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Gamification of Health and Fitness

13

Replies

  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,917 Member
    dykask wrote: »
    dykask wrote: »
    dykask wrote: »
    dykask wrote: »
    I guess one thing bad about making moving a game is it tends to push the idea that all you have to do is move more. Exercise is important but it isn't always so great for weight loss.

    How so?

    It is actual pretty easy to gain weight from exercising and in fact that happens when your body is working well and one is in reasonable shape. Additionally many people overeat using exercise as an excuse to eat more. Finally it takes an awful lot of exercise to equal a pound of fat. (Typically more than 10 hours of it for most people.)

    Exercise has many benefits, weight loss though is a secondary benefit at best.

    You can't gain weight from something that reduces the available energy in your body.

    You can't really control how much energy your body uses or how your body uses your food. (No matter of how many games you make out it!) :smiley:


    You can't control how much energy your body uses down to the small calorie (not like anyone actually needs to but that topic has been beaten to death already), but you can increase it and can be 100% sure that physical activity will ALWAYS reduce the energy your body has available if nothing is eaten to compensate, that's physics and not a game.
    And you can be 100% sure that your body will not waste any more of the food you ate than is the normal wastage amounts, that's evolution. I don't really want to look for the poop study again. Even the people with the worst gut bacteria distribution had less than 10% energy wastage. We're efficient, barring people who have medical conditions.

    If energy is needed, your body has the capability of turning any metabolizable nutrient into energy, be that from any digestible carb, fat or protein.

    What you are saying has nothing to do with if exercise will help you lose weight. Often exercise leads to weight gain, even if you lose body fat. Lean mass is heavier. Conditioned muscles hold more glycogen. You generally consume and retain a lot more water if you exercise, etc, etc.

    Oh, please keep your poop to yourself! Some people never learn.

    Anyway in the end you still don't know how many calories your body really uses or what your body has done with the food. Exercise influences, but it isn't an absolute control. Claiming it is just shows a lack of experience.

    Using that logic, drinking water makes you "gain weight". Better stop.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    dykask wrote: »
    dykask wrote: »
    dykask wrote: »
    dykask wrote: »
    I guess one thing bad about making moving a game is it tends to push the idea that all you have to do is move more. Exercise is important but it isn't always so great for weight loss.

    How so?

    It is actual pretty easy to gain weight from exercising and in fact that happens when your body is working well and one is in reasonable shape. Additionally many people overeat using exercise as an excuse to eat more. Finally it takes an awful lot of exercise to equal a pound of fat. (Typically more than 10 hours of it for most people.)

    Exercise has many benefits, weight loss though is a secondary benefit at best.

    You can't gain weight from something that reduces the available energy in your body.

    You can't really control how much energy your body uses or how your body uses your food. (No matter of how many games you make out it!) :smiley:


    You can't control how much energy your body uses down to the small calorie (not like anyone actually needs to but that topic has been beaten to death already), but you can increase it and can be 100% sure that physical activity will ALWAYS reduce the energy your body has available if nothing is eaten to compensate, that's physics and not a game.
    And you can be 100% sure that your body will not waste any more of the food you ate than is the normal wastage amounts, that's evolution. I don't really want to look for the poop study again. Even the people with the worst gut bacteria distribution had less than 10% energy wastage. We're efficient, barring people who have medical conditions.

    If energy is needed, your body has the capability of turning any metabolizable nutrient into energy, be that from any digestible carb, fat or protein.

    What you are saying has nothing to do with if exercise will help you lose weight. Often exercise leads to weight gain, even if you lose body fat. Lean mass is heavier. Conditioned muscles hold more glycogen. You generally consume and retain a lot more water if you exercise, etc, etc.

    Oh, please keep your poop to yourself! Some people never learn.

    Anyway in the end you still don't know how many calories your body really uses or what your body has done with the food. Exercise influences, but it isn't an absolute control. Claiming it is just shows a lack of experience.

