The fitness tracker craze sweeping the campus
Want to be my Fitbit friend?
Fitbit has been making waves on campus, with many students buying wristbands and making the pledge to reach their step goals every day. However, does the chic pedometer really help us lose weight and stay healthy?
Fitbit offers several different types of trackers, and each of them keeps track of your activity, exercise and sleep. The wristband can connect via Bluetooth to an app on your phone where you can see exactly how many steps you’re taking, log your weight and calorie intake and even have challenges with your friends. You can set goals and compete with yourself and others to see if you can reach your objectives.
You’ve probably heard that it is healthy to take at least 10,000 steps per day. Rachael Rettner at Live Science investigated further and found that “studies conducted suggest that people who increased their walking to 10,000 steps daily experience health benefits.
One study found that women who increased their step count to nearly 10,000 steps a day reduced their blood pressure after 24 weeks. Another study of overweight women found that walking 10,000 steps a day improved their glucose levels.”
However, Rettner also found that any quantity of activity more than what you are currently doing is beneficial for your health, even if that means you don’t reach the infamous 10,000.
That’s what makes the Fitbit so great: It keeps you accountable, and it really gets you moving.
Recent graduate Katie Kobashigawa ‘15 says she loves her Fitbit “because the [friend] challenges motivate me to go to the gym instead of watch television!”
On Fitbit’s website, they pose the question, “Why Fitbit?” Their eloquent response: “Unbeatable technology, the largest fitness community, and a family of products fit for everyone.”
Personally, I bought a Fitbit because I wanted an accurate count of my daily steps. If you have an iPhone, you may be aware that the Health app automatically tracks your steps while your phone is on you. But what about when you don’t have your phone on you? When I realized you can have “Fitbit friends” and challenge people you see every day, I became so much more motivated to get my steps in each day.
David Sedaris, writing for The New Yorker, revealed, “I was travelling myself when I got my Fitbit, and because the tingle feels so good, not just as a sensation but also as a mark of accomplishment, I began pacing the airport rather than doing what I normally do, which is sit in the waiting area.”
So why are Fitbits so popular at Pacific?
Engineering major Aimee Mahoney ‘17 is one of the students on campus who joined the craze and enjoys having a Fitbit. She states, “I love it, because it makes me want to achieve my goal of being active, which is 10,000 steps a day. Also, I like being able to track my sleep patterns.”
Perhaps having a Fitbit is one of those style fads that will die out within a year, or maybe Pacific students are actually interested in staying healthy. Whatever the reason, at least for a while students are paying more attention to their health and challenging their friends to do the same!
Of course, the Fitbit is not the only option for fitness tracking. Many other popular styles and models are available, including the Nike Fuelband, Jawbone UP, Lark Life and Striiv Play.
Fitness tracker bands usually cost between $100-200 depending on the model you want to purchase, but the benefits of tracking your activity can boost your confidence and push you to succeed, making the cost ultimately worth it.
So, next time you’re hitting the treadmill at Baun, look around and see how many of your peers are monitoring their exercise — you might be surprised how many fitness bands you see!
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