Please don’t give your loved one a fitness tracker for Christmas

A fitness tracker might seem like a lovely Christmas gift – something that your nearest and dearest can use all year round, and that will help steer them on a healthier course through life – but tucking one away under the tree could be a colossal mistake.

It’s not that fitness trackers are unpopular, particularly as fresh starts are planned and new year’s resolutions made. Google searches for Fitbits peak in December and January (though searches for dedicated cycling and running watches are more stable throughout the year).

The issue is that, no matter how good your intentions, presenting someone with a fitness tracker is very much like handing over an elegantly wrapped basket of soap and deodorant. At best, it’ll end up being worn, with some degree of resentment, for a couple of weeks before it’s left in a drawer and forgotten. The only thing worse would be a smart scale.

Giving a fitness tracker for Christmas could be interpreted as a not-too-subtle insult (Image credit: Shutterstock / TommyStockProject)

There’s also the fact that an increasing number of fitness devices require an ongoing subscription fee if the owner wants to get the most out of them. All new Fitbit devices come with a 90-day trial of Fitbit Premium, for example, but if your loved one wants to continue accessing features like their Daily Readiness Score and snore tracking long-term, they’ll need to pay an ongoing fee of $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$15.49 per month.

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