Top 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy a Fitness Tracker
The Ubiquity of the Band
Sometimes it seems like everyone is wearing a fitness tracker. You see those ubiquitous bands on every wrist, and their owners are constantly yammering on about their steps and their sleep quality.
They’re always sharing their fitness app screen caps on social media, passive-aggressively asking for virtual pats on the back.
But does anyone really care? And, do you really want to be part of the tracking madness?
If you answered no to that last question, well, who can blame you? And if you’re not convinced, read on.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you shouldn’t buy a fitness tracker.
1. You can get in shape without a device
Want to get fit?
Wake up early and go for a run. Take a yoga class. Get a set of kettle bells and start swinging. Dust off your bike and ride it. Just get off your a.. ahem, couch! And for the love of all things healthy, don’t eat a Hot Fudge Sundae every afternoon for a snack!
You can do all of these things without a rubber band strapped to your wrist.
There: I just saved you £50 or more. You’re welcome! Leave a like!
2. Trackers may not be entirely accurate
This is especially the case when it comes to calories burned. Fitness trackers rely on basic information like your age, height, and weight to determine how many calories you’re expending, but unless you have an advanced (and therefore expensive) tracker that measures things like heart rate and what type of exercise you’re doing, you may not be getting a true reading.
Plus, no tracker can measure your metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn when you’re not moving, which is also a factor in accurately measuring calorie data.
for the love of all things healthy, don’t eat a Hot Fudge Sundae every afternoon for a snack!
3. The fitness trackers that you wear on your wrist are ugly
No matter how many colours or patterns there are to choose from, there’s no getting around the fact that you look like you’re wearing a rubber band on your wrist. A very expensive rubber band, but a rubber band nonetheless.
“But rubber wristbands are popular for promoting important causes,” you protest! Yes, and if you’re a teenager, go ahead and wear a dozen of them.
But if you’re a self-respecting adult, there’s really no good way to justify wearing an ugly fitness tracker with your work attire…or even worse, with formal attire.
4. The fitness trackers that you slip in a pocket are easy to lose
…or run through the washing machine. Not all fitness trackers are worn on the wrist. Models like the Withings O2, the Fitbit One, the Jawbone UP Move, and a few others are small enough to go in your pocket.
The problem is, you forget about them, and you don’t notice when they accidentally fall out. Or, you throw your pants in the washer and forget that you’ve got a £50 device in them that unless it’s a waterproof tracker it will soon be the worst paperweight you’ve ever owned.
Also, how can you be sure that you never put it somewhere and forget where you left it?
unless it’s a waterproof tracker it will soon be the worst paperweight you’ve ever owned.
5. You already own a smartphone
Your smartphone will do most of what a fitness tracker can do, and you already own it. Want to see how far you’ve run? Try using an app like MyFitnessPal, Strava, RunKeeper, or another fitness tracking app.
Most will give you basic info like distance, time, calories, and pace for free, and they can all be used in conjunction with your iTunes playlists.
Or, if you use a fitness tracker for the sleep tracking capabilities, try an app like Sleep Cycle for iOS, which costs £.79, or Sleep Bot for Android, which is free.
Your smartphone will do most of what a fitness tracker can do
6. Choose a Smartwatch instead
If you’re going to drop some money on an advanced wearable, spend the extra 40 quid and get yourself a smartwatch. A Smartwatch is much more practical than a fitness tracker.
It will track all of the same data, it will sync with your smartphone, and it will look a heck of a lot nicer than a silicone band.
7. The tracker won’t stay with you forever
One third of people who buy a fitness tracker quit using it within six months. This startling factoid is from to a recent article in The Atlantic Monthly, which cited data from a study by the PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute. Also in the article: among wearable owners, only 10% wear theirs every day.
8. You become one of those fitness tracker people
In other words, you let your fitness tracker define who you are a person. You show off your stats on your Facebook page and your Twitter feed.
You seek out other fitness tracker users and have overly involved conversations about your steps and your goals.
You gleefully squeal when you get that buzz on your wrist telling you that yes, you’ve made it to 10,000 steps today.
In other words, you become sort of annoying.
9. Fitness trackers make things way too complicated
We’re bombarded with data everywhere we look.
Do we really need so much data about how we move? Do we need line graphs and pie charts to figure out how to be healthy? When did fitness become so involved?
If you want to be fit, let me recommend this simple, two-part plan: move more, eat less.
It’s easy, and you’ll never have to read points plotted on x and y axes.
10. When you use a fitness tracker, you become a slave to the data
Similar to the “If you build it, they will come” ethos, if you’ve got a fitness tracker, you’ll constantly check the corresponding app to see your stats.
And, if you go out for a walk and forget to strap on your tracker, you panic, which begs the question: if you take steps without wearing your fitness tracker, did you really take them?
Spoiler: The answer is yes. The tracker doesn’t matter.
Just Say No
If you’re already obsessed with your fitness tracker, well, it’s too late for you. And if your fitness tracker is languishing on your night table with a dead battery and a clasp that hasn’t been closed in weeks, you’re probably nodding along with every item on this list.
But if you don’t already own a fitness tracker? And you’re thinking about buying one?
Please: stop. Save yourself…before it’s too late. You don’t need a fitness tracker.
Spend your money on something better, take your health into your own hands, and stay out of the fitness tracking insanity.
You’ll be glad you did. Case closed.
/satire mode off
Not convinced? Then at least, choose a good one.
See recommended fitness trackers on Amazon
Fitbit Charge 2
Garmin Vivosmart HR+
Misfit Shine 2
Xiaomi Mi Band 2