    (1) He didn't say exercise will cause you to lose weight (it will, if calories are kept stable, but that wasn't the topic under discussion). He said it won't cause you to gain weight. To recap, the discussion here is about whether activities that cause people to add activity are good and helpful. In that adding activity is good for health (independent of whether people need to or do lose weight), IMO they are. If they are overweight they should also lose weight for health reasons, but that's a separate topic. Weight loss is pretty obviously not the only or main reason to exercise.

    (2) Exercise doesn't lead to weight gain. Eating more will lead to weight gain. If you do the right kind of exercising, that might be muscle gain, might be fat gain, will probably be both in varying percentages. But you won't just gain holding all equal and adding in exercise unless you are eating more calories than you burn. (You won't gain enough muscle to gain weight when eating at a deficit and losing fat, and if you did that wouldn't be bad anyway, but the fact is it won't happen. You may gain muscle, but not enough to cause actual weight gain. Sure, you may gain some water weight in the short term, but since we are talking about health, who cares?)

    (3) You don't need to know the details to know that moving more and keeping calories stable will lead to weight loss. But again -- and more significantly -- this thread is not about weight loss. Exercise is good for you (and way more important than all the stupid debates about one diet vs. another or fasting or not), independent of weight loss. I am someone who likes to come up with new ways to motivate myself to keep active -- training for things is a motivator for me, as I mentioned, but I want to get a consistent progressive weight training schedule now -- and I don't need to lose weight. I do think that focusing on strength training and various cardio activities is good for my health anyway.
  • T1DCarnivoreRunner
    T1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 11,473 Member
    dykask wrote: »
    zyxst wrote: »
    ladyreva78 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    • Gamified activities can become a sort of gateway drug to other forms of activity, once people discover they feel better when they're fitter, discover that it's fun to use that slightly better fitness to do active things with friends (hike, disc golf, whatever), etc. Doesn't happen for everyone, but seems to happen for some.

    That's what my Fitbit did for me. Since I have it, I've actually gone back hiking with my friends again at least once a months. In the past I'd be 'erm... I don't have time this weekend...'. Just seeing the pathetic numbers on my fitbit made me cringe. I'm in competition with myself to improve that. I currently reach 5k a day (without even trying) and usually a smidgen more. I'm hoping to reach a regular 10K in about 6 months. My health is thanking me for it.

    So all in all, for me, it's a good thing.

    I like getting the badges from Fitbit for what I do. Hey, it's supposed to be super windy today (up to 80 kph winds). I might be able to break 300 floors for a new badge!

    Stair climbing 300 floors in a day? I've done over 200 but no where near 300. Wow!

    Fitbit has an altimeter to measure elevation changes and assumes that 10 feet = 1 floor. As a result, going outside and hiking with 3,000 foot elevation gain causes Fitbit to show 300 floors climbed.

    I just checked and found that my highest Fitbit badge is 200 floors in a day. I'm sure that was while hiking at some point, but am not sure which time or where... now I'm curious. I assume the next badge beyond 200 is 300.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,966 Member
    @midwesterner

    I can't shake the feeling that the Fitbit One uses a 3-axis motion sensor and not an altimeter to gauge floors. I had several of them for a few years, read the manual, etc, and think I got that idea from Fitbit. But you aren't the first person to tell me I'm confused on this.

    I found the floors climbed feature to be pretty useful on hikes. Their 1 floor = 10 feet convention was a good idea, it makes easy mental math. I'd know the total altitude gain for a hike, and the Fitbit would tell me how close I was to the top. It was very reliable when used properly.
  • peleroja
    peleroja Posts: 3,979 Member
    @midwesterner

    I can't shake the feeling that the Fitbit One uses a 3-axis motion sensor and not an altimeter to gauge floors. I had several of them for a few years, read the manual, etc, and think I got that idea from Fitbit. But you aren't the first person to tell me I'm confused on this.

    I found the floors climbed feature to be pretty useful on hikes. Their 1 floor = 10 feet convention was a good idea, it makes easy mental math. I'd know the total altitude gain for a hike, and the Fitbit would tell me how close I was to the top. It was very reliable when used properly.

