The workouts don't necessarily have to stop when a woman is expecting - so why doesn't her fitness tracker put in a similar effort?
That's the question that Swapna Krishna, space, science and tech journalist, recently posed to the Twitterverse - and the response was overwhelming. With over 13,000 likes and 2,500 retweets, it was fairly obvious that Krishna wasn't alone.
Hey tech developers: It’d be really nice if you put a “pregnancy mode” in your weight/training/workout etc. apps. I’m getting really tired of my smart scale and exercise apps yelling at me for weight gain/decreased activity.— Swapna Krishna (@skrishna) August 30, 2018
After all, there are several aspects of a woman's life that require some readjustment when she is expecting - and for good reason: to maintain her own health, and the health of her unborn baby. Whether it's keeping track of the amount and type of food she eats, tracking weight gain and calorie intake, or monitoring activity levels, all of this is important to consider during pregnancy - and why so many people are calling for a similar adjustment to fitness apps to accommodate pregnant women.
It's no secret that fitness apps are one of the most useful tools on the market to help you get healthy. Whether they're in the form of wearable technology like the Fitbit, or among the countless smartphone apps available for download across all platforms, there's certainly no shortage of choice. Pregnancy is one of the best reasons to start - or ideally - continue to remain active and healthy, and more and more people seem to be taking notice and calling for this particular gap to be filled.
In her short Twitter thread, Krishna went on to point out the obvious: calorie tracking apps should be adjusted for pregnant and breastfeeding women, smart scales should accommodate women who are expecting, and sleep trackers shouldn't chastise new moms for not getting enough rest. One user even had an idea for a "stroller mode" for tracking exercise, suggesting that the amount of work it takes to push a stroller should be accounted for when calculating calories burned.
Some tech companies have fortunately already responded to the call for action, Nokia, for example, recently introduced a feature called Pregnancy Tracker to their line of connected health devices and apps, which allows pregnant women to receive obstetrician-reviewed advice, tips and personalized weight tracking to best optimize their health. Despite this, Krishna believes that many companies still need to do a better job when it comes to considering their users.
"Apps that literally fail half the population aren’t successful apps,” she said. "Doesn’t matter if you’re in startup mode - men shouldn’t be the default."