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Why is tracking steps a thing?

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  • heybalesheybales Member Posts: 18,064 Member Member Posts: 18,064 Member
    AliNouveau wrote: »
    I honestly don't get it. Why are people tracking how much they walk around during the day doing normal activities? I suppose if you're always sitting that it could be a motivator to get up and move, but when I see people complain that their Fitbit isn't recording the steps they're taking when grocery shopping I am legitimately puzzled.

    To add to that, it seems that many people who track steps think that gives them the license to eat back whatever calories their tracker says they are burning. Walking around doing things you normally do isn't really exercise that is worth tracking.

    Then again, maybe I'm the crazy one.

    I'm with you on this one. I used to have a Fitbit and gave it up after the third time it broke. I have my goal set for 10,000 steps a day and on many days would get those before noon because I walked a lot. I was able to determine I am more active than I give myself credit for.

    I do think it's a good thing if it gets people up and moving but it's just a snapshot of your everyday life in my opinion. What if half of those steps are just getting off the couch to go get a beer from the fridge? You're not burning more calories than you're taking in.

    Perhaps using a step tracker to set goals to break is the way to use it. Getting exercise calories for daily routine to me seems like you're just cheating yourself

    Why do you think you are getting Exercise calories from this?

    You may be misunderstanding what is going on when you have it linked and syncing to MFP.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Member Posts: 8,362 Member Member Posts: 8,362 Member
    AliNouveau wrote: »
    I honestly don't get it. Why are people tracking how much they walk around during the day doing normal activities? I suppose if you're always sitting that it could be a motivator to get up and move, but when I see people complain that their Fitbit isn't recording the steps they're taking when grocery shopping I am legitimately puzzled.

    To add to that, it seems that many people who track steps think that gives them the license to eat back whatever calories their tracker says they are burning. Walking around doing things you normally do isn't really exercise that is worth tracking.

    Then again, maybe I'm the crazy one.

    I'm with you on this one. I used to have a Fitbit and gave it up after the third time it broke. I have my goal set for 10,000 steps a day and on many days would get those before noon because I walked a lot. I was able to determine I am more active than I give myself credit for.

    I do think it's a good thing if it gets people up and moving but it's just a snapshot of your everyday life in my opinion. What if half of those steps are just getting off the couch to go get a beer from the fridge? You're not burning more calories than you're taking in.

    Perhaps using a step tracker to set goals to break is the way to use it. Getting exercise calories for daily routine to me seems like you're just cheating yourself

    You can take in more calorie than you burn even if your activity isn't walking to the fridge, I don't really get the point of this.

    If my daily routine uses calories (which it does, my body can't do anything without using energy), then how is it "cheating" to eat in a way that fuels that activity?

    And I could lie on the couch for 23 hours and burn more calories without ever getting up than I would normally pull out from the fridge and plate in one trip. I don't see the logic in AliNouveau's statement, either.
  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,233 Member Member Posts: 4,233 Member
    I have found my Fitbit zip to be very accurate for calculating my calorie burn. Of course I’m going to eat more if I take 15,000 steps in a day than if I get 8,000. Most of my exercise is step based, walking, hiking, so I count it. My fit bit zip is a step counter and doesn’t monitor heart rate either. MyFitnessPal tends to overestimate my calorie needs slightly. If I search exercises in myfitnesspal, I have found they are grossly overestimated. I don’t use the steps as license to eat whatever because I still track what I eat and try to stay within my calorie budget.
    edited September 9
  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 382 Member Member Posts: 382 Member
    Personally I'm a fan of metrics like steps; it's a lead measure where weight is a lag measure.

    Lead measure: A measurement you have direct control over. Think "shots on goal".

    Lag measure: The result of the lead measure efforts. Think "number on the scale".

    You can only affect the number on the scale indirectly through effort. Focus on the effort and the results are all but guaranteed. I prefer caloric surplus/deficit over steps though.
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