Fitness tracking technology is a great way to both stay motivated to get enough exercise, and track how well you’re doing. However, I think we all know a few people who take their fitness tracking to an extreme; doing anything in the name of adding extra steps to their daily count. Maybe they walk to the restroom more times than absolutely necessary or pace while brushing their teeth. Perhaps they always take the long way on a walk – no matter how much extra time it adds (or how late it makes their kids for school).
Using a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit, can drive people a little crazy about tracking their activity. Writer David Sedaris takes an entertaining look at the obsession created by Fitbits in this article for The New Yorker.
“‘Every little bit helps,’ my old friend Dawn, who frequently eats lunch while hula-hooping and has been known to visit her local Y three times a day, said. She had a Fitbit as well, and swore by it. Others I met weren’t quite so taken…To people like Dawn and me, people who are obsessive to begin with, the Fitbit is a digital trainer, perpetually egging us on. During the first few weeks that I had it, I’d return to my hotel at the end of the day, and when I discovered that I’d taken a total of, say, twelve thousand steps, I’d go out for another three thousand.”
“I look back on the days I averaged only thirty thousand steps, and think, ‘Honestly, how lazy can you get?’ When I hit thirty-five thousand steps a day, Fitbit sent me an e-badge, and then one for forty thousand, and forty-five thousand. Now I’m up to sixty thousand, which is twenty-five and a half miles…At the end of my first sixty-thousand-step day, I staggered home with my flashlight knowing that I’d advance to sixty-five thousand, and that there will be no end to it until my feet snap off at the ankles. Then it’ll just be my jagged bones stabbing into the soft ground. Why is it some people can manage a think like a Fitbit, while others go off the rails and allow it to rule, and perhaps even ruin, their lives?”
If you or your friends start to exhibit any of the “obsessive” or strange behaviors described in the above mentioned article, it may be time to take off the fitness tracker and (pun intended) walk away.
Quotes taken from The New Yorker
June 23rd, 2014