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How do you use Vivoactive to improve your health?

Hello, I've been using Vivoactive for almost year now and generally it's good device and I garmin is cleary good in what they are doing. Problem is that I use it for general activity and health tracking and it doesn't seem to be that useful. Right now I am using it for tracking:

- general activity

- my strength training lessons(using built in workouts which are bit pain to use btw)

- my cardio sessions

- sleep a bit

There are few problems though:

1. I am not getting any useful insights anymore

- only insights I am getting these days is about length of my steps, or floor climbed streaks. This has little value to me.

- i would love to see some additional insights around my sleep, exercise or maybe weight

2. Sleep tracking information is tricky to use

- first of all I have to edit start sleep time, because sometime I lie in front of  TV before moving to bed. I did set standard bed and wake up time in the settings.

- it's hard to compare different days on mobile app. If I want to compare different days to see some patterns I swipe back and forth between them

3. VO2max is useless

- this is biggest  downer for me. I thought garmin won't be perfect but would be able to give me aproximate measurement with chest strap. I compared it with test I did in lab and the difference was 6ml/kg/min which put me in different category.

4. I don't understand stress measurement

- seems to be based on HRV, but that doesn't seem to be enough. I had literally life changing extremely negative thing happened to me, which stressed me out but it was barely noticed by garmin. The score for the day was pretty much average, but trust i was really stressed out.

Frankly I wouldn't buy garmin again unless I would be more serious about particular sport like running,cycling etc.

What am I missing?

  • Hi!

    I would say - You're Holding It Wrong :) 

    The VA3 gives You some metrics that you can use to control your body state.  But you and only you makes decision and setting your goals.    If you will get more active - take part on some challenge on GC. it's really funny. 

    VO2max is very important fitness metric, try to improve it. but you must run to get it right. Absolutely score is not so important, it depend on running technique and so on... But you can improve your score ;) How To? Read a first 10 000 google entrees it's very amusing.

    About Stress level - it is body stress, not mental one. Another very important parameter is RHR   - more about on

    About Mobile GC - scroll main screen a little till you see Last Week part - tap some metric and you see your progress on last 7 days, 4 weeks and last year.

  • I do have goals thats not an issue, problem is I don't know Vivoactive doesn't seem to be that useful for me.

    I agree with you about usefulness of VO2max and I know how to increase it. My issue is that Vivoceactive is too imprecsise for me so it's no use for me. I could use it to check if it's going up or down , but there are many easier and cheaper way how to measure that.

    What do you mean it's body stress? All stress is in the end body stress and citing from Garmin website:

    Knowing your stress level can help you identify stressful moments throughout your day.

    Problem is that it clearly can't spot me freaking out, so what's its useful for?

    RHR is different measurement, I am talking about stress level here.

  • I am using it for motivating myself "beat the yesterday". I am 60 yo and according to GC Insight my fitness level is with 52 yo without me pushing it too much...yes it was some learning curve to change my habits but now everything just goes without special planning. I am sitting in an Office and this thing still buzzing me like every hour to "move" ;) and I go walk around a building Slight smile

    So far this year I have 1030 kilometres gravel and cyclecross biking, I like 50-60 Km routes, most on trails and only occasionally some on asphalt. This summer  I lowered my HR peak level from 180 to 170 I don't want to push it too hard anymore;

    2 million and 650 thousand steps, unfortunately I cannot run do to some injuries but walking every day lunchtime 3.2 Km, totalling 2110 kilometres;

    about 150 Km paddling and SUP paddling;

    averaging minimum 300-350 intensity minutes every week, moving around doing things in house. And I just sit down and this thing keeps buzzing me "move" Slight smile

    trying to sleep at least six hours and lately ocasionally taking afternoon quick nap maybe hour or 1.5 hrs;

    Stress level is very important, keeping it low as much possible...

    I did not raise my expectations way high with this watch and I can say generally I am happy with it, draws me a map where I was and the battery is not bad, w/o a gps I am charging it once a week usually weekends.

  • Hi , thank you for your detailed answer, I am glad it work out for you ! Slight smile

    Smartwatches in general can help with motivation in general for sure and I tend to use intensity minutes as proxy for that because some days I walk a lot, some days I go on bike , so it can carry. I will take a look at HR peak level more closely, although I am bit skeptical about precision.

    I agree with you that stress level is important but I found measuring it with smartwatches is at best useless and if you rely on them heavily even slightly harming (your stress level might be much higher than your watches tells you).