Wouldn’t it be nice to know just how many steps you do take during a shift? How many calories did you burn as well? With the right Fitbit, you can! After many hours of research and interviews with some of the best nurses nationwide we can recommend the Fitbit Flex 2 as the Best Fitbit for Nurses, mainly because of its discrete style and practical features.
Nurses are some of the busiest people in the workforce today. The hours are long, the work demanding, and more often than not– exhausting. It’s not unusual for a nurse to take close to 1000 steps an hour while doing his/her job. Over the course of a 12-hour shift that comes out to close to 12,000 steps or about 5.5 miles. I think it is safe to say, that is a lot of walking.
But therein lies the question of the hour—what is the best Fitbit for nurses?
I am not one, so I can’t speak from personal experience, but I am lucky enough to know quite a few. By polling some nurses and then taking to the World Wide Web for more data, I would have to say the one I heard the most positive feedback on was the Fitbit Flex 2.
Fitness trackers can now be had as one of many functions common to the average smartwatch. But for the sake of this review, I’ll be sticking to devices that advertise as fitness trackers and not smartwatches. Otherwise, there would simply be way too many options to consider.
But if you are just interested in something that can track your activity without all the bells and whistles common to smartphones, read on.
Best Fitbit for Nurses: Fitbit Flex 2
Fitbit Flex 2 is the most stylish and practical tracker within the Fitbit series; which make it a must-have for those professionals with restrictions on the dress code at work who still need to track their daily activities.
It is having all the main features of the best fitness trackers, including but not limited to:
All Day Activity Tracking
Auto Sleep Tracking & Silent Alarms
Reminders to Move
At one website, 3,718 users left reviews for the Fitbit Flex 2 and gave it an average rating of 3.7 stars (out of five).
At the Dick’s Sporting Goods website, 39 users left a review for the Fitbit Flex 2 and gave it an average rating of 3.6 stars (out of five).
- Completely waterproof: When it comes to fitness trackers, they need to be on in order to do their job. But if you forget it in your pocket after washing your hands or in your locker after a shower, you miss out. But since you don’t have to take the Fitbit Flex 2 off that isn’t an issue.
- Slim Design: The Fitbit Flex 2 is perfect if you are the kind of person that doesn’t like to wear watches or have anything on your wrist that could be distracting to yourself or a patient.
- Good battery life: up to five days depending on how much you use your Fitbit Flex 2.
- No OLED screen: this allows the Fitbit Flex 2 to be waterproof, but it also means you can’t just look down at your device to see what kind of day you’ve been having.
- Heart rate not calculated: this means that your calorie count is going to rely completely on the number of steps your Fitbit Flex 2 registers.
- No GPS capability with the Fitbit Flex 2.
The Bottom Line
This one has no bells and whistles to it. But if you are just interested in the fitness tracker aspect—the Fitbit Flex 2 is perfect. While it may be nice to know how you are doing at different times throughout your shift, the water-proof feature is worth the sacrifice in my opinion. Besides, if you really must know, pull out your phone and check out your data via the app.
I also kind of like that it looks more like a bracelet than a watch. This way, you will not have people always asking you what time it is.
Option One: Fitbit Zip
Fitbit Zip is the best alternative for a discrete way to track the activities during the day. In many cases, nurses have restrictions due to hygiene reasons in hospitals, clinics, and alike; which make the Fitbit Zip the main option for tracking daily activities under those circumstances.
One website had 9,827 reviews for the Fitbit Zip with an average rating of 3.8 stars (out of five).
At Walmart.com, 89 users left reviews for the Fitbit Zip with an average rating of 4.4 stars (out of five).
- Small: The Fitbit Zip is not on a band but is more something you clip on to our clothes. One nurse raved about it because she can clip it to her pants, shirt, bra, shoes, etc. and never miss a step.
- Accurate: It may seem kind of crazy to call the fact that a device does what it is designed to do a ‘pro,’ but many fitness trackers on the market are not that accurate. The Fitbit Zip, however, is.
- Long-lasting battery: advertised at six months; replacement batteries available
- Water Resistant: The Fitbit Zip is designed to withstand sweat, rain, and being splashed on. Since it is not designed to wear on your wrist, you don’t have to worry about washing your hands. Just don’t drop it in a puddle, the toilet, or a cup of water.
- Basic: The Fitbit Zip does not have a ton of bells and whistles to it. It is one of the more basic designs of the fitness tracker niche.
- Size: The small size of the Fitbit Zip makes it easy to wear almost anywhere on your person. But at the same time, it makes it easy to lose.
