The health and fitness market continues to grow around the world, with technology getting smaller and smarter. Black and Stone has a product called the BodyMedia FIT which monitors a lot more than just steps.

Unlike similar products like the FitBit Zip, the BodyMedia FIT is a wearable system that straps around your upper arm, pressed firmly onto your skin to monitor movement, sweat, temperature and heat loss.

The unit itself is not the smallest in the world, sitting around 3cm x 3cm and measuring 1cm thick. It’s curved to fit around your arm and has a built in adjustable velcro strap to keep it in place.

On its own it’s a dead weight on your arm, but it comes to life when you remove the strap and plug it into your PC via USB and synchronise with the online activity manager.

With daily and ongoing reports of calories burned, physical activity, steps taken and more, you’ll get a complete picture of your fitness levels at a glance.

You can also download a free app for your iPhone and Android smartphone to monitor your Activity Manager – but remember, it’s not real-time from the device – it’s just downloading whatever data you have synchronised.

The key to the online activity manager is the goal setting that comes when you register your account. The important aspect of this is that it’s not all about losing weight, the BodyMedia FIT also has basic settings for maintaining your weight, or if weight loss is the target you can set a stretch goal with a light pace of activity to start. We all know that suddenly taking on a huge amount of exercise will almost always end in giving up somewhere along the way – so ease yourself into it.

Crucially, the BodyMedia FIT activity manager works on a calories burned vs calories consumed basis. This is the basic concept for any weight loss, so for real results keeping tabs on your calorie count will be the key.

There is an optional wearable display which can clip to your waist or even just slip in your pocket. This mini display gives you quick real time access to the data being collected on your arm monitor. For inspiration and progress monitoring it really is a required part of the package.

BodyMedia FIT is available at Harvey Norman stores across Australia and starts at $229, including three months free access to the BodyMedia on-line Activity Manager.

At US$6.95 per month, you’ll want to be sure you’re going to be getting the most from the activity manager before committing to this subscription style model