How to achieve the per­fect score on your Fit­bit gad­get

The Sunday Guardian - - Artbeat -

Many folk stupidly spend their lives try­ing to im­press other peo­ple, when what they should re­ally be do­ing, of course, is try­ing to im­press their step­coun­ters.

Smart­phone health apps and Fit­bit-style wrist­bands not only mon­i­tor your ac­tiv­ity level but con­stantly en­cour­age you to post it on the In­ter­net for the world to see.

So of course, peo­ple be­come com­pet­i­tive about never let­ting a sin­gle step go un­counted. In an In­ter­net dis­cus­sion, a reader from Mum­bai lamented, “I lost my Fit­bit so now I can’t move.”

If you are a step­count­ing ad­dict, here are four ways to boost your score. 1) Put your Fit­bit in your child’s pocket and then feed him or her a sug­ary snack. 2) Ev­ery time you hear mu­sic, in­dulge your in­ner Baren­boim by con­duct­ing it. 3) Hang the thing on your dog’s col­lar and send it out for a run around the park. 4) Get a lad­der and hang your Fit­bit from the ceil­ing fan.

Most at­trac­tive ad­vice I ever got was this: If you eat three meals a day at buf­fet-style restau­rants, your Fit­bit will think you are an ex­er­cise nut. Now THAT’S an ex­er­cise pro­gramme I could re­ally go for.

The lead­ers on these web­site health pages are record­ing 80,000 steps a day each—which is pretty im­pres­sive, since run­ning an en­tire marathon only gets you about 45,000 steps.

How do you achieve those kinds of scores? I got in­ter­ested in this af­ter a reader wrote to me about a restau­rant in Harbin, China, which pro­vides “fool your step counter” gad­gets to cus­tomers. You stick your phone or Fit­bit or pe­dome­ter into a lit­tle cra­dle which swings it around while you eat, drink and sleep.

On Chi­nese web-shop­ping pages, there are now hun­dreds of these de­vices for sale.

Now I know what you’re think­ing: Why fool a de­vice that makes you health­ier? What if you are not a stupid, im­moral ego­tist who hates ex­er­cise? (Such peo­ple ex­ist, allegedly.)

Well, some folk jus­tify cheat­ing with spe­cific ar­gu­ments. “Some health in­surance firms of­fer a dis­count for ac­tive peo­ple who can prove they walk 10,000 steps a day,” said reader Derya Bey. “And some schools in China re­quire a min­i­mum amount of ac­tive move­ment ev­ery day from each stu­dent.”

The al­ter­na­tive, of course, is to ac­tu­ally do some ex­er­cise, and some peo­ple need to. One rather over­weight male friend of this colum­nist, re­fer­ring to Ja­panese elec­tronic pets, com­mented, “Step-coun­ters are like Ta­m­agotchis, only the stupid crea­ture you have to keep alive is your­self.”

And then of course, there are the peo­ple who get high scores by ac­ci­dent. I know of one wo­man who ac­ci­den­tally put her step-counter through a wash­ing ma­chine and drier and it cred­ited her with climb­ing 84 flights of stairs that day.

Warn­ing: Use health apps too much and your brain starts to per­ceive them as judg­men­tal fin­ger-point­ers. One col­league got such a low score one day that she faked an ill­ness and went to bed early so her Fit­bit wouldn’t judge her.

Reader, you don’t want to get into that sort of sit­u­a­tion. I hope you’ll be sen­si­ble about your use of health apps.

In which case, I’ll see you at the buf­fet ta­ble! IANS

How do you achieve those kinds of scores? I got in­ter­ested in this af­ter a reader wrote to me about a restau­rant in Harbin, China, which pro­vides “fool your step counter” gad­gets to cus­tomers. You stick your phone or Fit­bit or pe­dome­ter into a lit­tle cra­dle which swings it around while you eat, drink and sleep.

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