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The Problem with Digital Fitness Trackers

fitness tracker

So this is probably a very unpopular opinion, as many of my friends use a Fitbit, Apple Watch, etc. I do not like Fitness Trackers. I’ll be in a dark room for spin class and suddenly see something light up. Maybe someone met their hear rate goal or calorie goal, I’m not really sure. But it’s distracted me. I also am not the epitome of a fitness guru by any means, but my goals are usually to attend a fitness class as many days a week as I can.  

I do know that people have goals whether it be calories, heart rate, or beating a certain time goal. However, I think there are other options to track your goals. There are a few reasons why I don’t like these gadgets:  

1. They are distracting, not only for other people, but for you. Please stop paying attention to the device and focus on what you’re doing. You know if you’re pushing yourself, you know the number of reps you can do. A tiny device isn’t going to know that yesterday you did 20 push-ups but today you did 25, but YOU know that. You can keep yourself accountable.

2. It can cause MORE stress rather than reduce stress, which is what exercise is supposed to do. I recently listened to David Sedaris’ Calypso and he became addicted to his Fitbit and let it dictate his life for a period of time. I know he’s not alone. He actually he told his partner, “…his Fitbit told him he can do better…” When the Fitbit first came out, I watched one of my best friends walk around her sister’s living room at 9:00 p.m. with a glass of wine trying to get to her 10,000 steps. The stress of trying to keep your digital friend happy is not worth it. You know if you took the stairs, walked, took a class, ran. You can keep yourself accountable.

3. You are basically wearing a cell phone on your body (maybe not the equivalent of the a cell phone but still) the majority of the day. If you already are wearing a blue tooth device, plus have your actual cell phone on you, that’s a lot of unnecessary radiation on your body. Also, with the device that monitors your sleep, that means you’re wearing it for over 24 hours. Please see number 2, because now people are getting stressed that they don’t sleep properly to impress the gadget. If you have any concerns about sleep apnea or other sleep issues, please see a doctor or specialist and set up a proper sleep study. You can keep yourself accountable.

While I know this is an unpopular opinion, I don’t want anyone to think they shouldn’t be active. Be active and healthy! However, mental health is being healthy too, don’t stress yourself out for a virtual trainer. Be proud of the activity you’ve done for the day, use an app or notebook where you can just input your distance/time/reps to track your goals. Also, keep the “waves” off your body for a bit. I think we use them enough day-to-day. 

And, if you didn’t realize it, YOU can keep yourself accountable!

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One Response to The Problem with Digital Fitness Trackers

  1. Elysa Cruse
    Elysa Cruse January 10, 2020 at 8:36 PM #

    I very much agree with you. I wrote a FCMB post a few years ago about my concerns with people being overly fixated with hitting 10k a day but you brought up so many other great points

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