Fitness trackers- a lot of people have one, and even more want ’em. From conversations between classes to group texts among family members, only one aspect about them gets bought up on a regular basis:
“I have GOT to get my steps in.”
Of course, increasing the amount of steps you take each day does contribute to living a healthier lifestyle. But have we become infatuated with the idea of reaching an arbitrary number while ignoring all the other information a fitness tracker provides?
Let’s take a look at all the data one of the most popular fitness trackers, the Fitbit HR, provides:
From a fitness perspective, the day below is near perfect one. What most is the amount of steps taken (over 17,000). However, take a closer look and you’ll see much more data that is equally as important as steps taken.
Stats such as total active minutes, sleep duration, and resting heart rate are all important indicators in determining the health of any individual. Combine this with the ability to track food intake, weight loss, and hourly activity, it is clear that most users of fitness trackers are underestimating the value of their devices.
One unique feature of using a FitBit is the ability to “compete” in challenges with friends and family. Unsurprisingly, the only statistic taken into account in determining who wins these competitions are of course, steps taken. Why not include competitions based on who can have the most total active minutes? Or who can get a good night’s sleep ? Or even a long-term competition that measures who has the lowest resting heart rate?
Let’s stop using fitness trackers as a novelty fad and start harnessing all the information they provide in order to make healthy changes to our lives.