What fitness trackers do we use?
When we started out in 2014, we researched online looking for not only affordable fitness trackers that we could provide the kids in our Fly Movement program, but for some sort of health technology dashboard that could group all the kids’ fitness data. (As you can see we are not tech geeks, but I wish we were). Since we envisioned working with several schools and hundreds of 3rd and 4th grade students, we needed an online solution that allowed us to form teams among different schools and classrooms. We wanted to be able to download data into Excel spreadsheets so we could ‘slice and dice’ data. Being able to do this, for example, allows us to see which gender moves more – boys or girls? Or what day of the week do kids move the most – Friday or Saturday?
At first we thought the big players in the fitness tracker industry like Garmin or Fitbit would have this type of platform. But we were wrong. While these wearable trackers are great for individuals, they did not provide the kind of health technology platform we needed to launch Fly Movement. We even considered ordering cheap fitness trackers from China and having a software developer create the kind of application we needed. But with lack of funds, that wasn’t feasible. Finally. we discovered Movbands, but in particularly DHS group who not only sold basic fitness trackers, but had the kind of health technology platform we were looking for.
We use Movband 2 fitness trackers from DHS
The Movband 2 fitness tracker from DHS Group is a simple and affordable fitness tracker. It retails for $29.99 and uses accelerometer technology to track movements. Here are the features and benefits I directly pulled from their website:
FEATURES & BENEFITS
Movband 2 features include:
- Wristworn style
- Syncs via USB
- 40 day battery life with rechargeable battery
- Rechargeable battery
- Connects to the HealthSpective Engage Dashboard to track progress, connect with groups, and join fun & effective challenges
- Receive a discount when using promo code ‘FLYSaves’
Exponential Impact (The Health Technology Dashboard we use from DHS Group)
This is a glimpse of the fitness dashboard we use. When we synchronize the Movband trackers the kids are using via USB to a laptop, we can view their progress, connect them with other groups, and download their data onto Excel spreadsheets where we can then slice the data, create fun infographics, and share their progress via our newsletter and social media.
This technology dashboard is not limited to Movband trackers. Although I have never tried using it with another wearable fitness tracker like a Fitbit or Garmin, it can work with other trackers. Also, DHS has newer models of their Movbands which you can see here.
How long do the Movbands tracker last?
In our experience running the Fly Movement program and kids utilizing the trackers 24/7 (our kids’ health program is six weeks long), the Movband 2 trackers on average last 12 – 18 weeks (2-3 Fly Movement programs). Keep in mind, kids from a variety of backgrounds ages 7 through 9 are using our trackers which are being synchronized once a week. We’ve had some Movbands that have lasted through four programs while others only survived two programs before not functioning again. If you decide or order the Movband or any other products from DHS, use promo code ‘FLYSaves’ for a 10% discount.
The Movband (wristband) that holds the Movband tracker generally lasts for only one program as the kids put a lot of wear and tear on them. These cost $4.99 and can be found here.
If you have any further questions about our kids’ fitness program, please visit our help center where you will find other FAQs.
Setting up a new School or Subgroup (How we do it)
- Log into Movable.com. Click on Group Admin – Groups. Create a subgroup (name of subgroup should be in the format ‘school_Last Name of Teacher_Mont_Year’, i.e. KIPP_Angon_Oct-14.
- Create an invite code for that particular group. Invite code should be the first letter of the teacher’s first name followed by their last name. i.e. Eric Huerta –invite code: EHuerta
- Once the groups are created, each individual tracker will need to be associated with a unique subgroup. In other words, the trackers that the kids are using in one class will be tied to a specific teacher (subgroup). To do this, sync the fitness tracker and log in with the username and password of the tracker. i.e. un: flymove-1; pw: flymove-1
- Click on the Welcome Student drop down box and select ‘My Account’. Under person information, change the First name to the first name of the student who will be receiving the tracker and the last name to the first initial of the teacher’s name.
- For the zip code, enter the zip code where the school is located.
- For the username and password, it is important to use the same login for both the username and password. (This makes things SO MUCH easier). For example, each of our trackers are identified as “flymove-x” with “x” being whatever number we assign it. As an example, student Adrian will have tracker “flymove-10” and this ID will be used for both the username and password when logging into the DHS platform to charge and sync the tracker.
- Under demographic information, we typically enter the date of birth as May 1, 2009. NOTE, since 3rd graders are ages 8-9, we select the appropriate year to match that age. For height, we select 4 feet 3 inches (standard height of a 3rd grader). For gender, we select female.
- On the left hand side, click on Groups and then enter the Invite Code of the group you want to tie the fitness tracker to. Click ‘Join Group’.
- Click save. To confirm the tracker is now synced to the proper group, click on ‘My Groups’ and select the appropriate group where the tracker should be tied to. Then look for the name of the tracker you just synced which should now appear in that subgroup. If it does not appear, see step 9.
- Click drop down arrow and click on MyAccount. Click on Groups and Enter the invitation code for the group you want the band to be associated with. Then confirm the tracker is now in the correct subgroup (step 7).
See behind the scenes details how Fly Movement works here.