A Fitbit or other step counting challenge can be a great way to inspire yourself to be active. But then again, it’s easier to just sit on the couch and pretend you’re logging tons of steps. Here are a few ways to game the system, even though ultimately you’re just cheating yourself.
Not every method will work on every brand and type of tracker, but here are some things to try:
Wear it on your ankle and ride a bike. You’ll take more “steps” with less effort than if you were actually walking. Note: do not tell the app you are riding a bike. This is not the point. You are using a bike to make it think you’re a super-fast runner.
Swing it on a string while you’re sitting down. This uses your hands, but you can still do it while watching TV.
Rock your arm back and forth. This is like the above, but slightly more effort. Still, you can do it anywhere and you don’t even need a string. Other arm movements can also convince your tracker that you’re walking around:
My mom’s newest hobby is finding ways to cheat her Fitbit into thinking she’s done all her steps. Successful attempts so far have included pulling weeds and stripping wallpaper. Today’s experiment: playing the piano.
— Jen Kovach (@jenjenkov) October 13, 2019
Attach it to your dog’s collar. Small, active dogs can rack up thousands more steps than you will.
Attach it to something that moves. People have had varying success with electric drills, ceiling fans, and various vibrating or rotating tools and machinery.
For extra fun, tell your app not to sync your steps automatically; this way you can watch your competitors slowly rack up their steps, and then reveal your winning total just before the contest closes.