Monday, December 14, 2015

Fitness trackers are no good if you don't use them

I was listening to Tech News Today from December 11, 2015. One of the topics they covered was fitness tech. As I had just included some of those in my recent blog post, I was interested to hear what they had to say. The major point I came away with was, they're not going to do any good, if you don't use them. So, I think it's worth spending a few minutes looking at what might motivate you or a potential fitness tracker as gift recipient to actually use any given tech device to set and meet exercise/fitness goals. This seems important as Americans as a whole seem to be becoming more sedentary and more prone to subsequent health issues. How do we get and stay moving?

So, here are some potential questions to ask:

What would it take for you to add a fitness tracker or other device to your life on a daily basis?

  • Comfort? Some of the guests on Tech News Today complained about the first version of the Microsoft Band feeling like a shackle. That's probably not going to be something you're going to want to wear on a regular basis.
  • Where do you want to wear it? Clip on? Wrist band? Clip ons can be difficult for women who wear a lot of dresses. Where do you clip it? If you clip it on the waist band of jeans, it can fall off. But some people don't like things on their wrists or they work at jobs where a wrist band could get in the way.
  • If you are considering a wrist band, does it work with what you're wearing? That's a nice thing about smart watches with interchangeable watch bands or fitness trackers that can fit into different bands.
  • What kind of information do you want from the device? Just an idea of progress toward your goal? Do you want additional functionality? Heart rate? Time? Notifications? The more info you want or need, the more you're headed into smart watch functionality. Basics can be handled by fitness trackers.
What motivates you?
  • Do you set your own goals and stick to them? Are you self motivated?
  • Do you like awards or celebrations for meeting your goals? One of the things I really liked about Nike Fuel Band was the multi colored lights that would dance across the black band when I reached my goal. I also liked the little guy on the app who would cheer me. Fitness Tracker on Apple Watch gives you awards for meeting your weekly goals. These little motivators are enough to get me to go a little bit further than I would otherwise.
  • Do you do better with social motivation? Fitbit has a lot of users so it's generally pretty easy to put together a group where you can track each other's progress. That can be useful whether you're competitive by nature or just like to know there are others working out too.
Do you use a fitness tracker? If so, which one(s)? What do you like and/or dislike? Any thoughts or recommendations for someone looking to get started or try something different?

No comments: