Having severe laryngopharyngeal reflux, esophagitis, and gastritis put one at risk for stomach and esophageal cancer. Therefore, maintaining ones health is imperative to slowing or reversing the damage. Physical fitness is an important factor in recovery and coping, and using a fitness or activity tracker can help make things fun.
This author purchased the Fitbit Charge HR for the following features: continuous heart rate monitor, automatic sleep tracking, Apple app tracking, automatic syncing, and calorie burn. That little device was amazing. It was purchased on a Friday and used that evening through that Sunday morning. This author even purchased the Fitbit Aria WiFi scale to integrate weight changes with fitness tracking.
There were a few flaws experienced with the device. It did not properly count all flights of stairs or steps taken. That was overlooked, because of the other device features. Having insomnia, the Fitbit Charge HR created a graph of the author’s restlessness during sleep. Oddly, it counted steps during her sleep cycle, and there is no indication of her ever having suffered sleepwalking.
Around Saturday, she started noticing pain. The device was uncomfortable to wear. It was not as flexible or shapely as other devices. By Sunday morning, the author’s hand had swollen very badly, she was unable to move her hand. Immediately she removed the device.
The swelling started dissipating by that Saturday (approximately seven days). The point of contact on her arm was still sore. That Sunday, she tried the device once more during a workout. One hour fifteen minutes later, her arm could no longer bear to suffer. Her hand swelled more quickly the second time, and the pain radiated down to her elbow and up through her hand and fingers. Considering her profession consists of 90% typing, she determined she could no longer ever use the Fitbit Charge HR.
Best Buy was not helpful given that it was only a week. They refused to return the device due to it having been used. They did not seem to care about the medical problem. The author contacted Fitbit who said she was the first person to complain of such a reaction with respect to the Fitbit Charge HR.
The model’s predecessor, the Fitbit Force was “voluntarily” recalled due to similar reactions. As the author has metal allergies, the metal would have blistered and eroded her skin into an infection. However, this was not her typical reaction to metal.
The Fitbit Charge HR may have a metal other than surgical steel as surgical steel is tolerable on clothing and watches. Then there is latex. However, the Fitbit Charge HR strap or watch band does not contain latex. The pain centered around the point of contact with the sensor. The only other thing that could have possibly affected her arm was the LED heart rate sensor.
Fitbit was made aware of this issue through this author. It must be reiterated that the Fitbit Charge HR is a great device. If you have sensitive skin, please be careful when using the Fitbit Charge HR. If you or anyone you know has experienced a reaction to the Fitbit Charge, Charge HR, or Surge, contact Fitbit immediately.
Overall product rating: 3/5. The mediocre rating is due to the author’s allergic reaction to the device.
DISCLAIMER: This device was purchased by the author herself. This review was in no way whatsoever influenced by anyone other than the author. The image used in this article was obtained from Wareable.com. This article was updated 12/02/2015 to correct the spelling of the company from “FitBit” to “Fitbit.”