By Melanie Leyshon
Confession: I’ve become desk-bound. It's no fault but my own, but I've turned into a right desk potato. Lately, I’ve even started lunching al desko. And I’m not alone, as eight out of 10 office workers admit they barely leave their desks during the working day. The only time we stretch out our legs is when we take the few steps to and from the loo, or the kitchen when it’s our turn to make the tea round. But health experts agree that endless hours of sitting are playing havoc with our health, weight and state of mind, putting us at greater risk of lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
So when a swanky fitness wristband that counts the steps you take arrived in the office, I jumped out of my chair, eager to give it a road test. The government recommends we take 10,000 steps a day for good health – a challenge I was ready to take on.
Unlike many gadgets, the Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band and I hit it off straight away – it’s that easy to set up. Wear it throughout the day like a watch, see your steps tot up on the screen, then press the button and it will sync your stats to your computer or smartphone.
That’s not to say there weren't any bumps in the road. The first time I wore the band it clocked 25 steps without me even standing up! But then I re-read the instructions and learned that Vivofit works by measuring arm movements, so I stopped waving my arms around at my desk and found my true stride.
How did I measure up? My walk to and from the train station clocked up 3,000 steps. Not enough. So I introduced a long walk at lunchtime, making up an extra 4,000 steps. Still not enough. Then I started walking instead of getting the tube to meet friends after work, and put in more and more effort to meet the 10,000 step target. It worked – by the second week I was topping 12,000 steps or more each day.
The band can track your sleep pattern, too, based on your movement. I found the more food and wine I had late in the evening, the more restless I was in the night. No surprises there.
Now for the big question: would I buy a Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band? Absolutely. It’s easy to manage and acts as a constant reminder to get up and move. After all, it’s all too easy to just sit here, typing…
Garmin Vivofit comes in six colours and costs £99.99 from buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/watches-wearable-technology/wearables/vivofit-/prod143405.html