I gave up on my fitbit a long time ago. At first, I loved it (especially my sleep data), but after more than a year, it made me feel bad about my life. When I did not meet my step counts for the day, I felt like I let myself down. In the end, I recognized that the fitbit wasn't a good exercise accountability partner to get me to move more, so into the drawer it went.
I know that I am not alone with those thoughts, which is why I wasn't surprised to see some researchers change the way families use their fitbits - with gamification. Researchers started families off with fitbits and a pool of points. They then randomly picked one family member's fitbit count to represent the family that day. If that person met their goal, then the family received points. If they didn't meet their step goals for the day, points were deducted. Points were eventually traded in for prizes.
I like this method because no one would want to let down their entire family, so everyone would work to meet their goals, and it gets the whole family moving. My only issue is that while it is fun to participate in that type of game, I am not sure how sustainable it would be. Would you and your family want to organize an ongoing game across extended family members for a year? Or two years? What would be the overall prize (other than better health)?
It would definitely take an all-in family approach.
Does your family exercise together? Tell me how you get in a family workout in the comments.