The BodyBugg is a simple device that you wear on your person at all times that monitors the amount of calorie burning you do throughout the day. By measuring your overall movements and intensity levels, bodybugg claims to register over 92% of all your calories used. This means that the walks around the office, to and from the bus stop and everything in between gets counted towards your calorie output. Originally released in 2005, the Bodybugg v3 was released in 2008 with a much smaller and sleeker armband.
The idea behind the Bodybugg is simple: in order to lose weight, you need to take in less calories than you put out. By keeping a constant measurement on the amount of calories you're expending, you can know how many calories you can take in.
The Bodybugg uses 4 main features to keep track of your activities (it's much more than just a pedometer).
- Accelerometer - a two-axis micro-electro-mechanical sensor that measures motion
- Heat flux - a sensor measures how much heat the person's body is giving off
- Galvanic Skin Response - measures electrical current across the skin, essentially this aspect is measuring how much you sweat
- Skin temperature - tracking a person's core body temperature gives the Bodybugg an indication of how much physical exertion the person is doing
The Bodybugg aims to be a complete fitness program by including a web-based aspect to the product. This part includes the downloading of your daily caloric outputs from the device as well as the wearer inputting the foods they ate throughout the day. They have an extensive database of foods available so you don't need to know the calories of each thing eaten, simply inputting the name will get translated into calories. The program then gives you a daily calorie deficit or surplus so you know if you're on track with your weight loss goals. The price of the Bodybugg includes a 3-month subscription to the web program as well as 2 phone sessions with a weightloss coach.
Note: for people inclined to doing more rigorous activity as part of their weightloss program, the Bodybugg might not provide results as accurate as a heart rate monitor, see the Polar F55 for a good option. See also the Omron HJ-720ITC for an accurate pedometer + data upload option at 1/10th the price.
The Bodybugg has become an integral part to the show "The Biggest Loser" on NBC. It has been featured prominently as part of 24-hour Fitness' advertising on the program. The show does not typically go into the details of contestants' interactions with the device, although you see them wearing it throughout the episodes.