Fitbit: You Had Me at Smooches
social life & social media | sports & fitness
Colette Ellis is a Wellness Coach & Consultant, Author, and speaker. In this talk, Collettte discusses her journey using Fitbit, podcasts, and social media to uncover new revelations about her own mind-body health, and identify new ways to support her clients in their overall health and well-being. She tries to understand if Fitbit engages her and if it helps changes her behavior.
Fitbit - You Had Me at Smooches
Good evening everyone, my name is Colette Ellis and imagine if you were to get that email that says you walked over 5,000 steps today, congts on earning your first badge. So that was actually a true life story for me at the beginning of June.
My Fitbit journey started when I participated in the Health 2.0 Dave Peluza Conference down in DC and running in the 5K or actually I should say I was running and power walking in the 5K enabled me to win a Fitbit. So I thought this is interesting. I’ve never done this before, and so that was around June 3 or 4.
By the next week I got my Fitbit. I started wearing it and then boom, there you go 5,000 and I thought wow, this is actually kind of cool and maybe I want to learn more about how this works.
So you know as a health and wellness coach I think that a lot of people I work with they feel that they want to get healthier right, I men who in this room doesn’t want to get healthier? Okay cool, one person.
So the thought is that life gets in the way. So you’ve got family, you’ve got work, you’ve got school, you’ve got kids or whatever it is that sort of gets in the way of health.
So what are the ways that we can be more aware of the things that we’re doing so that we can actually get healthier? And as I started doing it I actually though you know this is something I want to learn more about.
So I thought you know there was one day I wasn’t feeling sort of super motivated and I maybe had like I don’t know five or seven days and I happened to have it so I got the Fitbit one and it’s actually clipped on me now, and it literally did say Smooches Colette, and I have tried 15,000 time since then to try to get the Smooches to appear on the screen again – never again. But swear to you promise that one day I picked it up and it said Smooches Colette and I thought that was kind of cool, so all right if the Fitbit really loves me that much maybe I can lace on my sneakers and go for a run, so I literally did go for my run that day, partly in part because of the message that I got from the Fitbit.
So this is my running route. I run along Brooklyn Bridge Park and so I get to see the Brooklyn Bridge on a daily basis, but I’ve been starting to run in May, so this was June so i was really kind of like not really sure is running for me and not really sure if this is what I can do. And like I said in the 5K I only had power walked part of it and run part of it, so I wasn’t really up to running at full speed.
So but again there was this thought process of motivating device sent me a message and I felt like I could actually do it. And I think that that’s what’s really important about sort of technology and also support. To think of the ways that would actually support ourselves, not just from ourselves but what are the external supports that we get.
So again there was my badge, I had walked over 5,000 steps and so what’s interesting about the fitbit, so the mile marker I guess if you will is 10,000 steps per day. But the system still gave me that badge that said that I had gotten half way there right, so that motivating factor that says okay, you’re half way there and maybe the next time you can actually walk or run 5,000 more steps to get to the full amount.
So again, it was this concept of in my mind, so I do this stuff for a living, I do this with clients, but again this was a real opportunity for me to say am I walking the talk. Am I actually really engaging in my own health and wellness in a way that actually enables me to better understand why when my clients hit a wall like I get it because there are days where I don’t really want to lace up the sneakers and I really don’t want to go out and take that run. And so it’s like real life right, you know something sort of happens in the way.
And the other thing is that it also impact depending on how you work. So if you’re in the entrepreneur community which I’m sure most of you are, you know the meeting happens, the client call happens. It’s sort of like so when are you doing it. Am I going to go running at Brooklyn Bridge Park at two in the morning? I don’t think so, but so it’s like how do you make this a regular habit? How do you build it into your lifestyle that actually becomes something that you do all the time.
So motivation, I don’t know about for you but I sensed to learn by the Fitbit for the fact that I’m actually motivated by challenge, so I don’t know for how you’re motivated but there’s like lots of different ways. So I started to explore that, and so there’s sort of the inside motivation, individual motivation, so challenge, what are the goals, and maybe I’m not quite sure how I’m going to get there. Curiosity like what’s this thing all about. Control, like I need to be in control, I need to be a the top of that leaderboard within that community, or there’s sort of like emotional aspects and fantasy.
