April Fitbit Progress!

For April I have been using the Fitbit to see if it helped me get to “know myself” better.

Before I begin I wanted to point out that a) I am not posting my weight changes - I am incredibly private about that sort of stuff in RL, so I am sure not going to be posting that up online.  Yes, there was weight change, and it was positive weight change and I am happy.  But that number is mine and mine alone to know.  b) I did not track the sleeping component because no matter how much I tried I could not get comfortable with a piece of plastic around my wrist; especially a piece of plastic that is emitting signals to my smart phone (which I turn off at night).  So I did not use the Fitbit to track sleep; I have other friends who love their Fitbits for this, and say it is completely comfortable but I was not a fan, nor did I have a strong desire to know this aspect of myself to grin and bare it for the sake of this assignment.

So like I said, I love my Fitbit and doing this experiment definitely helped me become more active, and more aware of the fact that I could get more activity in just by taking a few minutes to leave my seat and wander around.

I work full-time and I am in graduate school…this equates to not having a lot of time to go to the gym, but also it amounts to hours sitting.

I know I am not the most active human being on the planet, but the fit bit just pointed out to me how much I was sitting.

Before the April trial, I went to Japan for a week and a half and there was a lot of walking; in fact we were averaging 20,000+ steps a day while touring.  Because my friends and I were not chained to our desks, we were easily hitting the 10,000 step threshold no sweat.  

However, upon returning to work and school, I found that it would take me nearly a DAY to barely cross the 10,000 step mark.  Remembering that at one point 10,000 steps would take me almost 3-4 hours to reach depending on our daily itinerary in Japan, and now it would take me 10 hours on a normal day, was a stark comparison as to how sedentary I am at work and at school.

So with this in mind, I began to walk around where ever a could: twice around the National Mall if time permitted, asking my taxi to drop me off a few blocks away from school so I could clock in the rest of those precious steps.

The fact that I was also using the Pact App in tandem (more on that later) was further incentive to walk.

Over all I am very happy with my Fitbit; it does what I needed to do: get me to move more.  I believe that I am Fitbit’s intended user, a non-athletic type who just wants to be motivated to move more, and have a friendly competition with other Fitbit users to see who can move more in a week’s time.  However, I feel like there were some limitations that boil down more to the specifics of Fitbit’s algorithms, rather than how I was using the Fitbit.

While the Fitbit and their iPhone interface are very accurate when registering my steps (it’s pretty dead on; not overly sensitive), it’s pretty poor when registering steps when I am doing a Zumba routine or Yoga.  Now the active minutes reader picked up when I was doing those activities, but when I went to the graph view of the step counter, the times where I knew I was working out did not measure as accurately as I hoped.  I had figured that Yoga wouldn’t register since you are doing very controlled movements (even though I am stepping and jumping into poses), but I was shocked that something like a dance routine with Zumba wouldn’t measure ( you are taking steps when you dance!!!).  I am not sure if because I am wearing the fit bit on my non-dominate hand, or Fitbit only measures a step when the movement is going forward in a linear and  constant fashion.

Despite these small hangups, I was very pleased with the Fitbit and I will continue to use it; however I need to find a way to keep my self motivate it to keep wearing it and actually strive to hit my 10,000 beyond the context of this project.