Wellocracy: What kind of tracker(s) (device/app) are you using and when did you start wearing it?

Wellocracy_Richard_OTW_1Richard: A Fitbit Flex, which I started wearing about a year and a half ago.

Wellocracy: Why did you start using a tracker? Do you have specific health/wellness goals?

Richard: I was getting more sedentary and needed a prod to get more physically active. My daughter and son-in-law had started using Fitbits and convinced me to try one. My goal is to increase my level of activity and get exercise on a regular basis.

Wellocracy: What did you learn about yourself by using a tracker?

Richard: Once I get up out of a chair and start walking, I actually enjoy it. I live next door to a large open space preserve and since I’ve begun walking regularly, I’ve discovered a number of great hiking trails.

Wellocracy: What do you like best about your tracker? What do you like least about it?

Wellocracy_Richard_OTW_3Richard: I like the fact that I now “get credit” for my exercise. On those occasions when I forget to wear it or the battery runs down, I’m really disappointed that my steps aren’t being recorded.

As to negatives, a small but important problem with the Flex is that the clasp on the band has to be closed securely or it can slip off. I lost one tracker this way and had to replace it.

Wellocracy: Do you share your data with family or friends?

Richard: I share my results with my daughter and her husband and their daughter (age 10), my granddaughter. In the last few months, they have been inviting me to participate in Fitbit “Challenges” like the 5-day “Workweek Hustle” or the 2-day “Weekend Warrier” where we compete to see who will accumulate the most steps. This past weekend, I won the competition by taking a long hike that helped me reach 20,000+ steps for the day – my highest daily total yet. I don’t think I would have been motivated to do this much without the competition.

Wellocracy_Richard_OTW_2Wellocracy: What advice would you give someone thinking about tracking or, do you have other thoughts you would like to share?

Richard: Just counting the number of steps (or other metrics) isn’t terribly motivating by itself. I strongly recommend that you find a group of friends or colleagues or family members to share your data with and compete against. It’s much more highly motivating!