Fascinated By My Health Data

I love data!

I use it every single day at BrightGauge to better manage my team and our business.  Therefore as I started my health kick in mid December (yes, before the New Years) I realized I had no visibility into my health or my activities.  Like most people my health data was mostly from weighing myself every once in awhile and assuming that the exercises I was doing would help.

But this time was different, I wanted to have more visibility into my health and more real time data.  So I tried the Apple Watch for a few months and started to get hooked on the health data it was providing but the analytics behind it were lacking.  So for Christmas I asked Santa for a new FitBit and he delivered (thanks to my wife).  Since the moment I put on the watch Christmas morning my health data world has exploded with tons of new data points.

I am not only a “data guy” but also an “operations guy” so I’m a big believer in how to be more efficient with my resources, especially my time as it’s the only resource I can’t make more of.  As I dug into the FitBit data more I started seeing some interesting patterns and have since adjusted my activities to get the maximum benefit for my time and my health.

Below are two charts from the last few days, the first is from a brisk walk I took one morning where I averaged a 3.35 mph pace and the second is from a recent spinning workout I did for 55 minutes.

Brisk Walk Stats


Brisk Walk Stats


Spinning Workout Stats

Spinning Workout Stats

These are just a couple of the data points but for me, since my goal is weight loss, heart rate and calorie burn are the most important.

According to the data provided by Fitbit, using my demographic statistics, doing normal activity I burn 1.4 calories per minute which totals up to 1991 calories burned in one day.  As the data above shows, by going for a brisk walk I increase that burn rate by 714% to 10 calories/min and by spinning increase the burn rate by 1,000% to 14 calories/min.

Those percentages impressed me but what also surprised me was how close the calorie burn rate between spinning (a high exertion activity) and a brisk walk (perceived as a more leisurely activity) actually is.  It put my mind at ease that the days I can’t make it to the gym for the 55 min spin class, I can reproduce the same calorie burn a brisk 1hr and 17 min walk around the neighborhood versus just giving up for the day.

I’ll end this the way I started…I love data!