Wearable Fitness Tracker Uses Gentle Shaming as Motivation

vivofit wearable fitness tracker

We’ve seen a lot of wearable fitness trackers over the years, each with their own way to entice you to move more: earning points to play games, competing with friends, or just beating your own personal record. However, most rely on you to provide the ambition to get up and move in the first place. The Garmin Vivofit is designed to actually get you up and doing some regular exercise by reminding (shaming?) you into moving around every hour.

garmin vivofit fitness tracker

As scientists have been telling us recently, prolonged sitting is a killer. Spending all day at a desk can reduce fat-burning enzymes in your body, creating the dreaded “Office Butt.” The Vivofit is a wearable wrist-mounted device that gives you a goal for the amount of steps you should take that day. It monitors your activity, heart rate, and calories you’ve burned, then adjusts your goal as necessary.

motivating garmin vivofit

But the main feature that sets the Vivofit apart from other fitness trackers is its inactivity alert. After you’ve been stationary for an hour, a red light appears on the wrist display. For every additional 15 minutes that you stay seated, more red bars pop up. It doesn’t emit an embarrassing sound – but you know it’s there, and something about human psychology just makes you want to defeat the device and make the red bar disappear. When you get up and move around for a while, the red light goes off and you can give yourself a pat on the back for staving off laziness-induced death for a while longer.

vivofit app stats

The battery in the Vivo is able to run for over a year without a single charge, which is a huge benefit over other trackers that have to be charged daily. Garmin offers several colors of interchangeable wrist bands; if you get tired of one, you pop the Vivo out and put it into a different band. The device syncs with your smartphone over Bluetooth, letting you track your progress and change up your routine when necessary.

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See more in Medical Marvels or under Science. March, 2014.