Fitbit, the Quantified Self and behaviour change

My step-by-step guide…

I was introduced to the concept of the Quantified Self in 2013 – a combination of a presentation by a colleague and a BBC Horizon programme called ‘Monitor Me’.

My connection with mHealth goes back a bit further, to when we at Diabetes UK developed a smartphone app called Diabetes UK Tracker, based on extensive user and market research, from 2010 to 2011.

But I didn’t really start tracking my fitness myself until two years ago this month, when I attended an event on behaviour change run by Alcohol Concern but covering a wide spectrum of behaviour change research, programmes and digital tools.

There was a prize for the most engaged participant and I was delighted when my live tweeting and sharing of photos led to me being chosen as the winner.

My prize was a Fitbit Zip. A simple pedometer that clips to your clothing. I had tried phone-based pedometer apps before but the main issue was always how quickly they drained the battery, as well as doubting how well they could really measure our steps, especially when not always on your person.

The Fitbit Zip links via Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone and you simply have to tap it (usually a few times, quite hard) to activate the sync.

To be continued …


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