The Dark Side of Your Fitbit And Fitness App DocNews

1428230715893.cachedWhen David Sedaris purchased his Fibit last summer, this small piece of technology inspired him to walk after dinner instead of sitting on the couch. When his Fitbit died, however, walking became pointless without the steps being counted or measured. Sound familiar?

Two hours on the row machine, like Frank Underwood does, will not cancel out the pizza you ate during your House of Cards binge.

I equate using a fitness tracker or food calorie tracker as a marker of dishonesty with ourselves. We are missing a pivotal step: self-reflection. It’s really easy to buy a Nike Fuel band and wear it. It’s much harder, however, to get deep with yourself.

Fitness apps are a flawed, abbreviated version of this self-reflection process. They focus too much on the number of steps, calories, or distance traveled. Fitness tracking devices distract us from what really needs to happen: we need to look at ourselves naked in the mirror and have an honest conversation with our naked self about the status of our health. From a weight-loss standpoint, it’s critical. Then let’s unplug the TV, peel ourselves off the couch (if not get rid of both the TV and couch), and buy a few free weights and a yoga mat before throwing down for a fitness tracker. The cost is about the same, but the impacts couldn’t be more different.

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