TECH TIME REVIEW: New Striiv pedometer offers unique forms of motivation to exercise
When you think of pedometers, fun is not the word that usually comes to mind. I mean, they count steps – how fun could one be?
Well, the Striiv is a new device that attempts to take the pedometer to new levels, by including games, goals and other features that aim to motivate you to become more and more active.
It’s a novel idea, and I recently tried one out and will let you know what the Striiv offers and who might want one.
If something is going to go with you everywhere you go, it has to be small and portable. This is the case with the Striiv, which fits on your keychain. The full dimensions are 2.75 inches by 1.7 inches by 0.5 inches, and it weighs just 1.4 ounces
The Striiv is very effective in its main goal, counting steps. Whether it’s hung on your belt and sitting in a purse, the steps will be counted. And it will tell the difference between your walking steps and your running steps
Rather than just count your steps, one trick the Striiv uses is to offer your challenges, kind of like an electronic personal trainer.
Sample challenges are: “run 250 steps in 20 minutes” “climb 100 stairs in 15 minutes” “exceed 2.4 miles today” “walk 0.25 miles in 20 minutes” “run 2001 steps in 30 minutes”, etc. You get the drift. You can spin a wheel to determine the challenges offered. This is a nice feature, and can spice up your workout routine.
As anyone who works out knows, it’s sometimes hard to get motivated. Having something on your keychain that can contribute to that motivation with some workout suggestions could end up being a good thing.
One thing about working out is you want to see proof it’s doing something for you. The Striiv offers “trophies” to motivate you, such as “burn a sundae” “burn large fries” , etc. It also tells you when you set a “new personal best” and lets you know when you break milestones such as the 10,000 step mark.
You can also keep track of what your activity has been via the “charts” and “stats” buttons on the touchscreen.
Much of the operation of the Striiv is done through the touchscreen, but you also have physical “home” and “back” buttons on the bottom of the device. You can adjust the brightness and volume of the device from the on-screen menus.
Battery life was good, lasting several days before you needed to recharge the Striiv. And charging didn’t take too long either.
Striiv’s makers claim that the average user walks twice as much as the national average, though we all know it all depends on how much you’re dedicated to your fitness program and can’t all be attributed to a little device. It might help, but you have to do your part too.
One phenomenon I noted when I used the Striiv is that I was often trying to outdo my previous best number of steps, and achieve more trophies. Maybe it’s part of the human psyche that we want to get better at things, but whatever it is, the more you move the better so the end result is a positive change.
There is also another unique way to encourage fitness on the Striiv – a game called myland which allows you to fill an island with wildlife and plants as your steps increase. As you walk, you earn points that can be used in the game, which is played directly on the Striiv’s touchscreen. If you get into the game, that might make you want to walk some more and have more points to use in the game. It’s kind of a strange motivational tool, but it might work for some people.
The Striiv is priced at $99, which at first appears kind of high for a pedometer – even one that’s spruced up like this one. But if the Striiv does get you involved more in fitness and improves your health long-term, well that is definitely worth $99.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Motivation is a funny thing. For some people, it comes from odd sources. The Striiv could be one of those if you’re wanting a little motivation in your pocket as you continue your fitness quest.
Through its unique offerings such as challenges and games, the Striiv turns a pedometer into a fun motivational device in your fitness quest. Its price might be a bit high, and those who already are dedicated to their workout routine don't need one, but those seeking motivation who pick up a Striiv might end up finding it useful in their quest to get more exercise.
Matt Myftiu can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattMyftiu, and check out the Tech Time Facebook page called "OPTechTime".