04
Jul
14

Together, 24/7? The Case of Wearable Fitness Trackers

Unless you do not have any slight care about gadgets, you must have stumbled to at least one of these wearable fitness trackers that flood the market.  After all, just about every manufacturer who can is making these.  But are they really nothing more than niche products, or do they really offer something we have yet realized we need?

One of the recent wearable fitness trackers to arrive in the Philippines: Samsung Gear Fit

Runners are probably the first ones to really embrace wearable fitness devices with the advent of wrist-based GPS devices.  But let’s face it, these devices’ battery life don’t last very long (even with GPS off) so it’s such a chore to be used daily, consistently, to be an effective tracker.  Manufacturers probably realized that not everyone is a fan of big bulky watches that you may have to charge practically every time before use.  And so came these wearable fitness trackers—those devices that come in cute little packages, often with candy colors to choose from.

To some extent, many of these wearable fitness trackers are nothing more than “glamorized” pedometers but some do become like Swiss knives in terms of the number of features packed in such a small package.  The most common “add-on” is a watch but some goes to the extreme of having an optical blood pressure monitor, and even a camera!

Samsung Gear 2: yes, this one has a camera

Trackers, to be effective, must be worn long and often enough to track.  It can’t do its job of tracking if you only wear it a few times a week with minutes or hours at a time and you won’t wear it if you’re always aware that it’s there due to weight or size.  While trackers need not be worn all the time to be useful, some trackers are actually quite comfortable and hardly noticeable that you can wear them practically 24/7!

Personally, I never thought that you can make me wear any device 24/7.  My poison came in the form of Soleus GO.  Yes, I do wear it every day, even as I sleep (because of its sleep pattern monitoring) and even to the showers (it’s water resistant).  In fact, we only get separated during charging, which isn’t that long as it charges fast and it lasts more than a month per charge (with Bluetooth off), and in places that may damage the device (outside “normal” conditions).  I barely notice it’s there so I let it stay there in my wrist while it monitors my steps.  During the day I can gauge how many steps I’ve done so far (towards my daily goal of 10,000 steps) and have a watch ready all the time.

Soleus GO compared to Samsung Gear Fit

So, do we really need another gadget in our lives?  The answer lies within an individual’s preferences.  Some people don’t like anything on them, some people don’t mind.  And of course, it depends if you want it.  These trackers are used to monitor our daily routines because we want to achieve something—usually to improve our fitness level.  They are often too bulky and pricey to be mere watches.  If you realize you want to improve your fitness discreetly, then a wearable fitness tracker is a great tool to start and keep you motivated.  It is not a wonder product that is guaranteed to give results.  It can tell you what you did, some can probably give you suggestions on what to do, but in the end taking that action to reach your goal is up to you!


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