracks activity based upon it. So WW does indeed use number of steps. In fact, I used to have a WW pedometer and the way it tracked activity was to first meet a daily baseline of steps then it converted your number of total steps to points.

As far as calories -- people following WW are absolutely concerned about calories. They may not be counting calories but I guarantee you that WW in devising the points plus formula uses calories. In fact, if you look at their patent application one of the things they mention is that one reason they use points instead of calories is that it is easier to remember 1 or 2 digit numbers than remember 3 or 4 digit numbers. People who, for example, think that zero point fruit means unlimited fruit get in trouble because they forget that zero point does not mean zero calories.

Lots of people don't want to track calories on WW and that is certainly fine. I find that I do better when I track both calories and points.

Quote:
4. On the ActiveLink when you ride in a car that counts as activity. Basically it can't tell that your body jostling around in a car is because the car is doing it rather than you doing it. I understand that and have no problem with it. However, with the ActiveLink even going in and labeling that time as driving doesn't change the activity shown. You know it but you still get credited with the wrong activity. I have not experienced this at all. My ActiveLink doesn't spike/show activity when I'm in the car. =/
Mine does. In fact it shows a large spike. Perhaps that is because I have a very long commute (over an hour). One thing I like on the Fitbit is that you can go in and label that time as driving (removes steps but adjusts your calories for driving) or riding (removes steps and adjusts calories to a lesser amount than driving since driving uses more calories).

Quote:
5. With the Active Link to really get what data you get you have to plug it in. There is no display on it. There are some green lights that come on to give you some idea of progress against your goal but that is not much info. Also I can never get the lights to actually come on for me (supposedly when you shake it).[/i] There are 6 bars that go around the ActiveLink. Again, you're not trying to meet your baseline, you're trying to reach your goal - which you can change/manipulate/alter online. Each bar represents 25% and it goes up to 150% so you can see if you're way over your goal and really kicking butt. You shake it and put it on a flat surface and it'll read.
To me this isn't motivating enough. I know about the bars on the ActiveLink and knowing I'm 50% of the way to my goal is fine. But with the Fitbit One, I get: number of steps, number of stairs, miles, activity level, calories burned, and the time. There is also a timer function. I just find that information useful to me and I like that I can see it right there on the Fitbit One.


Quote:
Many people said they felt like the ActiveLink didn't give them all of the points they earned - the most common mistakes with WW APs is people over estimate because it makes them feel better about what they are doing.
Not I. I personally believe that most people overestimate their activity points and I don't like the way that WW lets people without an Active Link or pedometer earn points without meeting a baseline.


I loved the Active Link. I really did. I've been a huge cheerleader about it for months. At the same time I've read a lot of the more negative comments by people on the WW message boards and that caused me to research the Fitbit. One of the members at my WW meeting has a Fitbit and really likes it. So I looked at what I could get from the Fitbit and I researched its competitors. I really liked this comparison which I found helpful:

http://www.getgrok.com/2013/01/a-com...odymedia-link/

Based upon everything I decided to try the Fitbit One (although I seriously considered the Flex and would have done it if the display was better).

Now that I have the Fitbit, I find it way more powerful than the Active Link. Part of it is that I love data and I get way more data with the Fitbit. Part of it is that I know what is motivating to me and I'm finding the Fitbit a thousand times more motivating than the Active Link.

The way the Fitbit gives you information on the display is just way more information than you get from the Active Link and it does things that the Active Link doesn't do. There are really only 2 things that I think you get from the Active Link that you can't get from the Fitbit:

1. Directly and automatically converting to Activity Points. With the Fitbit the easiest way to determine Activity POints would be to input steps at the WW site and convert that to points. To me that isn't a big issue.

However, if you really want the AP easily done without having to input anything at the WW site, then the Active Link does it easily. For me, I currently have both Active LInk and Fitbit so it isn't an issue. I might drop the Active LInk though since I never eat my Activity Points anyway. So this isn't a deal breaker for me.

2. Active Link is waterproof. Fitbit One is not (I think the Flex will be). It is resistant but you can't immerse it. For a swimmer this could be an issue. That said, whenever I wear my Active Link in the hot tub I often lose a full day of activity from it so I'm not sure it is as waterproof as claimed....

For someone who only wants to know their Activity Points and doesn't care about any of the thing that Fitbit brings you then the Active Link can work and that is fine. I loved my Active Link for 6 months. I just find that for me I get more from the Fitbit.
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