Fitbits – what’s all the fuss about?

Helen R: I am not a fan of Fitbits. Never have been. I just don’t get what all the fuss is about. So on Saturday, at a family barbecue, I found myself looking at my niece’s Fitbit and exclaiming –

I hate Fitbits. Hate them with a passion. Why anyone would choose to buy one and wear one is beyond me!

Which was probably a bit rude (so I then had to message her later to apologise for my outburst…). Therefore, in a far more measured way, let me explain why I hate Fitbits.

  1. I am not motivated by statistics: I do not need to know how many steps I have walked to know if I have done enough exercise that day. When I run, I do the best I can on that day and do not push myself to keep attaining that elusive personal best.
  2. The statistics seem unreliable: Now that would drive me really mad. If you’re going to rely on statistics to motivate you, then at least you have to be sure they’re accurate. I go out running with people wearing Fitbits. They all do the same run at the same speed – and get completely different results! What is the point of that?
  3. People end up cheating: Walking in circles around the bedroom; taking credit when the Fitbit tells you you’ve been on a bike ride when you have not; even just lifting your arm up and down for ten minutes while not even leaving your chair…what is the point?
  4. I’d rather spend the money on something else: like six months gym membership or a series of yoga sessions. Actually on exercise.
  5. I’d rather wear pretty things: and not an ugly piece of plastic that does not match my clothing. I’d rather wear bracelets and watches and not something that looks like an electronic tag.
  6. They’re just a fad: an expensive fad. And if something becomes the must-have thing, it makes me not want it all the more.
  7. They encourage comparison and competition: Both of which I hate. With a passion. I believe in self-motivation. About encouraging each other, yes. But not discouraging ourselves and setting ourselves up for failure every time we exercise.
  8. They’re too prescriptive: Your Fitbit doesn’t know you. It cannot know what makes you tick and what is best for you as an individual. There’s a’one size fits all’ approach that doesn’t take into account any personal details that actually affect what exercise we need that day and how well we will ‘perform’.
  9. They draw attention to your fitness plan: It’s like ‘Look at me! I have a Fitbit! I’m fit. I’m healthy. How guilty do you feel now?’ I don’t need that. I want people to look at my face and my posture and my health and know that I exercise – actually, I’m not even sure I want that. I just want to feel good and maybe even look good as a result.
  10. I’m just not a fan of gadgets: Life is short enough without another gadget to deal with. I can’t get my head round using one. I don’t want to. I don’t even use my phone to record runs etc. When I run, I don’t even take a phone. Or a watch. I am free from all that.27-6a

So that’s me. Enough said. Probably more than enough said. I’ll never mention Fitbits again. Now it’s over to you, Helen H…

Helen H: I am a fan.  Not as passionately as Helen R isn’t. I don’t really understand how she can be so against it but hey ho.  I don’t have a like for like argument.

Yes I fell into the trap, followed the trend and I don’t have an issue with that.  I didn’t buy something I didn’t really want or need.  I bought it because it fitted and matched the needs I had.  I don’t do much exercise. I don’t go to the gym so am aware that my fitness levels are quite low.  I do however walk to and from school everyday and now I can see how far that is. And while I’m sure there are people who cheat to get their numbers up, I never have. I’m really not that bothered.  Surely sitting in a coffee shop having coffee and cake after the gym is the same thing? What’s the point?

One of my main reasons for getting it was to check my sleep patterns.  I am quite a restless sleeper and I like being able to see the difference in my sleep and how it reflects on the following day.  I also quite like being able to see what my heart was up to while I was treking up that big hill or cycling that 10 miles.

I don’t live my life by my fitbit, I don’t compete with myself.  It is simply there. It goes with me everyday and every now and then I check it to see what’s what. I do not shout about what I have or haven’t done and I don’t compare with anyone else.  I do not feel governed by it and I do not need other people to like it or agree with me.


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