Fitness Tracker Obsession?

I’ve had a Garmin Vivoactive for about three years and I love it!  I  originally bought it when I was training for the 2015 Chicago Marathon.  I wanted a GPS watch to monitor my running pace.

Because it had other features I could use in the gym, I quickly started using it (along with the chest strap) to monitor my heart rate during my other works.  It may sound nerdy, but I geek out over this stuff and enjoy tracking trends throughout my workout and over time.

They don’t sell the old watch design that I have anymore and it is a lot more bulky than the sleek ones that are on the market now.  Because of the bulky design, I did not wear it throughout the day – only during workouts.  While it has the ability to count steps like other fitness trackers, I just never really used that feature.  It wasn’t necessary for my lifestyle.  I know I get in great workouts, so why do I care how many extra steps I get in during the day?

I continued with that mindset until about two weeks ago.  My company implemented a “step challenge” for all employees.  We divided into teams and are competing with each other to see who can get the most steps in a 10-day period.  So as not to appear to be a slacker, I strapped on my Garmin and have been wearing it all day to get credit for my daily steps.

Having worn it every day for about a week, I can see major pros AND cons to wearing a fitness tracker every day.

PRO: I actually am getting in more steps.  Because I have a competitive nature 😉 I find myself taking the stairs more and taking the long way to get to meetings or use the bathroom just to get more steps in.

CON: I find myself looking at it a lot.  Again, maybe this is just my competitive nature but I would say I am getting borderline obsessed with my step count!

PRO/CON: I’ve realized how little I do actually move outside of my workouts.  Not sure if this is technically a pro or a con, but I am only averaging about 7,000 steps/day.  Again, I know I am a fit individual and work out enough for my body and my goals, but wearing the tracker has made me more aware that sitting at a desk all day is a very sedentary lifestyle.

Overall thoughts?  I’m not planning to keep wearing the Garmin to track my daily steps after the corporate challenge is finished.  I know myself and I have obsessive tendencies, so this would just be another thing to cause unnecessary stress.  I will absolutely continue to use it during my workouts though!

If the tracker works for you, then go for it!  As for me, I’ll stick to going by how I feel.

And in case you were wondering, I averaged 9,285 steps a day over the duration of the challenge.

What do YOU think?  I would love to hear!

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