Just this past week, I provided fresh water for a few children in South America. I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge 5+ times. I traversed Zion Narrows in Utah and walked the Vegas strip. And, no, I haven’t been traveling around doing good and sightseeing. I’ve been doing housework, volunteering at my kid’s school, attending work events, picking my son up at the bus stop, and schlepping kids to their after school activities. It’s all through the use of a fancy pedometer called Striiv.
Striiv is a small device that you can put on your keychain, stick in your pocket, or pop into your purse. It tracks when you take a step or climb a stair and, using your weight, calculates calories burned and “energy.” The energy is used on the device to make donations to great charities and to fuel a virtual world-style game. Users also unlock trophies for reaching certain goals in a day, in a week, or over time.
I am addicted to my Striiv. I take it with me everywhere because I enjoy seeing the steps and energy build up. I love that it uses different types of motivation to keep you moving. I’m motivated simply by the trophies; I like to see how far I’ve walked in a day or week. I also like the trophies that tell me I’ve burned off a sundae or an order of large fries. It turns nebulous values like steps into tangible results. And it makes me take extra steps while waiting around, just so I can make it to the next trophy. I’m also motivated by the “Walkathon” that allows you to donate energy toward clean water, polio vaccines, or rainforest conservation. Striiv has a game that allows you to build trees and buildings to populate your virtual world. You can buy the objects with cash that you earn in-game, but to actually build them, you’ll need LOTS of energy. I can see how others might be motivated to walk an extra couple of laps around the kitchen in order to finish a building or a quest.
Striiv uses a full-color touch screen as an interface and comes with an easy-release fob that can be used to attach the device to a keychain. I wish it came with a small carabiner or clip to make it easy to attach to clothing. You can buy a bundle (see below) that contains a belt clip, but otherwise you’re out of luck. For awhile, I had mine safety-pinned onto my sweatpants which unfortunately don’t have pockets. The device has a rechargeable battery which connects via micro-USB to a computer (for charging and for uploading Walkathon results) or to a wall plug (included). It’s brand new to the market, but the company says they’ll be adding applications over time. It retails for $99, but has no on-going service fees.
Using Striiv isn’t going to make you healthier by default. It’s intended to motivate you to walk more. When it comes time to choose between the stairs and the elevator, or whether to take the further parking spot, Striiv is there to encourage you to squeeze in those extra steps. And since you could provide a child with a life-saving polio vaccine, why not?
- Fun way to motivate yourself to be more active
- Variety of motivation techniques to meet the needs of different personalities
- No easy way to clip to clothes
- Touch screen can be quirky
Disclosure: Standard Review with complimentary product. Images are courtesy of Striiv.