Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 81

Thread: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    8,307
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    About a week ago I posted about my recently acquired Withings Activite in the what did the postman bring thread. I was skeptical at first, but wanted to give one a try to see if I could better understand my general, non-riding activity and sleep patterns. Despite riding a fair amount I still feel that I've become way too lethargic most of the day. I sit at a desk or conference table all day and plop down on the sofa as soon as I finish dinner (sometimes before dinner). And I'm pretty tired most of the time. Lately I've really started noticing that I can't stay up late and still put in a hard ride the next day. Long? Sure. I can ride for hours, but staying with, let alone sharing the work, on hammerhead rides or races is getting tougher without proper rest.

    I know the data collection stuff isn't for everybody, but I'm a tech geek by day so I enjoy it. Plus, this is in the training sub-forum, so if you're reading this you're probably a numbers nerd too. I already train with power and HR most days, so I hoped the general activity data would compliment what I already track. So far I'm into it. I've only taken the watch off twice since getting it last week. Both evenings this weekend I had parties to attend so I wore a dressier watch. As soon as I got home and took off my watch the Activite went back on. Turns out I really like to have as much of a complete picture as possible. I don't have experience with others like fitbit or the garmin equivalent, but I'm liking the Withings so far. It even passed the watch-snob approval test when I wore it around some family members this weekend.

    It's been interesting to get some data to validate or help explain my suspicions. Bottom line, I'm way too stagnant at work and I don't sleep well often enough. No surprises there. An interesting observation on the sleep front is seeing the amount of deep sleep, or lack of it, and how it seems to have the most correlation to how I feel the next day rather than the total time asleep. Here's where I'm at today:



    I didn't have time to ride or workout today, it's the evening and my biggest "event" was walking a block away to get lunch. Not exactly active.

    Anyway, I'm curious if anyone else is using an activity tracker and whether it helped change any behaviors or habits? A bunch of people at work use them and all had very positive things to say, but they're not generally a bunch that participates in physical pursuits on their own. I'm more curious about the usage of already active individuals. Are you integrating the data closely with other training data, wearing the tracker but ignoring the data, or something in between? I'm only a week in so I figured I could maybe get some tips or ideas from those of you with more experience.

    PS - Apologies for the novel. The corresponding photos of me collecting sleep data turned out to be creepy.
     

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Better to be ruined than to be silent atmo.
    Posts
    17,941
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    I dunno how to do screen shots from my iPad.
    But my page for today says
    9,233 steps
    1922 calories burned
    9 hours 19 minutes sleep (29 min awake, 4:23 light, and 3:46 heavy)
    64.1 kg weight
    5.7% body fat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    worlds biggest island
    Posts
    1,470
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    I notice that I don't sleep anywhere near as well now compared to even five years ago, not as active as I've gone from a physical job to a relatively inactive one. Much more lethargic than previously, the less I do the less I want to do. I have had a fair amount of stress in my life the past bit though. A lot of things factor in to general well being me thinks.
    Bill Fernance
    Bicycle Shop Owner
    Part Time Framebuilder
    Bicycle Tragic

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale
    Posts
    5,690
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    I've been casually comparing options for an activity tracker. I'd like to see how active I really am during the various days of the week since I do so many different activities: I mainly want to know how many calories I burn getting up to get cookies. I'd like a product that doesn't serve as a main watch though because I already have a watch I like to wear. I think the fitbit is small enough that I could wear it on my other arm and it wouldn't be obtrusive.
    Auk's words to live by:
    Blow up and pin a picture of M. Bartoli on your wall. When you achieve that position, stop. Until then, stretch, ride, stretch, ride, eat less, and ride more.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    738
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    I wore a Jawbone for over a year when they first came out (also in the tech industry). It was primarily to look at sleep patterns. I was not concerned about activities patterns because while I too have a "desk job" that requires many meetings, I take the stairs, have a height adjustable desk (can stand or sit), and am 'that guy' who will get up and stand if the meeting is long.