    The Fitbit One uses an altimeter, not a 3-axis motion sensor.

    I love having the feature for hiking too and even use it to estimate daily gain on multi-day trips as it works even when I have no GPS or cell signal and only has to be charged every couple of weeks. It's not perfect but it's awesome to get an idea.
  • zyxst
    zyxst Posts: 9,131 Member
    dykask wrote: »
    zyxst wrote: »
    ladyreva78 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    • Gamified activities can become a sort of gateway drug to other forms of activity, once people discover they feel better when they're fitter, discover that it's fun to use that slightly better fitness to do active things with friends (hike, disc golf, whatever), etc. Doesn't happen for everyone, but seems to happen for some.

    That's what my Fitbit did for me. Since I have it, I've actually gone back hiking with my friends again at least once a months. In the past I'd be 'erm... I don't have time this weekend...'. Just seeing the pathetic numbers on my fitbit made me cringe. I'm in competition with myself to improve that. I currently reach 5k a day (without even trying) and usually a smidgen more. I'm hoping to reach a regular 10K in about 6 months. My health is thanking me for it.

    So all in all, for me, it's a good thing.

    I like getting the badges from Fitbit for what I do. Hey, it's supposed to be super windy today (up to 80 kph winds). I might be able to break 300 floors for a new badge!

    Stair climbing 300 floors in a day? I've done over 200 but no where near 300. Wow!

    Fitbit has an altimeter to measure elevation changes and assumes that 10 feet = 1 floor. As a result, going outside and hiking with 3,000 foot elevation gain causes Fitbit to show 300 floors climbed.

    I just checked and found that my highest Fitbit badge is 200 floors in a day. I'm sure that was while hiking at some point, but am not sure which time or where... now I'm curious. I assume the next badge beyond 200 is 300.

    I get high floor counts on windy days. I believe the 200 floor day was when a hurricane passed by the island.
  • mangrothian
    mangrothian Posts: 1,351 Member
    @midwesterner

    I can't shake the feeling that the Fitbit One uses a 3-axis motion sensor and not an altimeter to gauge floors. I had several of them for a few years, read the manual, etc, and think I got that idea from Fitbit. But you aren't the first person to tell me I'm confused on this.

    I found the floors climbed feature to be pretty useful on hikes. Their 1 floor = 10 feet convention was a good idea, it makes easy mental math. I'd know the total altitude gain for a hike, and the Fitbit would tell me how close I was to the top. It was very reliable when used properly.

    Unless it's windy. I can walk to work from my train station (it's all downhill) on a windy day and get 50 or so floors registered with my ChargeHR.
  • mangrothian
    mangrothian Posts: 1,351 Member
    panda4153 wrote: »
    Sometimes it motivates me to move. I went out one Sunday to get more steps in when I saw that if I did that, I'd win the "fitbit weekend warrior" trophy.

    I play Ingress. There's a fair amount of walking with that.

    But that's me. I imagine it doesn't work with everyone.

    That is a little of what I'm talking about; many people (I'm not pointing the finger at you here) are willing to go out on a walk to win the competition or earn the badge, but not simply because they'll enjoy the walk and it's good for them. I just feel there needs to be something else other than the reward system available in these apps to help people keep up these healthy habits once the rewards wear off.

    I guess if we knew what that 'something' was, we'd all be fit and healthy and endlessly motivated.

    ETA: My grammar was horrible. Edits had to be made.

    To be fair we do most things in life for the reward of doing it. I work to get paid, not for free. Even volunteering time and money, people do because it makes them feel good doing it. As early humans our base survival was the reward. I have to hunt in order to eat. I may not want to hunt, but I want to eat. Its tapping into that same instinct. We don't need to hunt to eat anymore, at least a lot of people don't, so that instant gratification and motivation is coming from other sources. There are also chemicals that are released in the brain that make people want more of that instant gratification. You are correct, people should do it because they want to be fit and healthy, but fit and healthy take time, and if the instant rewards keep people going towards that long term goal, then I don't see anything wrong with it. Its better then starving yourself, or doing unhealthy things to get the instant gratification we as humans seek.

