Activity Trackers vs. Activity for Its Own Sake

From Common Sense Media

If you’ve ever taken a walk with someone who’s trying to get steps, it can be hard to concentrate on the conversation while they’re jogging in place, hopping up and down, and constantly checking their device. Activity trackers — while useful for many — tend to distract from the activity itself. And if we want kids to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings, the comfort of a meandering conversation, or even the rush of endorphins that can come with a strenuous walk, we need to emphasize the benefits of the activity, rather than the quantification of the actions.

What to do: First, don’t buy your kid an activity tracker unless they need it for a specific reason. Second, engage in lots of outdoor activity and fun exercise, and comment on how good it feels. And last, model the behavior and values you want to see in your kid — even if you’re tracking your steps, wait until the walk is over to check your progress, for example.