Friday, January 15, 2016

Shifting Baselines

In mid December I found my Fitbit - a gift from last Christmas, I lost it early in the year... But it was hiding in my button box (where I keep buttons give to you when you buy a piece of clothing - which after the organizing post should be disposed of as per the MariKondo method).

Well, I found it, finally almost 10 months later, and I started to use it. And while I recognize that it will likely loose it's luster after a while, for the moment I am really enjoying it. Having something that tracks your steps, especially when working at an office job really keeps up accountable. I honestly believe I take 1/2 the steps I think I do...

Anecdotal evidence so far: On the days that I wear the Fitbit I walk further to get lunch, I make plans to walk somewhere rather than drive, and I have actively been adding activity back into my life. 

A couple of Thursdays ago I forgot I was wearing my Fitbit, and at 3pm, I had only satisfied 1/5 of my dots - so I had walked less than 3,000 steps!

Has anyone heard the saying shifting baselines? It's a term that's typically used when comparing changes in items over time. I initially heard of it in a in science context where the reference point in which you are measuring against also changes. Then incremental changes don't appear that shocking or large because they are always comparing them to a new baseline (for example like fish populations only decreased 5% since last year, but if that happens over 10 years your fish population has decreased by 40%). 

From Mission Blue

I believe this also happens in our own lives, year after year certain things can fall away unless we take note. New years is always a good time to remember, but for many of us the idea of having a New Year's resolution is too cliche. For me becoming more sedentary has been a noticeable decline. I can't pinpoint when it started but several years after removing it from my focus, I can see a significant difference in my activity level from 5 years ago. And as my baseline decreases, so does my overall fitness.

So if nothing else, I hope that this FitBit helps me maintain my baseline, and will hopefully reverse the recent decline of it!


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