It’s very rare a product surprises me. When Phillips asked me to review their Activity Monitor I just assumed it would be like the Gruve. I’d get a little report at the end of the day telling me how many calories I burned. What I didn’t expect was the personal attention I received from my coach.
If you are unfamiliar with these type of products they are pretty interesting. You wear a little device that tracks your movement throughout the day. According to the DirectLife website…
The Activity Monitor measures body acceleration (speed increase) in three different directions. These measurements are combined with your age, gender, height and weight. The measurements are then converted to energy use, which are the calories you burn in different activities.
This isn’t a new concept there are quite a few products on the market that do this but as I said, I was surprised by my interactions with my coach, Jen. I was not aware this would be an aspect of the plan until Jen contacted me via email.
Honestly, I went into my review of this product with the wrong attitude. I wore the device for a few days and figured I’d do a quick post with my thoughts. At the time (prior to finding out I was pregnant) I was training for a marathon, running 3-4 times a week, weight training and being overall active. I simply didn’t think I needed help in the activity department. However, when I expressed this to Jen and asked her what role the coaches take on she urged me to look at it in a different light…
Thanks for getting back to me. I hope that you really liked your vacation.
It’s super to hear that you are training for a marathon and that you are happy with your weight as it is. I’m a fellow runner and I’d like to (if you let me) give you a slightly different perspective on what this device is for. Then I’ll answer your question about coaching.
So..the device is for tracking your activity, you are right, but what it tracks is overall activity and thus can point to times of inactivity. Why is that important? Prolonged inactivity is linked to many health problems, even for active people.
So, even for those who work out before work, those 8 hours of sitting at the desk all day are negatively affecting them. The DirectLife program helps people become aware of this and to attack activity on two levels. Set out specific activity times (such as a jog) and also taking every opportunity to be active throughout the day – such as always taking the stairs, going for a lunch walk or parking further away.
Perhaps now knowing its greater use/reach you might consider trying it again? It was actually tough to find lots of sedentary times in your days, however Thursday August 12th from 1 – 4pm is an example (for your reference)
Do let me know if you are interested in trying it out again with a different take (view) on it.
Now, coaching. I’m a DirectLife coach and work full time here in a Philips office with other coaches and the DirectLife team. The coaches have a variety of backgrounds, from behavioral psychology to human kinetics to NLP training and counseling. Every participant is assigned a coach and we each work one to one with our participants (as I do with you). However we do help each other if we have questions and cover for each other if we are sick or go on holidays. Therefore if I was sick for a few days, for instance, and you wrote to me, you would be given the option to be put in touch with another coach to answer your question. Every coaches role is to support their participants in the program. This is different for each participant, depending on their readiness to change, their goals, and even their desire to connect with a coach. Some people I am in touch with weekly, others just a few times in a Plan.
Does that answer your question?
After the email exchange I decided to embrace the device. I started wearing it all the time and I found it completely motivating. Especially when I was working full time. I loved seeing the differences in the days I took a walk with co-workers verses the ones I had meetings all day. I could easily see how my after dinner walks and play time with little guy affected my calories burned and the spikes from my run made me smile. Overall it justified the concept of every little bit helps.
The reports you get are super detailed. Here’s a a few samples from my account drilling down from week, to day, to hour. You can seriously see a bump up if you take a flight of stairs or play with the kids. It’s amazing.
You can carry the device in your pocket, on your belt, around your neck or even, and this is my personal favorite, in your bra. Although after I lost the monitor (they send you a new one if you do) I opted for the necklace. :)
Overall, I can’t think of anything negative to say about the device. Even the price is fairly reasonable. For $99 you get the Activity Monitor, necklace, pouch and USB-adapter plus a 4 month membership which includes access to a personal coach via email and the charts on the website. That’s $25 a month to peer into your daily habits and learn how to incorporate more activity. I think it’s a good amount of time to start adopting some healthy habits for those that are trying to increase their daily activity.
Fellow bloggers who reviewed the product..
Have any of you used the product? Or any activity monitors. What are your thoughts on these type of devices?
Full Disclosure: Phillips did NOT pay me for this review. They did however, provide me the device and membership free of charge to review the product.