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Iffath Sana

Fitness bands have been all the rage in developed countries for the last half of a decade with tech giants all over the world constantly upgrading their products to make staying fit easy, but more importantly, cool. 

Starting with small heart rate monitors and low functioning step counters to high-end fitness trackers that perform all sorts of monitoring functions such as sleep tracking, calorie counting, step monitoring and the lot. So the question is, why hasn’t Dhaka, a fast moving metropolitan, still not succumbed to this trend? 

Firstly, we are an inherently ‘unfit’ bunch. In no way meant as an offense, let’s just say, Bengalis like to eat, and don’t really like to exercise all that much; which basically render fitness bands useless. However, like the rest of the world, the current generations have become more conscious, adopting healthier life choices. So it might only be a matter of time until we’re ready to invest more money on fitness monitoring gadgets. 

Secondly, fitness bands are generally associated with activities such as jogging, running, swimming etc. – activities that require public facilities and open spaces that are not typically available to everyone in Dhaka; factoring in the basic security issues on the road of Dhaka, jogging or even taking a walk around the city, again beating the apparent purpose of fitness bands. 

Thirdly, the very nature of fitness bands as trackers and monitors rather than devices that will tangibly contribute to weight loss or staying fit could also be one of the reasons for people not willing to spend 100-200$ on the gadgets, especially when costs of living in Dhaka are ever on the rise. 

However, looking away from the dreary negatives to the positives – how could fitness bands change lives for young Dhakaites? 
By keeping them fit of course. But more precisely, the widespread usage of fitness bands could potentially bring about a lot of lifestyle changes, the buds of which are already being observed, among the current generation of Dhaka dwellers. 

Move more, walk more: Fitness bands count steps, measure heart rates and monitor calories. When you see the numbers in front of you and realize what a little effort can do, you’re bound to be motivated to push yourself further. Fitness bands could encourage people to ditch the 20tk rickshaw ride for a walk instead, in order to get those extra steps in. 

Fitness boom: The consistent unveiling of local healthy brands such as organic tea, homemade condiments only go to show how a substantial segment of the city’s population is inclined to maintaining healthy lifestyles. The influx of fitness bands into these routines could further propel the said industries towards widespread growth.  

Fitness bands are not going to change how people live in Dhaka in a night, but it’s interesting to see whether the trend will truly catch on among its people, or just blow over as a western fad. 

April 18, 2017
About Author

A freelance writer, Iffath's interests lie in fictions, people, crafts and music.

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