New Brunswick — For the few remaining New Brunswickers without a Fitbit, the motivation to go out and buy one is clear: this handy watch-looking device lets you know you’ve really been exerting yourself — even when you haven’t.
The Fitbit comes in an array of bright colours or classic black, making it a nifty fashion accessory. “You just wear this cute little wrist strap, and not only does it look good, but it’s a conversation piece,” explained Sharon Ryerson, a Service New Brunswick employee in uptown Saint John. “It’s all me and the girls at work talk about these days. And you can actually burn calories by just talking about Fitbit — bet you didn’t know that!”
Before Fitbit, most people would unconsciously perform basic, barely physical tasks such as walking to the store for a litre of milk, or climbing 2 storeys of stairs to their apartment. But thanks to the device, New Brunswickers feel as though they’ve worked out, without ever having to lift a weight or go for a run.
This Manatee reporter stealthily observed a portion of the post-lunch (which was McDonald’s) conversation between Ryerson and her colleagues to get the skinny on the latest fad:
Ryerson: “Cheryl, did you get your steps in today?”
Cheryl: “Not yet, but I’m planning to walk the dog after supper, and then I’ll have put in 10,000 steps today — can you believe it?”
Ryerson: “Wow! I’m not there yet, but in an hour or so I’ll take a walk to the water fountain and check Fitbit again. And if I have time before the end of the day I’ll walk all the way down to the Tims in Market Square and grab a Boston Cream. That’ll add at least, like, 2,000 steps or something. I can get the ‘marathon stepper’ badge that way too.”
The ease with which simple steps translate to sky-high numbers has health experts even more worried than usual about the state of the province. According to an as-of-yet unpublished study by Statistics Atlantic, Fitbit will be the cause of 20 percent of obesity-related deaths in New Brunswick by 2020. But, they sure do look cute.