Monday, 4 August 2014


My husband surprised me with a Garmin vivofit for my birthday. I did not know what it was so he explained it is a fitness band that counts steps plus does a bunch of other stuff. He assured me all "the ladies" at work love them and felt vivofit was one of the better versions available. 

When I asked why the ladies liked them so much, he said they thought the fitness bands motivated them to be more active. I was skeptical but curious to see if it worked for me.

I have been wearing my Garmin vivofit faithfully for 3 weeks now so am ready to share my thoughts. 

One of my favourite things about the vivofit is the band which is relatively narrow and can be worn comfortably loose. I also love that there are no push buttons on the sides. Push buttons on watches tend to dig into the top of my hand causing a small bruise and callus which has completely healed since switching to the vivofit. I love it.

My husband bought me the basic black band as he felt it goes with everything. That's true but there are some fun colours available in sets of three - purple/teal/blue or black/slate/red for just $25 USD. I must say I'm tempted. It would be nice to have a few choices to coordinate with outfits as I can see the vivofit becoming a permanent fixture on my wrist. 

Surprisingly, the vivofit step tracking really is rather fun. Since I was skeptical and not familiar with the whole fitness band concept I started with the standard goal of 7500 steps per day to see how I measured up. I discovered my relaxing days easily exceed 10,000 steps so I changed my goal to 10,000 which seems to be reasonable. 

Most of my walking is done with our dog. She gets a short walk in the morning, a longer walk after work and often another short walk before bed. I work in an office where I sit at a desk but I do get up regularly to move around. The vivofit displays a red bar after one hour of inactivity to encourage movement. Just a couple minutes of movement will get rid of the red bar. I usually move enough to avoid the red bar warning except when watching a movie or crocheting or blogging. It's nice to have the visual reminder.

This morning, I slept in until 9 a.m. then went straight to my laptop to catch up on Facebook and work on this blog post. My husband brought me coffee so by 10:30 a.m. my vivofit was flashing red with only 11 steps recorded. I took a break to walk the dog and get in 2900 steps at one go.

It's easy to be active with a dog but the vivofit makes me more accountable. I find I've been going further and more regularly just to make sure I surpass my goal of 10,000 steps daily. I'm hoping it helps on extreme weather days when walking outside is less fun. Last winter was particularly cold so we cut short many walks. Now I'll know exactly how far I've gone and how far I need to go to reach my goal. No more lame excuses. 

I think goal setting and accountability are key elements for motivation. Just to be sure, I looked up the definition on Wikipedia.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Motivation is the driving force that causes the flux from desire to will in life.
Motivation has been shown to have roots in physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and social areas. Motivation may be rooted in a basic impulse to optimize well-being, minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure. It can also originate from specific physical needs such as eating, sleeping or resting, and sex.
Motivation is an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner. These inner conditions such as wishes, desires and goals, activate to move in a particular direction in behavior.

The Garmin vivofit does encourage more activity and it should work for almost anybody. Vivofit gives clear, easy to view feedback. Just by clicking one button on your wrist you can cycle through number of steps taken, number of steps to reach your goal or number above your goal, distance, calories, time and date.

I wirelessly sync to Garmin Connect on-line where I can view the data at a glance and track my progress over time. 

I also have a Garmin Edge cycling computer (my birthday gift last year) which tracks my bike rides and provides data on distance, speed and elevation changes. The distance covered on the bike is automatically added to my vivofit walking distance and calorie count. Cycling does not count as steps but my husband tells me I could use the large band around my ankle to count pedal strokes. I haven't tried since I'm not interested in that level of detail.

I would also like to get a Garmin heart rate strap. The vivofit can be used to measure heart rate which I think might be useful for more intense efforts like when I'm biking. Who knows, it might even encourage me to start running again. Motivation indeed.

So do more gadgets equal more Motivation? I think it helps and certainly can't hurt. At the very least, it's fun and gives my brain a bit of a workout figuring out how to use all this fancy technology. I will continue to wear my vivofit and recommend it to anybody who asks.

What about you? Do you have a fitness band or any other gadgets you find particularly motivating or helpful? Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear what motivates you.


  1. Well if nothing else the vivofit is a nice watch, and it has the possibility of providing useful feedback to support healthy behaviour. It's certainly had a positive impact on Beth....

    1. You know me well and have a knack for picking out the perfect gift/gadget. A fun surprise for my birthday.