I’ve seen several pieces of coverage recently denouncing fitness trackers, claiming that brands have failed to capture consumer imagination. In addition, the naysayers argue that such devices are becoming redundant and simply thinking a bit more about how much we’re all eating and moving should be quite sufficient.
I think I’m onto my third Fitbit after having a Polar watch and chest strap, which needed constant licking in order to have it stick to your ribcage properly (not an easy task when you’re still wearing it and doing 10kph on a treadmill). Once I moved to Fitbit, I never looked back. My faithful Fitbit friend reminds me to move around every hour and motivates me to do that last ‘X’ amount of steps when I’ve failed to haul myself out of my chair sufficiently throughout the day.
Previously a ‘private user’ of Fitbit (I stay away from the social community side of things, though the ability of this technology to bring people together with a focus on health can only be a good thing) I recently found myself sharing my Fitbit experience with my eight year old daughter.
The daughter, who has legs like a gazelle (she doesn’t get that from me unfortunately), had been selected by her school to run competitively in a regional school’s competition. As such, she asked me if she could join me on my Sunday morning run in order to practice. With phone in hand, we set off around the block… the lovely American man murmuring encouraging words to us on the way and giving us regular updates about how far we’d run in what time. She loved it!
My colleague Carla blogged about fitness trackers earlier, but for me, fitness trackers are like any other technology – aiming to enhance life, make things easier, offer information and make mundane tasks that bit more pleasurable or manageable. Fitness trackers may not be 100% accurate in terms of calorie burn, HR or BMR, but they do offer an opportunity to find a benchmark, set some targets, measure your performance and to track your progress and results over time.
I wear my Fitbit pretty much 24/7 and I can’t imagine doing a gym workout without it. If I couldn’t thumb through the data post-workout, I’d feel wholly unfulfilled. I’d question myself on whether I worked out hard enough and for long enough. As it is, I don’t need to ask these questions of myself as I have all of the answers at the tap of a tiny trusty touchscreen!