The Streak

As you may be aware, I became a convert to the world of wearable technology in the early part of 2016 with the Fitbit Charge and counting my steps. I am under no illusions – counting my steps isn’t the most accurate way of measuring my activity level, but it is a fun way of looking at how much walking I do. And Frank benefits greatly, with my begrudgingly heading out at night whatever the weather to get my 7000 steps for that day.

7000 steps doesn’t seem that much when you think about it – the target the Fitbit defaults to is the suggested amount from the US Heart Association of 10000 but with my HTC and it’s Fitbit counter I was never getting even close to 10k a day, which makes sense – I spend about six hours every single day sitting down at my desk which is great for listening to music and the longevity of my work shoes but not so good for getting my steps target. On a normal day of sitting down I’ll get home after work at 5pm with a total of around 3k steps, needing a good 4k for meet the target.

There are a few ways to make sure I do get the target – a 25 minute walk around the science park loop gets me 2.5k which is a nice wee boost. Joni, on the other hand, is a big boost – if I am at home on the weekend or in the week I’ll have about 4k by lunch time just from walking around the house making breakfast and playing with her. The real fun is being surprised when the Fitbit vibrates.

It is funny actually how the number rules me now – since the 20th January up until the publishing of the post, I have managed to meet my target every single day. That is a streak of 70 days. I can’t let that ever break now – one of the things that has made me ruled by this streak is that I can’t let it break without some serious reason. I was sick last week, but I still made it. I was busy all day at work, but I still made it. I mean, I’ve made it by a few hundred steps (which is within the margin for error on the Fitbit) but each time I’ve gotten that wee star to show I made it.

From the 7th of January to today I’ve taken just under 700k steps. A daily average of 7.7k over that period. That covers almost the whole time I’ve had the pure Fitbit (I think). My record for steps was just this past Monday when I took Joni and Frank on a long walk around the local area, clocking in 16k steps. My Fitbit app recorded a total of 19k steps when we were in Paris, but I’m sure it would have been a lot more with the always-on tracker I have now.

See what gamification has done to me? I’m a slave to the numbers. And now, even more so, Frank too – he gets antsy when he doesn’t get his steps in too. His walks have become a more important part of my life than I expected and it is great for us all.