Obsessive Pedometry

Since April 2013 I have tracked my daily movement. I started using the rather stylish but shit Up by Jawbone. I bought this while in Washington DC and I loved it. The problem was that they don’t last long. I had three within a year, all replaced by guarantee.

Up by Jawbone
Up by Jawbone

My general thoughts are that this was a new company and reasonably new tech. It seems necessary that their early models would be rubbish to force improvement in the product. The early iPhones were shockingly bad in terms of the technology involved but at least the product worked as advertised.

To see previous communications about the Up by Jawbone, click or touch here.

In October 2015 my final Up band died and I switched to a Garmin Vivofit. Eventually I stopped wearing a watch because the Garmin on my right arm had a clock which pretty much negated the need for a separate timepiece on my left wrist.


At the end of March 2017 I had to replace the batteries in the Vivofit. They had lasted over two years. I don’t recall replacing them before and probably would have written about it within these esteemed communications. The replacement procedure was easy. The device worked within acceptable parameters after syncing with my phone.

While I was in Cyprus I swam in the sea twice in two days. I didn’t take my Vivofit off. I failed to remember that the seal may not have created a seal post battery replacement. On the penultimate day of the trip the Vivofit slowly drowned. I took it off.

When I got back to Blighty I took the Vivofit apart and let it dry out properly for a few days. In the mean time I had started wearing a watch again. I’m not young enough to want to look at my phone for the time. I like my watch. It is a nice looking watch.

I also ordered a Garmin Vivomove as I wanted to track my steps. When this arrived the clock face was too large for my tastes. I didn’t like it. for what it was it seemed quite expensive too. If it had been a third of the price I probably would have kept it and used it occasionally. But the look/price ratio wasn’t the correct magnitude.


When I put the Vivofit back together it seems to work fine. There will be some salt ingestion and I pondered rinsing it out and drying it thoroughly again but I think I won’t. I’m trying to be brave, I’ve taken the batteries out and the Vivofit is currently in a drawer in the bedroom. So, I have decided to give up counting steps.

This unnerves me greatly. But the arguments are sound:

  • I haven’t increased my steps/movement over the last two years. I do try to walk around work a few times a day but that’s not changed for two years.
  • I know roughly how far I have moved because of the years of tracking.
  • I like wearing my watch.
  • Being aware of my steps hasn’t changed my behaviour for a long time.
  • I use different apps for measuring my running and calorific intake.

If I feel too unsettled I can always put the batteries back in the Vivofit and start wearing it again. But overall, I consider this a positive thing. I managed about forty years of my life without a fitness tracker and maybe I can manage some more now. It’s always worth challenging yourself, even if it’s the obsessive part of you.