I’m the most obsessive person I know.
This is good when it comes to health and fitness. Need to lose weight, get into shape, beat diabetes? Piece of cake. (Or no cake, more to the point.) But this obsessiveness is less endearing when it comes to my Fitbit.
Tara got me one last September on our anniversary, and I’ve worn it religiously ever since. It’s a great motivational tool and, along with MyFitnessPal, has been instrumental in keeping me on track with my health goals. But there have been several times where I’ve checked my Fitbit right before going to bed, found I’ve accumulated something like 9,872 steps, and then begun pacing back and forth between the living room, kitchen, and bedroom – making three, four, or five circuits – while Tara is rolling her eyes at me (I can hear her doing this, I swear!) – all in an effort to reach my daily goal of 10,000 steps. I live for the congratulatory wrist vibration when that happens. I should point out that I don’t always hit 10,000 steps, but I do more often than don’t, and when I’m that close I’ll be damned if I don’t put in a little extra effort to get there.
Earlier this week, Fitbit added a new feature: hourly step tracking. Their blog explains it thusly:
Fitbit® data scientists crunched some numbers recently and discovered some users aren’t moving for prolonged periods throughout the day—on average, those periods can last for 90 minutes, and over the span of one day they add up to more than 7 sedentary hours per day. Cumulative sitting has been linked to an increased risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.Thankfully, walking for a few minutes every hour has been shown to reduce the negative impacts of sitting.
Those Fitbit data scientists (is that really somebody’s job title?) have figured out that taking 250 steps an hour can reduce your risk of obesity, cancer, depression, and a bunch of other really scary diseases, and you can now set and track this goal on your device. It also shows you your stationary time, even more incentive to get up off your ass! This is all fine and good, but when you’re a self-proclaimed obsessive type like me, it means you suddenly find yourself getting up from your desk and taking a walk around the block once an hour, every hour, all day long.
Because the Fitbit is worn on the wrist, it counts hand movements as steps. This means I could just break into applause for thirty seconds if I’m within spitting distance of that magic number, which is every bit as effective. I crushed my daily step goal after the Springsteen concert a couple of weeks ago. Hey, The Boss put on a great show! And he played for 3.5 hours. No wonder I hit 15,000 steps that day.
But that’s cheating. No can do.
One day a couple of weeks ago I was petting my cat when my wrist vibrated. Funny that I reached my goal while lying on the living room floor. I think maybe those Fitbit data scientists have a little more fine-tuning to take care of.
We watched the final episode of The People Vs. OJ Simpson the other night. Spoiler alert: he was found Not Guilty. Crazy as it was, I was hoping that through some miracle of television, or a rip in the fabric of space and time, the jury might come back with the correct verdict this time.
But it was still riveting. Loved the series, loved the casting (the likenesses of everybody from Marcia Clark and Johnnie Cochran to Fred Goldman and Lance Ito were downright uncanny), loved the storytelling. It was way better than I expected it to be. Here’s an excellent review that sums up all the important takeaways.
Now that it’s over, though – what am I supposed to do with myself?!
Never mind. I know. I’ll take another walk around the block.
Gotta reach that step goal, you know…