In the aftermath of a recent anxiety attack, 26-year-old Cindy Washington’s Fitbit congratulated her on reaching her daily exercise goal with an elaborate, animated fireworks display after mistaking her elevated heart rate for an intensive workout.
“It was jarring,” Cindy revealed of the device’s celebration of her debilitating panic attack. “I was finally calming down when my Fitbit started vibrating incessantly praising a mistaken accomplishment, or as Fitbit would call it ‘another successful workout.’”
Cindy attributes her recent promotion at work as the source of her uptick in anxiety.
“Being promoted was a huge accomplishment, but it comes with a lot more pressure and scrutiny,” she said. “I haven’t been able to get to the gym, so my stress levels have shot right up.”
Despite Cindy trading in her hourly ten-minute walk and stretch around the office for more time at the desk, she continues to regularly check her progress on her phone’s Fitbit app.
“According to my Fitbit Workout Summary, I went bike riding and swimming just this week,” Cindy stated. “But those times both coincide with the panic attack I had on the subway and the panic attack I had at the doctor’s office.”
“I guess the sweating and pacing technically count as exercise?” she added.
Surprisingly, Cindy’s attitude about the whole thing has transitioned to excitement for how Fitbit categorizes her anxiety this week.
“At first it felt like my Fitbit was adding insult to injury, but it’s actually been really nice to be recognized for all the hard work I’ve been doing while experiencing uncontrollable panic,” she told us.
“I’ve looked it up and you burn 2000 calories a day doing nothing,” she added. “So who am I say to that my incapacitating panic attacks aren’t an intense workout?”