I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want when I’m on a hike or in the zone on a run is to get a series of dings and vibrations on my wrist—or even to think about the messages I’m missing. I am simply trying to move, people!
Sure, you can take the extra step to silence notifications on your smart watch. But you still know they’re there. Which feels like the price you have to pay for the benefits of owning a connected fitness device. Evidence shows that fitness trackers—specifically step counters—increase physical activity, after all. But we’re so inundated with screens in our lives that it’s worth thinking about whether we want to add another one to our wrists.
“Devices such as this have the potential to keep us plugged into the Matrix for longer periods when the overwhelming research says that unplugging is much better for our mental health,” says Mike Trott, a research assistant at Angela Ruskin University, who has studied the effects of screen time. Rather than totally doing away with the technology, however, a happy medium may be opting for a screen-free fitness tracker.
Personally, I’ve been using an Oura Ring