Do Step Counts Motivate You?

Do Step Counts Motivate You?

In a recent article for the New Yorker, David Sedaris describes his loving relationship with his Fitbit and how it motivates him throughout the day. So, we want to know, do you feel step shame? Do those step counts actually motivate you to leave the house and walk?

Photo by Becky Stern

Sedaris describes the addictive qualities of the Fitbit:

“The Fitbit is a digital trainer, perpetually egging us on. During the first few weeks that I had it, I’d return to my hotel at the end of the day, and when I discovered that I’d taken a total of, say, twelve thousand steps, I’d go out for another three thousand. “But why?” Hugh asked when I told him about it. “Why isn’t twelve thousand enough?”

“Because,” I told him, “my Fitbit thinks I can do better.”

But that’s just him. We want to know how you feel. Do those step counts on your Fitbit, phone or other fitness device actually motivate you?

Stepping Out [The New Yorker]


  • Absolutely. .A step count gets me out walking every day. I am 67 years of age and until I got my new phone which counts my steps I was less active. A wrist band step counter would be more convent for me

  • I set my step goal to 5000 per day. I normally get there around 6pm after the walk home, and that does make me feel good. 😉

  • Same for me, when I borrowed my friend’s Fitbit I was so much more motivated to reach my daily targets! Since I’ve given it back to her, I’ve returned to my former couch potato state. There is just something to immensely satisfying to ‘see’ your activity. 🙂

  • Frankly, no.

    Knowing that it could be a false representation of my actual step count makes the feedback seem somewhat pointless.

    I prefer to maximise my workout time with HIIT or other forms of training that a fitbit can’t really track. However, I’m probably not the target audience for something like a fitbit.

  • Step counting is definitely motivating for me. I’m pretty active during the work week, needing to make no specific effort to reach 11 or 12k, so I barely glance at it then. But it’s a much-needed reminder and motivator on weekends, particularly in winter… crazy to think that while I think of myself as a generally active person, a stroll out for brunch and a night out for drinks don’t come close to hitting my targets.

  • Definitely – I feel shame when I don’t reach 10,000 a day & it makes me want to be more active to reach that goal!

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