Are You Still Using Your Fitness Tracker?
Last year it seemed like everyone I know had some sort of fitness tracker attached to their wrist. At work, it started with one of our overly fit co-workers and quickly spread throughout the office. For me, I will never be able to run or exercise like I used to when I was younger. My job is one that I am sitting behind a desk for most of the day which is not a good thing. Everything I read said that you should get up and walk every hour, which I do, but I wanted to know how many steps I take at work. I also wanted to track my daily food, so I joined the tracker wagon and began tracking.
At first, I think you are successful because you are conscious of this thing on your wrist. My tracker has a feature where it beeps at you if you have been sitting too long and a red bar appears, increasing every 15 minutes until it is solid. To get it to go away, you have to walk a certain number of steps, so it sort of motivates you to move. The tracker was also supposed to sync up with my food tracker app. The more steps I took, the more calories I burned, so they were supposed to transfer over to my food tracker. I would enter or scan the food that I ate and it would send those results to my fitness tracker. The idea was good and it worked. Or I should say it mostly worked. I noticed that my fitness tracker would always add one more step and my calories would be one less than what was on my food tracker. Okay, I could live with being 1 step and 1 calorie off.
What happened next was harder to live with. In December, I noticed that my fitness and food trackers were no longer syncing. While some steps were sent to my food tracker, it was usually way off, sometimes by more than 1000 steps. In addition, none of my food calories transferred to my fitness tracker, so it always shows me as not having eaten at all. I tried everything to get them to sync again and nothing worked. The only way to enter the data was to do so manually, which took away the ease of automatic syncing. Troubleshooting online showed me that the problem seemed to be happening to people with every type of fitness tracker, not just mine. It also appeared to have happened after an update with the software for the food tracker. Some tried to blame the phone, but it didn’t matter if you had an Android or iPhone or any other type of phone. It also didn’t work when I tried to sync it from my computer, which told me that there was a bigger issue going on. I later read that my food tracker had launched a fitness tracker. So I think I found the bigger issue. What better way to get people to buy your tracker than convincing them there is something wrong with their current one?
So, the question for me was what was more important, tracking my steps or tracking my food. And since I will never be the athlete that needs to monitor every aspect of their body for maximum athletic knowledge…makes me laugh just typing that…I have decided that I will track my food. So I have taken off my fitness tracker and put it away. If I want to count steps again, I will go back to the old-fashioned pedometer. After all, my hi-tech one didn’t track when I waved my hand, which I noticed happened with my other one. And since I tend to speak with my hands a lot, my total steps for the day were increased from that alone, so I really wasn’t getting an accurate count anyway. I noticed that a few of my co-workers have stopped wearing their trackers as well. They all have a variety of reasons as to why, but the one thing I’ve observed is that we are all still trying to get fit. It just doesn’t seem as if the tracker is the right thing to help us along the way.