With the growing problem of obesity, as well as a greater awareness of fitness, it is no wonder that exercise and sports companies are making new products and cashing in. Nike has a large line of fitness products built on positive reinforcement: by giving a person rewards for engaging in fitness, Nike encourages people to keep on staying fit and exercising. This is the reasoning behind the Nike+ Fuelband. But what is the Fuelband, and how effective is it?
The Nike+ Fuelband is a watch and then some. It is powered by an accelerometer that measures the work that you do each day, from sports to dancing, even housework and walking. These measurements are fed into an app, which then tracks at what time of the day you are most active, so that you can see your fitness patterns and therefore know where you can add more fitness into your daily routine.
The Nike+ Fuelband Watch and app work together to track fitness by creating a currency, Nikefuel. Nikefuel is based on the amount of activity that you undertake, and can be used as a means of comparison and competition among friends and family. More activity each day means more Nikefuel rewards. Nikefuel levels are synced through Bluetooth onto an iPhone or iPad, where you can then use the app to check your fitness progress across hours, days, or even weeks and months.
The Fuelband itself keeps records on how many steps you have taken, how many calories you have burned, and how much Nikefuel you have earned.
Nike, the leading fitness and sports company, is behind the creation of the Nike+ Fuelband. The Fuelband is part of a growing list of fitness bands, and is Nike’s answer to other fitness bands already on the market. It was developed by measuring athletes’ activity, oxygen uptake, and calories burned; and then using all this information to create an algorithm that measures activity and translates it into a common currency.
The Nike+ Fuelband site is available on the Nike website and also at Amazon. The Fuelband account is based out of Beaverton, Oregon, also the headquarters of Nike. Nike is also the administrative and technical contact for the domain. The domain will expire in early 2014.
Reviews cite how uncomplicated the Nike+ Fuelband system is, and how attractive the band can appear since it is small and portable. It also encourages competition among friends, which can be a powerful tool for getting into fitness and staying fit. Reviews also cite how easy it is to operate the band, and how the band – which is worn on the wrist – does not get in the way of fitness and can actually look cool instead of bulky and clumsy.
However, the application works only for the iPhone, which can be exclude a large portion of the potential market for the Nike+ Fuelband. Moreover, the Fuelband looks only at overall fitness, so if a person wants to undergo target
training – or really focus on a specific set of muscles, or on just endurance or
resistance training – then the Fuelband might not be as well-suited for the job.
The Nike+ Fuelband is available both online and at brick-and-mortar stores. It costs $149 on the official Nike online store. It comes in white and black, as well as different sizes.