The sedentary reminder is an important feature in smartwatches and fitness trackers. Top smartwatch makers, such as Fitbit, Apple Watch, Samsung, etc., have this feature. Before we go ahead, it is important to understand what sedentary behavior is.
What is a Sedentary Behavior?
According to the WHO, sedentary behavior is defined as “any behavior characterized by an energy expenditure ≤1.5 metabolic equivalents (METs) while in a sitting, reclining or lying posture.”
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In simple words, sleeping, sitting for a long time, or watching TV are all sedentary behaviors.
Dr. Edward R. Laskowski, M.D writes, “Sitting for long periods has been linked with many health problems, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and excess body fat around the waist.” So, get up and move around for at least a couple of minutes every hour, even if you work out regularly.
What is Sedentary Reminder in Smartwatch?
As the name suggests, it reminds you to get up and move if you sit for a long time. I like these features because light movements keep the muscles active, decrease stiff joints, and reduce the chance of developing many health issues such as hypertension, high glucose level, obesity, etc.
Why is it important to move even if you work out daily?
Many people work at a desk, drive to and from work, and go gym either in the evening or at night. But is that enough for a healthy life? Let us check.
Even if you do exercises daily, your muscles can be temporarily inactive after periods of rest, drastically decreasing your metabolism and increasing your risk of developing any chronic disease.
Even though you exercise regularly or work out in a gym, you must take at least 250 steps/minute (according to Fitbit). Because frequent light movement helps keep the muscles active, decreases joint stiffness, and reduces the chance of developing many health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, etc.
Dr. Deborah Rohm Young, Ph.D. from Kaiser Permanente Southern California, wrote in the American Heart Association journal that “If you’re already physically active, that’s the most important thing. But it’s good to take breaks from sedentary time, too,”. Also, The WHO says sedentary behavior, such as prolonged sitting, has been deemed a significant public health concern.
How can we reduce our sedentary time?
Now you know why it is important to move every hour even if you work out daily. But how can we reduce our sedentary time in today’s busy lifestyle? Well, here are a couple of ways:
- Set the alarm on your phone or smartwatch to get up and move every hour.
- Use a standing desk or sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair.
- Park your car away from the destination and walk.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever it is possible.
If you already own a smartwatch with a sedentary reminder, you are in luck. Because it will remind you to move, track your activities, and alert you when you hit the target.
How Sedentary Reminder works on Smartwatches?
A sedentary reminder is an app on the smartwatch that monitors your activity and alerts you with vibration or sound when you sit for too long. Depending on the brand, it might work differently: Some devices monitor your movements, while others rely on heart rate sensors.
For example, Fitbit wearable devices remind you to take 250 steps every hour or so, break up sitting time with short walks, and prompt you to go up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. If you do not complete the 250 steps in an hour, it will remind you to complete the remaining steps to achieve the hourly goals.
How to Enable Sedentary Reminder in Fitbit?
By default, sedentary reminders are turned on on your Fitbit device. You can turn it ON or OFF at the Fitbit App on your smartphone.
1. Open Fitbit App
2. From the “Today” tab, tap on your profile picture.
3. Select the device you want to set the “Sedentary Reminder.”
4. A new window will open up and locate ” Reminders to Move.”
5. Tap on it and turn it “ON“(if it is off).
Here you can also set the start time, end time, and also the days you want to activate the sedentary reminder.
Do I need a special smartwatch for daily activity monitoring?
Not necessarily. Fitness trackers are becoming more common, and some can do the job just fine. Smartwatches from the brands like Fitbit, Apple, and Garmin come with the reminder to move.
Don’t have a smartwatch, or do you not have a smartwatch this feature? No worry! Many apps in the Android and iOS app stores remind you to move and be active during the day. Simply install this app on your iOS or Android phone, and it will alert you to take a break and move around for a few minutes at regular intervals.
Benefits of having the reminders to move feature on your watch?
If you have a smartwatch with the reminder to move feature, you can get more ideas about your day-to-day activities along with various health metrics such as heart rate, blood oxygen level, etc.
Further, when you hit your hourly activity goals, a smartwatch reward you with a fun animation or badges. This keeps you motivated to achieve your daily fitness goals.
How to set this feature on your smartwatch?
Most smartwatches and fitness trackers come with this feature by default. Simply choose the desired interval and activity duration, and your device will vibrate or play a sound at specified intervals.
If it is not pre-set on your smartwatch, follow the steps below to set this feature on your smartwatch.
1. Open the Activity app on your smartwatch.
2. Tap on ‘Customize.’
3. Scroll down and select the Sedentary Reminder option (Depending on the Brand, you find it under different names like Move reminder, Sit reminder, etc.)
4. You can set it to alert you every 1 hour or 2, and also, you can set the number of steps you want to take.
5. Tap OK and save your changes.
6. Now, every 1 or 2 hours, you will receive a reminder on your smartwatch to move around for a few minutes.
1. Which is the Best Smartwatch with prolonged rest Reminders?
Apple Watch Series 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, Galaxy Watch 3, Fitbit Charge 5, Charge 3, etc., come with the prolonged rest reminder feature. In addition to the move reminders, these watches also have many advanced health tracking features that help you stay active and healthy.
2. Do Garmin Watches come with reminders to move?
Yes. Garmin watches come with sedentary reminders. Garmin Vivosmart 4, Fenix 6 Series, Forerunner Series, etc., are one of the best smartwatches which remind you to be active and take breaks from your daily routine to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
3. Who is at risk of disease associated with prolonged rest?
People who spend most of their time at the desk are at high risk of diseases associated with prolonged rest, such as IT professionals, accountants, etc. These people sit at their desks throughout the day and have a lot of sedentary time. To make matters worse, they might be spending time watching TV, playing video games, or doing other activities after they’ve reached home.
Conclusively, smartwatches with the reminder to move feature encourage people to take regular breaks from sitting and avoid sedentary behavior over prolonged periods. It is an incentive for them to be more active day-to-day and benefit their health by decreasing the sedentary time they spend during the day.
Saneesh VS is a tech and fitness enthusiast. He has been reviewing smartwatches and fitness trackers for the past few years and is passionate about it. He writes about the latest news in the industry, helpful tips, and buying guides. You can find him working out or spending time with his family when he’s not writing or reviewing gadgets.