The Latest Fitbit Revelation & An Activity Level Home Study

One of the graphs that shows up on my Fitbit home page is a pie chart showing my day’s activities broken down into four categories:

  • Very active
  • Fairly active
  • Lightly active
  • Sedentary

Here’s what my pie chart looks like for Monday, a day when I went to the gym and really cranked out a power 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer:

Seeing that brought to mind this classic cartoon:

Edward Koren, Well, There's Your Problem

Yep, funny how a total lack of activity can be a factor in being overweight. As I am able to do more exercise, I’ll also have to work to keep my overall activity level higher.

I’ve done a little reading about standing desks, and desks with built-in treadmills. I like the idea, but it seems unlikely that I’ll get that set-up going in the house. I wonder how the Y would feel if I showed up with a board to slap across the arms of the treadmill to hold my laptop, and walked and worked for a couple of hours each day?

Already, I’m seeing how all of the little things can add up—parking in the far parking space (only practical when the temperature is reasonable), taking the stairs, taking breaks from work every 30 minutes or so not just to rest my eyes, but to move my body, etc.

You could do your own activity level study at home without a Fitbit, tracking your activity throughout the day. For one day, act like one of those politicians who chronicles everything and write down the start and stop times for everything you do. You can probably use a stopwatch feature on your phone or watch to get a good count.

Very active is only exercise, most likely; fairly active might be walking around the grocery store or going to and from your car at work; lightly active might be walking to the bathroom or getting the mail, or even standing around at a party or bar; sedentary is obviously any time you are not standing up.

I’ll let you be the final judge on this, but suffice it to say, if you are lying down and NOT sleeping while someone else is NOT sleeping at the same time, shall we call that lightly active? If you think it should be more than that, just be honest about the proportion of time you spend lightly versus very, as it were. If you are engaging in this activity professionally, however, I bet you can get away with slotting it all into very active.

I’m not feeling totally high energy today. I’m going to push through and go to the gym, though, because I’ve never regretted doing that. I may also go wander around a few stores before my weight loss group/class tonight. I’m very curious to see what the scale there shows, as my own loss at home since last Wednesday has been much slower than the previous two weeks. I don’t really care as long as it is still moving down!

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2 Responses to The Latest Fitbit Revelation & An Activity Level Home Study

  1. Oh that pie chart!! I seriously thought it’d say something else after 30 mins! Haha, I had to look again at the sentence above it to make sure I read it right!! Anyhow, good luck with your meeting tonight! I hope it’s a good one for you! 🙂

  2. Andie says:

    I’ve had a few exercise days now, and the damn thing NEVER counts my full 30 minutes as very active. Always half very active, and the rest, fairly. Unfair, if you ask me. But, once I have the calories (& so the stamina) to go for longer, I know how motivated I’ll be by trying to get more and more minutes in the very active slot.

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