What Makes That Fitbit, Fit?

Got petrochemicals?

That’d be yes – if you’re wearing a Fitbit…

…or a Moov Now, a Vivofit (Garmin), a Amazfit Health Band (though that probably means you’re in China) – even an Ava.

Of course, by the time you strap on your Fitbit, the petrochemicals have been turned into something else – elastomer, in this case.  That’s the stuff the Fitibit band is made from, and these days, elastomer (“elastic” + “polymer”) is generally made from petrochemicals.

Don’t kick yourself for not knowing – petrochemicals are the starting point for all sorts of things we use, and wear, every day.  But by the time we buy those running shoes, or fleece, or water bottle – tennis racket or soccer ball or bicycle (just to stay with sports) – those petrochemicals with names like ethylene, propylene and butylene (there are seven of them, altogether) have been turned into polymers.  And polymers are the high tech plastics that, well, make modern life possible.

Elastomer, for instance, is a rubber-like polymer (in fact, sometimes, it actually IS made from rubber.  Not this time though.).  That means it is strong, it is stretchy – and when you stop stretching it, it goes back to its original shape/size – which makes it a good wearable band

(and yeah, it also makes it like…

(Photo from Disney)

…Elastigirl.)

Now probably, that’s enough elastomerology for most people, but if you’re ready to stretch yourself, so to speak – the Elastomer page at the Polymer Science Learning Center has you covered.

But, back to the wearables, that elastomer lets you wear.  Fitbit, you probably know all about already (though the new Alta HR adds heart rate sensors, and thus the “HR”).

Moov Now is a favorite with many runners because you can wear it on your ankle, as well as your wrist.  (Not at the same time though, unless you buy two.)

The Amazfit can keep an e-eye on your heart rate.  If there’s anything abnormal (like atrial fibrillation, if you want to be all Grey’s Anatomy about it), you can use the band to do a quick ECG (electrocardiogram), and the Amazfit sends your results off into the cloud (which allows for getting some advice about what you should do).

And Ava is designed for women.  It goes to work when you go to sleep (so you wear Ava at night) – and it’s busy:  tracking nightly sleep quality and stress levels.  Ava also says that it “is the first product that uses sensor technology to detect the fertile window in real-time” and it also provides useful health information for women who are pregnant.

And all of those wearables, are wearable to begin with, thanks to elastomers (made from petrochemicals) – which is almost as amazing as Elastigirl!

Moov Now is a favorite with many runners because you can wear it on your ankle, as well as your wrist.  (Not at the same time though, unless you buy two.)

The Amazfit can keep an e-eye on your heart rate.  If there’s anything abnormal (like atrial fibrillation, if you want to be all Grey’s Anatomy about it), you can use the band to do a quick ECG (electrocardiogram), and the Amazfit sends your results off into the cloud (which allows for getting some advice about what you should do).

And Ava is designed for women.  It goes to work when you go to sleep (so you wear Ava at night) – and it’s busy:  tracking nightly sleep quality and stress levels.  Ava also says that it “is the first product that uses sensor technology to detect the fertile window in real-time” and it also provides useful health information for women who are pregnant.

And all of those wearables, are wearable to begin with, thanks to elastomers (made from petrochemicals) – which is almost as amazing as Elastigirl!

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