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Geek Chic

Fitness gadgets to get you in shape

10/24/2012

Let’s be honest, when it comes to exercise, geeks are rarely the ones hogging up the gym equipment. And it shows. Because our professions and hobbies keep us mostly inside, it’s easy to let the sedentary life take its toll on the waistline. So what do you do? Watch what you eat? Play an exercise video game? The truth is, the only way to shed those gamer pounds is to get out of the house and into the habit of exercise. But how do you make exercise a habit like all the fit people do? It’s no secret that some people have the motivation to get to the gym on their own, but there are plenty who can’t seem to get hooked.                

When the XBOX 360 launched in 2005, it introduced a completely superfluous but compelling feature: gamerscore. Players complete an achievement in a video game and accumulate a score to compare with their friends. For really no good reason, other than bragging rights, achievement hunting for higher scores has found a market. If only we could apply the concept of gamerscore to exercising to compel geeks to get up and out of the house.                

Fitness trackers like Fitbit and Nike FuelBand count your burned calories and provide you with a fabricated value (read: exercise points) to give you records to beat. Climb more stairs, walk a longer distance, be active over longer periods of times. These are all great records to improve upon, but competing with yourself still lacks appeal. While most products provide a function to add friends and compare stats, is that enough? If these companies really want to find that addictive appeal, they need to really embrace the social aspect and get in your face when your friends exercise more than you. “Johnny just broke his mile time record. Get out there and break his record!” CV

Robert Anhalt is Director of Content at Geek Speak Forum and contributes to Cityview.

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