Monday, July 26, 2010

Analyzing Steps

HP has been sponsoring a shape-up program for the last 12 weeks. We report our steps and minutes exercised onto a online form. There's lots of cool features, but one missing was a way to analyze your activity. So, I exported my data into Excel (and by "export" I mean typed it in myself) and did a little bit of my own analysis. I thought the findings were cool and wanted to share. All the data is in totals (steps & minutes), but you can still do a relative compare since it's all over the same time frame.

First up are my steps by the day of the week.
Since I have a desk job, I wasn't too surprised that my week-day steps were lower. On Tuesdays I mow the lawn which accounts for the slight bump. My goal was to take a minimum of 5,000 steps a day, but aim for 10,000 steps a day. I hit my 5,000 goal every day but Monday and Wednesday. Saturday was the only day I hit my 10,000 goal.

When I exercise, I take my pedometer off. Most of the time (if not all), these are an official sport I'm playing. Throughout this time I played soccer, volleyball, jiu jitsu and softball.
This data was exactly as I expected. I do jiu jitsu and Wednesday, then split between Monday and Thursday. Soccer and softball happens on the weekend. Since I mow the lawn on Tuesday, I don't feel bad that I'm not doing anything. Friday is really my only free night, and Jessi and I often take that night to go on a walk and talk about our week. Over all, I'm satisfied with my exercise level.

I thought it would be interesting to look at it across the month. July isn't done yet, but enough time has passed that I think it's OK to look at.
Looking at both, I don't know what happened in July. I think it has to do with summer. I've been going on trips, which tends to increase my steps and lower my exercise because I'm out of town.
I haven't fully decided yet, but it would be fun to continue to track my data and see how it changes during the year. I need to find an easy way to do it, or it won't happen.

Finally, here's the raw step data over time.
Do you see the huge spike? That's over 26,000 steps! Jessi and I did that while on a camping trip to Little Crater Lake. Otherwise, you can see I really have two types of days. Either I take 5,000 or less steps, or I take around 10,000 steps. What I really need to focus on is moving those lower numbers up just a little bit more. Perhaps I can put some sort of plan together to add 1,000 steps during the week-day.

Here's what my exercise over time looks like. The data is more sparse, but that's because I don't play a sport every day.
90 minutes is jiu jitsu. 60 was soccer and volleyball. 75 is softball. Some of the higher numbers are days when I had multiple activities. Again, I'm pretty happy about this.

So that's it. Pretty cool findings. I need to work on taking more steps during the week-day, especially Monday and Wednesday. I like my level of exercise and need to just keep it going.

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