As it turns out, being rewarded for things makes us happy. Being acknowledged for our accomplishments, no matter how small, makes us feel good. It makes us want to keep forging ahead.
Companies with a focus on health have figured this out, and have created a number of ways to reward us for doing mostly mundane things. Fitbit is one of these companies, and its solution is called Fitbit Badges. But what exactly are Fitbit Badges, and how do you even earn them?
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Luckily for you, we've put together this guide to help you navigate the wild world of Fitbit Badges. You'll be a pro, earning your lot in no time. Come along, scout!
What are Fitbit Badges?
Fitbit Badges are one of two ways that the company looks to reward people for hitting milestones while wearing their Fitbit devices. They're exactly how they sound. They're digital badges you get awarded every so often.
The other reward Fitbit uses is called Trophies. Despite the similar names, these two types of rewards are actually different things. Trophies are rewards for breaking records or winning competitions with friends. For instance, if you break your personal goals during a weekend, you'll attain the Weekend Warrior trophy.
Badges, on the other hand, are awarded to you for completing daily and lifetime milestones while wearing your Fitbit. They're not personal goals or anything like that, they're just tokens signifying how much you've accomplished since you started wearing a Fitbit.
How do you earn Fitbit Badges?
There are different ways to earn Fitbit Badges: you can receive them for your step count, for flights of stairs climbed or for weight loss. The step count and stairs methods are split into two categories: daily and lifetime.
Oh, and you can also earn badges multiple times. So you don't just earn a badge and then you're done with it forever. You can earn them multiple times as a way to show how often you accomplish good things.
It's important to note that manually-logged activities do not count toward Fitbit Badges. You earn these automatically just by wearing your Fitbit day to day. The weight-based badges, however, can only be earned by automatically syncing data over from the Fitbit Aria or Fitbit Aria 2 smart scales.
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So why don't manually-logged activities count toward Badges? It's because Badges are out to reward you for your daily activities; they're there to encourage you to live a more active life. So you can be more mindful to walk to the store instead of driving, or to take the stairs instead of an elevator.
Manually-logged activities, Fitbit argues, require effort. You're in the mood to be athletic for that short period of time, rather than making choices to be more active on day-to-day basis.
How many Badges are there?
By last count, back in July 2017, Fitbit said there were 101 Badges. The company, every once in a while, will introduce more Badges for you to earn.
As previously mentioned, these Badges are split into four categories. There are daily step goals, which are measured in steps, there are lifetime step goals, which are measured in miles, daily stair flight goals and lifetime flight goals. Finally, there's weight loss.
What are these Badges like?
Fitbit Badges actually cover a wide array of distance, and you'll no doubt be able to spend plenty of time - maybe even years - attempting to unlock all of them.
The daily step badges start at 5,000 steps and go all the way up to 100,000 steps. The lifetime distance badges starts at 26 miles and go up to 12,430 miles. The daily floors badges start at 10 floors and go up to 700 floors. The lifetime floors badges start at 500 floors and go up to 35,000. Finally, the weight loss badges start at setting a weight loss goal and go up to losing 200lbs.
For the most part - except for the weight loss badges - these badges have unique names. Climbing 20,000 flights of stairs gets you the Shooting Star badge, for example. The step and miles milestones, however, are the really oddly named ones. Walking 1,997 miles gets you the Taj Mahal badge, while the Nile badge means you walked 4,132 miles.
It's not totally clear whether these seemingly arbitrary numbers are unique in-jokes or references to the badge names. The Nile River, for instance, is 4,258 miles long. While the only 1,997 that we think could be related to the Taj Mahal is Señor Blues 1997 song "Taj Mahal."
How do I view my badges?
There are two ways to view your badges. You can either got to Fitbit.com/badges or you can open up the companion app, hit the profile logo in the upper right corner and then click on your name.
You can then click on "Badges and Trophies" to take a look at what you've earned. Your top three badges will be listed first, but you can easily look at the rest of your badges by clicking "Badge Collection."
A word of warning, however. In our experience, the app sometimes seems to have trouble loading all of your badges - while Fitbit's website more easily lists out all of your earned badges.
Can I share my badges?
If you're extremely proud of what you've accomplished and want to show off to your friends, you bet your Fitbit you can share your badges. There are a couple ways to do this.
First, you can make sure your Fitbit Badges are public and not private. To do that, head over to the companion app, navigate to "Badges and Trophies" on your profile page and then click "Privacy Setting." Here, you can choose whether you want your badges visible to just you, your friends or all Fitbit users.
The other way to share is to, well, actually share them. To do this, simply click on the badge you want to share. Scroll down just a tad and you'll see a "Share" option. Here, you'll get to add a comment to your badge. Click "Next" and you'll be greeted with a couple of options.
You can choose to share your badge to various Fitbit communities. If you don't want to share within the wide world of Fitbit users, you can simply click "Share elsewhere", which will let you share to the social media of your choice - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, whatever.
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