    While tracking sleep patterns (length/quality) was interesting it was also the hardest to do anything about. Generally if I was having a bad stretch of sleep I did not need a device to tell me this. And the causes were work/stress/travel related. There are some things that can help but other then quitting my job there was not much I was going to do about it.
    Brian McLaughlin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    8,307
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Quote Originally Posted by Bewheels View Post
    I wore a Jawbone for over a year when they first came out (also in the tech industry). It was primarily to look at sleep patterns. I was not concerned about activities patterns because while I too have a "desk job" that requires many meetings, I take the stairs, have a height adjustable desk (can stand or sit), and am 'that guy' who will get up and stand if the meeting is long.
    I need to get back in the habit of this. When I started my career I did a lot of training. Presenting to a class kept me on my feet a fair amount. And I lived in a city and walked to and from work or to the train station most days. Now I work in an office park that requires a 45 minute drive to get to and at a company where we regularly do large, long group meetings. I think I'm going to start with standing more during meetings and maybe give a height adjustable desk a try.
     

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Marseille, France
    Posts
    472
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Using these activity trackers sans HR or any other physiological metric for estimating caloric or joule expenditure is next-to useless. An activity tracker measures a step using an accelerometer and the vast majority of them make no distinction between types of steps. So, if I'm walking briskly vs shuffling slowly down the sidewalk the reality is that I'm engaging different muscles, different energy systems..etc. which will result in a different level of energy expenditure that will go completely unnoticed by the activity tracker. Using these systems can be good, especially if you're the kind of person who does well to use these data as motivation to move more, but using them to estimate caloric expenditure/consumption is a bit far-fetched in my opinion and could lead to more harm than good.

    And Richie, I'd get that BF% calibrated. 5.7% puts you below the lower-limit for healthy, athletic fat content and by some studies' estimates is actually less than the "essential" body fat required for healthy cardiovascular function. If that number is accurate, you should be able to see just about every muscle fiber and vein in your body against your skin and while I'm a doctor of a different sort, I'd recommend trying to bring that number up a bit.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

    https://ascheyerlabas.exposure.co/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    arlington heights, mass.
    Posts
    757
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    Anyway, I'm curious if anyone else is using an activity tracker and whether it helped change any behaviors or habits?
    Nice review. My wife is on her second Jawbone UP24. The first one stopped working and the second one is flaky. We're done with it and I thought she would benefit from the Withings Activité Pop so she's getting the Wild Sand model as a holiday gift from me. She really only wants a step and sleep tracker and she likes the fact that the Pop has a battery that lasts several months. Bonus points for being stylish. She really likes having the step goals to the point where she'll walk around the house to get the last small percentage. The Jawbone definitely changed her walking habits and I'm hoping the Pop will continue this trend and make life a little easier.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    9,583
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    I am back to trying the Apple Watch, because well, long story. But I like the short cuts it provides to my phone, which counter-intuitively (for me at least) make me less "involved" with my phone. Lately it has been very hard to get away from a seemingly unending stream of emails. Not all of them are important, but enough of them are that I have to look when one arrives. The watch makes looking and deleting easy quick and I don't get distracted by an offer for bike stuff at 10% off.

    The Activity Monitor is irritating. I really don't like the whole focus on calories, which I think is basically meaningless. One, I doubt the accuracy of the calculations almost entirely. Two, even if accurate, burning calories doesn't have a lot to do with fitness. I wish the calories part could be switched off or changed to some other factor. If heart rate and steps were matched up along with hours of activity so that you could get a 24 hour view of when you were active and moving around what your heart rate was doing, that would actually be interesting. And if the Apple Watch had an actual sleep monitor built into the Activity Monitor or the Workout app that blended all the stats together. Sleep as an Activity or as a Workout even, would be a lot healthier than calories, which seems to so much more about food than health.

    But I am guessing calories sells watches.

    Strava and the goals I set in Strava have the biggest effect on my activity level. I set a rather modest 150 mile/week goal, and that keeps my attention focused (at least) on the need to ride, even if I don't manage to get out and ride due to responsibilities. And I know that if I am focused on the need to ride, I will eventually get back into the rhythm of riding more regularly - like when I used to ride 4-6 days a week for at least 25 miles/day a few years ago. Anyway, so I have shut off the Activity Monitor on the watch and put Strava front and center in the way the apps are organized so that the goals there take a prominent position in how I interact with the watch. And that seems better than wrestling with the Activity Monitor.

