Like many an American company, my employer is interested in population health. In fact, more so than most. I work for a hospital.
They’re pushing another “be more active” initiative that involves, yet again, step counts. This gets me a slight eyeroll. Show me a health professional attending to patients that isn’t getting in that 10,000 steps a day gold standard. I mean, really!
However, they don’t only employ health professionals. Take me. I’m a total desk jockey unless I’m teaching a class. (You can’t teach an effective class being sedentary. Good teaching is fairly active performance art)
To log your activity, they want you to use some sort of activity tracker (Fibit, Garmin… a few others). You can’t manually add activity. I guess it must be for some study or something, so they’re only accepting synced activity from a tracker.
I was all like, okay, I track my swims with a Garmin. We’re all good, right?
Nope. They only track steps.
I was offended at first, but I think I’ve finally figured this one out. It’s not that steps are really is a good activity standard. But it is easy enumerate and to track. Give out a step counter, let it sync with your database and boom! You’ve got all kinds of data for your study to push certain types of activity.
Aaaannnd, here’s the swimmer.
Electronic tracking activity for a swimmer is hard. It takes pretty sophisticated programming to figure out what in the hell a swimmer is doing, and tracking heart rate in the water uses devices that are mostly an expensive pain in the ass.
Still, I’m going to come out as “BAD EMPLOYEE DRAIN ON COMPANY RESOURCES SEDENTARY” after having signed up for this, even though I’ve already swum for about an hour before I go in to work.