And then also there’s the community aspect which is the other piece that I’ve learned by doing this. It’s this concept of we don’t do these health things on our own. We can actually engage in a community and be supported more in our efforts.
So I walked after doing a few more weeks I got the 50 mile badge, which I will tell you I had to write this down today, I’ve actually walked over 145 miles since starting the Fitbit back in June. Again it’s the concept that I keep getting these badges that keep telling me, they keep motivating me to say you’re on your way keep going.
So then I learned about this and actually I was researching for the last talk that I gave at the Health Care and bound Conference to realize that I am now a urban data sexual, so I have actually moved from making fun of people that take pictures of their food and post it on Facebook and Twitter to now like posting all the time like, hey I completed week five, day one of my C25K run. And I actually post this on Twitter and post it on Facebook, so it’s amazing how these things can change behavior.
So I sort of joined the couch to 5K runner community. I also listen to couch to 5K podcast to keep me motivated during my run. So it’s all really about learning this concept of we’re all sort of using these different devices, but I don’t really think the devices alone do it. I really think it’s the support, the motivation, the fact that I get a like on my Facebook page when I complete my run, or the fact that I get you know see other people doing the same thing and I can give them support and motivation through the process.
So for self-care it’s not just about fitness, it’s about total well-being, so in reality these were the things I started to look at. I actually work virtually, so I started to look at the times where I wasn’t even coming close to coming to not even to 10,000 steps. Not even 5,000 steps, it stated to make me realize how inactive I was during the day. And it also made me start to look at my sleep, so what was I doing when I was being woken 25 times in the night. So that concept that you start to become more aware of your behavior. So the fitness piece was how I went into this, and then I started getting a lot more information about the things that are impacting my health and wellness.
So then I started thinking again, are we walking our talk, right. so again as a coach we say that we want to do a lot of regular exercise, but again life gets in the way and we don’t always get a chance to do it. so really for me it’s about how do we create those tools, how do we create the apps, how do we create the systems that will support all of us in this journey for all of us to become more healthy, and that’s just a sedentary lifestyle.
The concept in New York between 20 and 27% of people over the age of 18 say they do no physical activity or exercise other than what they do for their job over the last 30 days. And again, as I started to look at the graph that I showed you before of my own activity I’m not always super active either. So it’s like again, we set the goals but how do we actually keep ourselves motivated and keep us working towards becoming more active.
So does the Fitbit engage me, does it change my behavior? It does, and in strange ways. So when I come to a place like this and they say you have to walk up to the second floor and like yes, two more floors on my Fitbit.
I started to become really more engaged in that and being able to challenge myself to do things in that way. So I have actually floors, 522 floors since I started doing my Fitbit. Again, that type of data’s exciting for me because now it’s like how can I get to the next bench, how can I increase my activity.
So this is old data, but at the time when I gave this presentation that’s where I was and again it does motive me and keep me moving forward.
But what I think is exciting is that all of the demos people were given in here today, because when I gave this talk in July I wasn’t aware of all of the platforms that people are creating. Because my thought is the data is great, but we really want to create the systems that meet people wherever they are.
So whether you have never done any kind of walking, where I was talking with people earlier who were like, our company did this challenge but I’m not really sure if I want to get engaged in walking or running.
I really want to find ways that we can motivate people before they start working out, when they’re working out and then at the end part really important when they hit the wall, right. So you say, my god, I really don’t want to do this anymore, how can we help people get more engaged in their health and fitness.
So I’m comforted by the fact that there are platforms that are being designed to support this, because the other thing was I’m getting all of this data from my Fitbit but how was that helpful in the broader scheme? So you know, if I was going to a physician how would they get that data, if I wanted to share that data with someone else, my coach or another coach, how would I actually do that. So I’m really excited by the platforms that were demoed tonight, so again to get that process of where it becomes more holistic and it becomes sort of just second nature, that we’re collecting the data, we’re sharing the data and we’re motivating ourselves to stay fit.
So at the time when I last did this presentation I had reached my 10,000 step badge. I walked over 11,000 steps in one day. So again, it’s that concept of how can we keep ourselves motivated, how can we be tracking in a way that really makes sense and meaningful. Like the 10,000 steps, 11,000 step yeah it sounds good, but in order to keep this going then I really think we need to create a system that is more sustainable that give more than just the sort of high five and the badge.