Wearable technology is becoming a big part of everyday life. We can track our steps, our sleep, our runs and cycles all from a tiny band worn on the wrist. Personally, I have been enjoying a wearable fitness tracker for a few years now and the ability to compete with friends and family is certainly an extra fitness motivator.
Recently Garmin launched the Vivofit Jr, the first fitness activity band targeting the ‘under tens’ market. The aim aim of the device is to reduce screen time and get kids out and active. It’s a simple design and concept, tracking steps and active minutes with the additional ability of being able to time chores and activities but what may look like a simple concept is backed up and supported by an incredible little app that runs on a parent/guardian’s mobile device.
We ordered one of the Vivofit Jr bands for an energetic 9-year-old and it arrived with a wave of excitement. I initially had a few reservations about investing £79 in the band for a 9-year-old with fear of it falling off and getting lost. On seeing the band for the first time my initial worries dispersed, it’s elasticated, tight but comfortable at the same time. It’s simple design makes it really easy to get to grips with quickly.
The initial setup was very easy. Download the app, login to my Garmin account (free) and after pressing one button on the band we had paired via bluetooth and were up and running. You can enter the name of the child and you can change the little screen icon that appears on the band; the device also displays the date and time so doubles up as our child’s first watch diet pills that work for women. The Garmin Vivofit Jr comes with a replaceable battery that needs offers up to one year of battery life.
60 minutes of Activity
It is recommended that children enjoy 60 minutes of activity per day and the Vivofit Jr will record this activity and for each completed day your child can track their journey along a graphical adventure trail. This is a great idea and it has been implemented really well, there is a fun feel to the app and in addition you can complete with your child on total steps per day. You don’t have to worry about the device getting wet as the Vivofit jr is also swim friendly.
Chores and Rewards
As well as recording steps and active minutes you can also reward your child ‘coins’ for completing a series of chores. The app comes with a range of chores from teeth cleaning to completing homework, better still if your chore isn’t on the list you can add your own custom chores all via the app. When you create a chore you can assign the number of coins to that particular task and the child is alerted, (via the device) when coins have been earned.
The mobile app also supports ‘rewards’ from a financial allowance through to nights out and specific treats, again custom rewards are possible. This means as your child completes chores and active minutes they are building up coins that will eventually earn tangible rewards.
On the topic of rewards the little cardboard packaging of the Vivofit Jr also transforms into a moneybox for collecting coins, how cool is that?
The Vivofit jr band comes with a timer, once your child completes a timed task, such as ‘the 2min clean your teeth timer’ you get a popup alert on your phone, if this is one of your child’s chores you can then tick it off, it is genuinely a fantastic motivator and we found each coined earned was celebrated as a step towards a reward.
Involve the whole family
Garmin hasn’t left anyone out, you can add both parents to the system (as long as they have a Garmin fitness tracker and connect account). It means both parents can enjoy the step total competition, have the ability to tick off completed chores and and can cash in rewards while keeping the other parent informed.
Wearable technology is becoming even more commonplace and the Garmin Vivofit Jr is a fantastic device that positively motivates children to get up and get out. The additional family competition will help keep the motivation high in the weeks and month to come. The Garmin Vivofit Jr is much more than just a child friendly pedometer / activity monitor, there is much more going on when partnered with the Vivofit Jr app. From adventure trails to chores and rewards Garmin have pretty much thought of everything!