Fred’s wife gave him a Fibit to measure how many steps he took each day. The goal was 10,000, she said.
“Why do I need to know how many steps I take?”
“You don’t take any when you slump on the couch watching TV—you need to take better care of your heart and your waistline. No beer until you do 10,000 steps—I’m going to check.”
Fred eyed his wife but thought better of making a snide comment that might unleash further admonishments.
His TV shows started around 7 p.m. and ran until midnight during which time he would drink beer and eat cashews. He admitted that his pants barely fit.
The first time that 7 p.m. rolled around after his wife’s lecture, he defiantly plopped down on the couch with a mental list of what shows he was going to watch.
“Let me see,” demanded his wife.
He held his mouth open for a few seconds and then with a grunt pushed up and handed her the device that had been clipped to his pants pocket.
“This won’t do—you only have 5,000.”
Fred took back the Fitbit and walked out the front door. Ninety-three minutes later after looping through the neighborhood, he stopped at his house—9,999 steps. This routine went on for two more days until the evening he washed some clothes, including his walking pants.
When his wife asked to see his daily steps, he excused himself and went into the bedroom to find the tracker that was like a noose tightening around his neck. He was surfing through a pile of dirty clothes when he remembered the device might be on his pants, now in the dryer. To his pleasant surprise the Fitbit was still working and showed that he had taken over 12,000 steps, 6,000 more than when he put the pants in the washer.
“I’m so proud of you,” said his wife with the Fitbit in her hand.
He took the device back from her and shook it to make sure it still worked. Two more steps registered. With a big smile, he announced, “Time for a beer.” The noose was gone. He would be doing more wash in the future.