    So I vote for no calorie measurements on these things.
    Jorn Ake
    poet

    Flickr
    Books

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    914
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    I feel your pain brother. Here are some things I do to get out from behind my desk...as I type this standing.

    - I stand at my desk as much as possible.
    - I drink A LOT of water. Frequent trips to take a leak keep me moving.
    - I take all phone calls standing or walking around my office. My office is pretty big so I can walk about it pretty freely. I don't wander the halls on the phone but pace around my office when I take calls.
    - I go outside and walk, every few hours. Especially after lunch. Laps around the parking lot. 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
    - Instead of sending emails across the office, I walk over to talk to my work mates. Just another way to move. Plus it is more personal.

    I don't use anything to track my activities. I am not into all that and not a techy person. Monitoring my sleep patterns would be interesting though.



    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    I need to get back in the habit of this. When I started my career I did a lot of training. Presenting to a class kept me on my feet a fair amount. And I lived in a city and walked to and from work or to the train station most days. Now I work in an office park that requires a 45 minute drive to get to and at a company where we regularly do large, long group meetings. I think I'm going to start with standing more during meetings and maybe give a height adjustable desk a try.
    The mountains are calling and I must go.

    - John Muir

    The name is Guy Fazzio

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    9,583
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    P.S. I think the best part of the Withings is that it does not appear to be a device, and the display and the information it records does not intrude into your visual space all the time. We now have doctors treating neck maladies and prescribing very different sorts of glasses in order to compensate for the shift in where/which direction we look most often (down) and how close to our head we focus our eyes (very near.) One of the best exercises one can do is to go out into a big field and concentrate at focusing on things that are farther away than across the street. Doesn't mean I think we shouldn't use these activity trackers - I think they are great actually, my wife being proof of how they can make someone more engaged in being active - but there is something to having a device that encourages activity without focusing your activity on itself. I worry that psychologically (if not physically) we are becoming short-sighted introverts with smaller and smaller spheres of awareness and it shows in our attitudes and politics.
    Jorn Ake
    poet

    Flickr
    Books

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    4,509
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    5.7% body fat
    damn! is that fighting percentage, or typical year round for you? that's impressively lean.




    so I've been looking at activity trackers for the same reasons. this sitting at a desk thing is getting to me, and if i were honest with myself, that plus lack of riding, plus hating my job, is causing me to teeter on the slim line of situational depression. i'll spare the details. anyway, activity trackers for cyclists...do any of these track either HR or activity while riding? it doesn't appear that the Withings does. I'd like something that provides as complete of a picture as possible, including riding. I'm assuming most of these use some sort of accelerometer to calculate steps. if not, i'll likely end up with some sort of Garmin device since I can EP them.
    -Dustin

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Better to be ruined than to be silent atmo.
    Posts
    17,941
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    To be clear, the weight and body fat percentage information I posted about come from the scale (Smart Body Analyzer) not the watch (Activité or Activité Pop). I use the two products as part of a system. The scale can be synced with your iPad to read info as "normal" or "athlete". My settings are switched to "athlete".

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Miami, Florida
    Posts
    8,307
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Quote Originally Posted by dashDustin View Post
    <snip>anyway, activity trackers for cyclists...do any of these track either HR or activity while riding? it doesn't appear that the Withings does. I'd like something that provides as complete of a picture as possible, including riding. I'm assuming most of these use some sort of accelerometer to calculate steps. if not, i'll likely end up with some sort of Garmin device since I can EP them.
    The Withings Activite doesn't track HR. It does record activity while riding, but not in a cycling specific way. I rode for 2 hours this morning and it tracked around 3K steps. Clearly I wasn't stepping and 3K is only about 1/5th of the amount of times I stomped down on the pedals, but it does reflect that I was moving and being active. The 1/5 percentage of steps while riding seems to be pretty consistent, but that may just be based on how I move around while riding. Detection of cadence, duration, or some other cycling specific metrics would be pretty sweet. I know the Withings can integrate with some other fitness apps, I just haven't delved into it enough to see how it paints the full picture with my cycling data. I have some time off starting next week so I'll play around with it some more then.
     

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    5,233
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Quote Originally Posted by liv2bike View Post
    I feel your pain brother. Here are some things I do to get out from behind my desk...as I type this standing.