- Resets at midnight: So, for those working a late-night/graveyard shift, that could be annoying.
- Battery: It is good that the Fitbit Zip battery is supposed to last for months, but it is also nice when all you have to do is plug something into a USB port to charge it.
The Bottom Line
It is also worth noting that several users talked about dealing with customer service and the company in general. For the most part, everyone raved about the company and how it tried to work with you to make sure you were happy with the product.
One user even mentioned that she wrote the company when her Fitbit Zip quit working. Even though the warranty had expired, they sent her a new one.
I’m all about getting things that do what I want. The Fitbit Zip will track your activity level and let you know how many calories you burned while you were wearing it—and not much else. But if that’s all you need, then no big deal, right?
Option Two: Fitbit Charge HR 2
Fitbit Charge 2 provides standout features suitable for nurses with long and high-intensity shifts. It’s ‘Pure Pulse Heart Rate’ helps to monitor heart rate continuously and get a clear picture of your health. In addition, a personalized Cardio Fitness Score will help you have a better understanding of your fitness level.
One website had 16,289 users leave reviews for the Fitbit Charge HR 2with an average rating of 4.2 stars (out of five).
At Walmart.com, 491 users left reviews for the Fitbit Charge HR 2with an average rating of 4.5 stars (out of five).
At the Dick’s Sporting Goods website, 297 users left reviews for the Fitbit Charge HR 2 with an average rating of 4.3 stars (out of five).
- Continuous heart-rate reading: This aspect of the Fitbit Charge HR 2 can be especially nice if you are interested in seeing what your heart rate is in the moment (not after you stop and hit a button on your device.
- Long battery life: the battery in a Fitbit Charge HR 2 can last up to five days. This can be especially nice if you end up working some long shifts for a few days and forget to charge it. Of course, the more you use it, the quicker the battery will deplete.
- Guided breathing feature: I have to admit that I needed to read up on this after seeing it was a feature for the Fitbit Charge HR 2. If you think about it, if your heart rate is going nuts, it can be nice to have something that can help you get it back under control.
- Synching with your phone: To use the GPS features on your Fitbit Charge HR 2, you will have to sync it with your phone which could mean one pocket in your scrubs is going to be pretty weighed down.
- Phone-connected features for the Fitbit Charge HR 2 are limited.
- Not water resistant: that just seems like a bad idea. Why would you not make something that is at least water-resistant? The Fitbit Charge HR 2 is advertised as “splash proof,” but many users cautioned against splashes from washing your hands. But many also said since they knew it wasn’t water-resistant, they’d push it up higher on their arm to avoid the water.
The Bottom Line
I don’t understand why anyone would make a fitness-related electronic product that isn’t at least water-resistant. That part is kind of baffling. Then again, like many users mentioned in their reviews, you can remove it when you wash your hands. Otherwise, the Fitbit Charge HR 2 appears to be a very good – and popular – product among nurses.
Option Three: Fitbit Alta HR
Fitbit Alta HR is one the most complete Fitbit options; in addition to the essential features, it has some standout features that make it suitable for the busy nurses during those endless shifts. In my opinion, the main feature is the SmartTrack™ with Auto Exercise Recognition.
At Walmart.com, 35 users left reviews for the Fitbit Alta HR with an average rating of 4.5 stars (out of five).
At the Dick’s Sporting Goods website, 44 users left a review for the Fitbit Alta HR with an average rating of 4.2 stars (out of five).
Another website saw 3,319 users leave a review for the Fitbit Alta HR. The average rating of 4.1 stars (out of five).
- Slim design: For some people, wearing devices that have large OLED screens on them is not an option. That is also not a problem with the Fitbit Alta HR. They probably hated those calculator watches that were popular in the 1980s as well.
- OLED Screen: for those who desire a slim, less noticeable device but still want to be able to glance down and see how you’re doing, the Fitbit Alta HR is perfect!
- Seven-day battery life: depending on use, of course.
- Customizable appearance: if you don’t like the monochromatic black, there are designer bands available for the Fitbit Alta HR that have a little more ‘personality.’
- Not waterproof: The Fitbit Alta HR is resistant to water (advertised as “rain, sweat, and splash-proof”). But it is always nice when an electronic device can be waterproof.
- No GPS
The Bottom Line
Some Fitbits can feel like you are wearing a TV on your wrist. If you want to monitor your activity without the ‘TV,’ the Fitbit Alta HR is the way to go. You will not be disappointed with this purchase.