There is a big buzz about activity trackers right now, and I have to admit that I get the hype. It is so interesting to see a day’s worth of activities narrowed down to data points and plotted on a graph. Data for every step. In a society that seems to be taking less and less care of itself, a device that elicits this sort of close attention seems like a great idea. However, some of the steep price tags and limitations of the devices may be quite unappealing. If you are thinking about joining the masses with activity trackers, consider these pros and cons and then decide if they are right for you!
Con: Facing Reality – I’m serious here–once you get an activity tracker, you are going to be faced with just how little you really walk. Honestly. I spend a lot of time working behind a desk and even though I find an excuse to get up and move a few times an hour, I still make very little progress toward my step goal. This initial discovery may be a little disheartening, but hopefully this accountability will push you in the right direction rather than bum you out.
Pro: Accountability – Especially for the fitness trackers like Fitbit that sync your progress up with your friends, your laziness will be on full display. Let your desire for fitness rise to combat the possibility of your sedentary lifestyle being exposed.
Pro: Range of Investment – I have seen activity trackers for as low as $14 dollars, and as high as a couple hundred dollars. There is a huge difference in what these devices track, though. The more affordable ones may only act as a pedometer while the higher end ones can track things like sleep, heart rate, speed, calories burned, and more. I consider this a pro because you won’t be forced to pay extra for features that you aren’t interested in or won’t use. If you look hard enough, chances are you can find exactly what you are looking for in an activity tracker. The best value for your buck–what’s better than that?
Con: Accuracy (or lack thereof) – Fitness trackers are not entirely accurate. Third party testing has shown time and again that there can be a relatively wide margin of error. This might not be a deal breaker for you, but who knows how advanced these things could get within the next couple of years. It may be worth it to wait on the sidelines while the bugs are worked out. Or, you can look for other sources of monitoring your fitness. If you are only interested in counting steps, find a pedometer app that you like (Argus is a good choice for iPhones and Androids). Studies have shown smartphones are more accurate pedometers than activity trackers anyway.
Con: Exposure – All activity trackers have to be worn on the body to do their job. Most likely you will be sporting your device 12+ hours daily–even longer if you use yours to track sleep. This means that you will be constantly exposing yourself to potentially harmful signals coming off of your technology. These signals can interrupt and slow your body’s natural rhythm and cause negative effect. There is a way to overcome this, though, through biofield remediation. On my smartphone, I use a chunky sticker that has been said to harmonize the radiation off the phone to be compatible as well as beneficial to the human biofield. This is simply checked with Muscle Response Testing (MRT) to see if it is good for you. If your fit bit, or whichever device you pick, affects your MRT, we can improve the effect significantly.
Do you use an activity tracker? What do you think about it?