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!