Garmin is a company best known for providing wearables to track health metrics like steps, activity levels, etc.

What can I beemind with Garmin?

It varies based on your device.

  • For Vivoki/Vivofit devices, you can track steps, hours of sleep, and intensity minutes
  • For all other devices, you can track steps, hours of sleep, intensity minutes, total distance (in miles or km), and total activity time

Basically, it depends on whether you have the ability to track heart rate or not. If you have a device without HR support, you'll need to use the Vivoki/Vivofit option.

Why isn't my activity showing up in Beeminder?

First, double-check that the activity is synced and shows up in Garmin Connect — that's where Beeminder fetches its data from. If there's still a discrepancy in the total between Beeminder and Garmin, contact Beeminder support and we'll investigate. Including a screenshot from Garmin Connect showing the data that's missing would be really helpful!

What's the difference between intensity minutes and total activity time?

"Intensity minutes" is a metric that Garmin use in which minutes of intense activity (when your heart rate is higher) count double. According to Garmin, this reflects the fact that, while 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week is recommended by health bodies, 75 minutes of more intense activity leads to the same benefits (based on information from the US Department of Health and Human Services).

On Beeminder, you can choose to track either this metric (where more intense exercise will count double), or you can just track the time you spend on physical activities. If you track intensity minutes, a 20-minute walk might count as 30 minutes of exercise: (10 minutes of moderate intensity) + (10*2 minutes of intense activity). If you just track activity duration, a 20-minute walk will count as 20 minutes of exercise.

I've exercised for 20 minutes, but Beeminder is showing a much lower / higher number!

It's likely that your Beeminder goal is tracking intensity minutes (see the question above for more details). If you'd prefer to track your activity duration, you can contact us and we can convert the goal for you.

Garmin sample goal setup

  1. Head to create a new goal.
  2. Click the Garmin icon to start a new goal using Garmin data.The Garmin icon
  3. Depending on the Garmin device you use, different metrics are available. Select your device and then choose a metric from the middle dropdown. Enter the goal amount that you'd like to commit to above the metric. Finally, if you want to delay your goal's start a few days (maybe you're traveling this weekend), be sure to tick the Start this goal with extra leeway box. Enter the number of days you want to delay and press Continue.

    Garmin goal creation page: at the top, the Beeminder and Garmin logos, followed by the option to choose Vivoki/Vivofit as your Garmin device, or "Other Device". Then you get to choose your metric from a dropdown, e.g. steps, and enter the number you want to do in the box just above it. There's a checkbox below for adding extra leeway if you don't want your graph to start right away.
  4. If you haven't already connected with Garmin, you'll need to give us access. Follow the prompts to log in, and then make sure you give us permission to view your Activities (if you want to track workouts, e.g. run mileage) and Daily Health Stats (if you want to track anything else, like steps). It's probably most straightforward to give us permissions for both of these, and will make things easier for setting up potential future goals with Garmin.

    Screenshot of the Garmin authentication options: at the top there's a Beeminder icon, and below it says "Control the information you share", with the options to toggle on and off access to "Activities" and "Daily Health Stats"After that, you get another screen where you have to click "Agree". Once you've agreed, you'll return to Beeminder to finish setting up your graph.
  5. Give your goal a brief name. If you want, you can also write a short description with more information.

    Shows the "Give your goal a name" page, with "stepitup" entered in the first box, showing how it creates the goal's URL. Below there's a box with the description entered, saying "Get more steps"
  6. Finally, choose your initial pledge. This is the amount you will pay the first time you derail on the goal. After derailing, the pledge will increase by default — use the dropdown below to control how high it goes by selecting the cap. In the example below, I have chosen to start at a $5 pledge, which will increase each time I derail, until it reaches $270 — the pledge cap. (To read more about pledges and payments, check out some FAQs!)

    If you want to start out with a sort of trial period, you can choose to start the goal at $0. If you do that, the pledge will automatically increase to $5 after seven days. If you derail before that, it will also increase to $5.

    Screenshot of the "Starting Stakes" screen. The text says "Your pledge will increase each time you derail until you reach your pledge cap (which you can adjust below)", with a demonstration below showing the pledge progression: 5, 10, 30, 90... to the pledge cap, which currently shows $270. Below, a checkbox button allows you to choose to "Hold the pledge at $0 for 7 days while I get my feet wet"
  7. And that's it! I'll need to start moving in the next 4 days to avoid paying Beeminder my first $5.

    An example Garmin graph, with +10000 steps due in 4 days

Keywords: autodata integrations, fitness trackers, step counters

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