    - I stand at my desk as much as possible.
    - I drink A LOT of water. Frequent trips to take a leak keep me moving.
    - I take all phone calls standing or walking around my office. My office is pretty big so I can walk about it pretty freely. I don't wander the halls on the phone but pace around my office when I take calls.
    - I go outside and walk, every few hours. Especially after lunch. Laps around the parking lot. 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
    - Instead of sending emails across the office, I walk over to talk to my work mates. Just another way to move. Plus it is more personal.

    I don't use anything to track my activities. I am not into all that and not a techy person. Monitoring my sleep patterns would be interesting though.
    I started standing at my desk a few months ago. This is not a thing right now in old europe and people are asking me lots of question about it.

    Anyway we have a quite large office for 4 people which mean I also walk a bit, especially when we are doing some brainstorming sessions. I sometimes take my bike and do some trackstand in the middle of the office too which raise a few eyebrows when people from other teams visit us. We got the chance to be quite open minded people so there is music all day long from very calm chillout/ambient music, reggae/dub and we almost always end up the day with 2-3 hours of club/techno/dance so I'm literally dancing at times.

    With more than 12h of train commute each day and it doesn't let me a lot of time to ride the bike, most of them being short ride during lunch time. I don't want to harm my relationship so I rarely ride after work and I rarely ride during the week-end if I don't have a race/event planned. I think being more active at the office these last few months helped me stay in shape during CX season despite the lack of training.
    --
    T h o m a s

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    5,233
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Oh and my suunto ambit S watch has a limited amount of activity tracking outside of the specifically recorded sporty exercises. Right now it says 1524kcal (moderate activity) for the day and 2446 for the current week. I'd like to know more about my sleeps. I used to be an heavy sleeper when I was young, now not that much but that is really because I want to extend the day once the small girls are asleep.
    --
    T h o m a s

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fort Lauderdale
    Posts
    5,690
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    I started standing at my desk a few months ago. This is not a thing right now in old europe and people are asking me lots of question about it.

    Anyway we have a quite large office for 4 people which mean I also walk a bit, especially when we are doing some brainstorming sessions. I sometimes take my bike and do some trackstand in the middle of the office too which raise a few eyebrows when people from other teams visit us. We got the chance to be quite open minded people so there is music all day long from very calm chillout/ambient music, reggae/dub and we almost always end up the day with 2-3 hours of club/techno/dance so I'm literally dancing at times.

    With more than 12h of train commute each day and it doesn't let me a lot of time to ride the bike, most of them being short ride during lunch time. I don't want to harm my relationship so I rarely ride after work and I rarely ride during the week-end if I don't have a race/event planned. I think being more active at the office these last few months helped me stay in shape during CX season despite the lack of training.
    12 hours of train commuting per day?
    Auk's words to live by:
    Blow up and pin a picture of M. Bartoli on your wall. When you achieve that position, stop. Until then, stretch, ride, stretch, ride, eat less, and ride more.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    4,509
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    With more than 12h of train commute each day
    am i reading that correctly? 12 hours each day?
    -Dustin

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    5,233
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    typo ! per week
    --
    T h o m a s

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    301
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Activity tracker for the active cyclst

    Good thread and rundown. I like the Withings -- stylish, functional, and sponsors a cyclocross team. Win.

    I need a sleep tracker. I used to do this manually and then with an iPhone but both are no longer doable for different reasons.

    Heart rate would be nice, too, especially an optical heart rate. Anyone have experience with them?
    Andy

    RAI Reporter: "Did you have it in mind to go for the win today?"
    Eddy Merckx: "Why do you ask me that? Why do you think I'm here? To watch the others win?"

Similar Threads

  1. Rides & activity report - Jan 26th to Feb 1st
    By Lionel in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 100
    Last Post: 02-02-2015, 09:06 PM
  2. Decreasing activity levels...
    By suhacycles in forum The OT
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-08-2014, 10:05 AM
  3. lifetime activity
    By bironi in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 07-21-2011, 11:05 PM
  4. Word of mouth or Active Advertising
    By bike53x11 in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-21-2011, 01:58 PM
  5. OT - Flickr question about Recent Activity
    By Tristan in forum The OT
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-21-2010, 06:54 PM

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •