The 10 Best Fitness Bands and Apps with Sitting-Time Alerts in 2018

Reminders to Get You Up and Moving Every Hour or 30 Minutes

Research is mounting that sitting too much is its own health risk factor, even if you spend enough time working out every day. Sitting continuously for 30 minutes or more is a problem, especially when it's accumulated in lengthy, uninterrupted bouts throughout the day—for instance, when you have a sedentary job and then sit at home relaxing afterwards.

How can you be more mindful of your sitting time and work on moving around to break up the sitting spells? It's easy when you employ technology. More and more pedometers, fitness bands, and smart watches are being designed to notify you when you've been sitting too long. Using these devices or apps is one of six hacks to sit less and save your life.

Newer Fitbit models include vibrating move reminders and track daily goals for being active each hour. If you haven't logged 250 steps yet during the hour, you get a vibrating and scrolling alert with the Alta, Alta HR, Blaze, and Charge 2, and a vibration and colored lights with the Flex 2. Get up and get stepping and when you reach your goal you'll get a vibration and message. With the Charge 2 and the Blaze, you also can see your steps add up to 250 per hour, so you know just how far you need to go to make your goal. All of these models track the number of hours you achieved this goal during the day. You can review how you've achieved your goals over the past week. They also show your longest inactive period for the day and the total minutes you were active and sedentary.

With older Fitbit models, you can see your active hours in the app, but they don't have vibrating alerts. For those who need or want to be super aware of their movements, the Fitbit Surge includes a watch face with a "flare" display that shows how active you are each minute.

Garmin vívofit and vívosmart

Garmin's fitness bands give you a "time to move!" alert after an hour of inactivity. Garmin vívofit is the little brother of the lineup. It has a growing Move Bar to show you how long you've been inactive, with an alert when it's gone past an hour. The vívofit 2 and vívofit 3 include an audible alert as well as the visual alert.

The Garmin vívofit and vívosmart HR bands vibrate after an hour of inactivity to tell you it's "time to move!" Then you'll need to get up and walk for a couple of minutes to reset the inactivity timer. You can set them to vibrate and display information on incoming calls, texts, or email from your linked smartphone. They track steps, distance, calories, time of day, and sleep, and feature a vibrating alarm to wake you up in the morning. You can also pair it with a heart rate monitor to track the intensity of your workouts.

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Activity app reminds you to stand and move around for at least one minute each hour. It's one of the three key activities that it tracks automatically and displays as the Activity Ring icon. If you haven't gotten up within an hour, it gives you a tap on the wrist and a notification that you need to stand up. Once you've moved for a minute, it congratulates you and logs your achievement. The pre-set goal is set to stand for at least one minute of 12 hours per day, which you can adjust. The activity graph shows which hours you've missed. Bonus: If you want to advance from standing to walking, the Apple Watch has many features that walkers will enjoy.

Polar A370

The inactivity alerts Polar incorporates in its line of fitness bands and watches all tie into the Polar Flow phone app. If you've been inactive for an hour you get an inactivity alert, which also shows up as marks of shame on your daily diary. They encourage you to be "up" by adding minutes standing to your daily goal total. You reach the goal by a combination of standing, walking, and more intense activity. All of the Polar models also link to their Bluetooth heart rate monitors for tracking of workout sessions. Models include their Polar A370 fitness band, which includes smart notifications, wrist-based heart rate monitor, sleep tracking, and 24/7 activity tracking. If you want a running watch, the M200 and M430 have GPS and wrist-based heart- rate monitoring.

iFit Active

The iFit Active, which syncs via Bluetooth to the iFit app and can be worn as a band or on a belt clip, delivers vibrating alerts when you've been sitting for your chosen time interval. While it will alert you, it doesn't track inactive time as a statistic. However, the sensor does display steps, distance, and calorie intake, and calories burned. You can quickly log calories in 50-calorie increments, as well as monitor workouts and sleep. 

LYCOS Life Fitness Band

While many other devices have a pre-set 60-minute alert that you can't change, the LYCOS Life smart band allows you to choose your interval and change it as you wish. It links to both Android and iOS devices, with notifications. Those also vibrate, which you might mistake for the activity alert, so be forewarned. The device tracks steps, calories burned, and sleep, and has a built-in heart-rate monitor. 

MotionX 24/7

MotionX 24/7 is an iOS app that does a lot. It turns your iPhone or ​other device into an all-day pedometer, exercise tracker, and sleep-quality monitor. You can also set Idle Alerts so it will notify you when it hasn't sensed any motion in your set period of time. Besides all-day steps, it tracks aerobic steps so you can also see if you are getting the 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity exercise recommended for health. It has a voice coach to guide you through timed walking or running workouts and uses your phone's flash to take your pulse. The sleep-quality monitoring is very detailed; the disadvantage is that it will use more battery power to work in the background, so you may have to recharge your phone during your idle times.

Get Moving App

This iOS app for the iPhone 5S and above tracks all of your daily activity as a pedometer. You can set custom inactivity alerts to whatever interval you desire, one-time or repeating. The clock starts when it detects that you're idle. You can view weekly summaries that show you where and on which day you were most inactive.

Move More App

The Move More app for iOS doesn't require that you carry your phone with you or wear a fitness band. It's a log rather than a sensor, allowing you to tap on the app on your iPhone or iPad whenever you want to record a period of sitting, standing, moving, exercising or sleeping. If you forget to change your "level" (bronze to legend status is available, depending on your activity), you can always go back and edit the start and end time. You can set alerts for any of the levels. If you want it to alert you when you haven't changed from sitting/inactive after 20 minutes, you can do so. You can review days or ranges of days and compare two days or date ranges. If you can get in the habit of using it, you'll become much more aware of the amount of time you spend sitting.

BreakTime App

Do you just want an alert for a break? This app for iOS and Mac OSX allows you to set alerts for your chosen interval to remind you to take a break from sitting. It's flexible for the amount of time between alerts, plus the length of the break. If you want it to alert you every 30 minutes to take a 2-minute active break, you can do that. It's easy to adjust the duration between breaks and it runs in the background. It doesn't sense your activity and it doesn't provide any graphs or comparisons from day to day.


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