    That's what I was thinking as well, by it was more that with every fad I see that gets people moving, it seems to work for a shorter and shorter time frame for the majority of the population (mfp obviously has a population skewed to health and fitness, so it's more from what I see around me). Maybe it's just me as I get older and crotchety watching the shorter and shorter attention spans of the generation below me.
  • T1DCarnivoreRunner
    T1DCarnivoreRunner Posts: 11,473 Member
    zyxst wrote: »
    dykask wrote: »
    zyxst wrote: »
    ladyreva78 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    • Gamified activities can become a sort of gateway drug to other forms of activity, once people discover they feel better when they're fitter, discover that it's fun to use that slightly better fitness to do active things with friends (hike, disc golf, whatever), etc. Doesn't happen for everyone, but seems to happen for some.

    That's what my Fitbit did for me. Since I have it, I've actually gone back hiking with my friends again at least once a months. In the past I'd be 'erm... I don't have time this weekend...'. Just seeing the pathetic numbers on my fitbit made me cringe. I'm in competition with myself to improve that. I currently reach 5k a day (without even trying) and usually a smidgen more. I'm hoping to reach a regular 10K in about 6 months. My health is thanking me for it.

    So all in all, for me, it's a good thing.

    I like getting the badges from Fitbit for what I do. Hey, it's supposed to be super windy today (up to 80 kph winds). I might be able to break 300 floors for a new badge!

    Stair climbing 300 floors in a day? I've done over 200 but no where near 300. Wow!

    Fitbit has an altimeter to measure elevation changes and assumes that 10 feet = 1 floor. As a result, going outside and hiking with 3,000 foot elevation gain causes Fitbit to show 300 floors climbed.

    I just checked and found that my highest Fitbit badge is 200 floors in a day. I'm sure that was while hiking at some point, but am not sure which time or where... now I'm curious. I assume the next badge beyond 200 is 300.

    I get high floor counts on windy days. I believe the 200 floor day was when a hurricane passed by the island.
    @midwesterner

    I can't shake the feeling that the Fitbit One uses a 3-axis motion sensor and not an altimeter to gauge floors. I had several of them for a few years, read the manual, etc, and think I got that idea from Fitbit. But you aren't the first person to tell me I'm confused on this.

    I found the floors climbed feature to be pretty useful on hikes. Their 1 floor = 10 feet convention was a good idea, it makes easy mental math. I'd know the total altitude gain for a hike, and the Fitbit would tell me how close I was to the top. It was very reliable when used properly.

    Unless it's windy. I can walk to work from my train station (it's all downhill) on a windy day and get 50 or so floors registered with my ChargeHR.

    It isn't the wind, it is the barometric pressure... which happens to also be the cause of the wind you are experiencing. Because of how altimeters work, changes to pressure can make your Fitbit think it has moved even when it hasn't.
  • dykask
    dykask Posts: 800 Member
    dykask wrote: »
    It is actual pretty easy to gain weight from exercising and in fact that happens when your body is working well and one is in reasonable shape.

    Weight gain comes from a calorie surplus. Exercise is a calorie debit.

    Hmmm ... more reductionism. It isn't that simple.
    * You can't know from day to day if you have a calorie surplus or not.
    * Weight from exercise can be a simple as your muscles holding on to more glycogen which is 75% water.
    * No one can really tell for sure how many calories the body consumes in exercise. The estimates used are much higher than the actual work performed by the body.
    * The calories a fitness tracker computes are just a estimate and often not a great one based on the workout being done.
    * Muscle building HIIT workouts don't actually burn very many calories. Seriously how many calories can be burned in a workout that takes less than 10 minutes?
    * The body can choose to repair muscle tissue with proteins consumed and burn store fat instead.
    * Finally there isn't any law on nature that muscle can only be built in a calorie surplus. Look up recomposition.

    The body has many ways of dealing with energy deficits and surpluses. The surplus is required nonsense is just more mumbo jumbo pushed by a few and then mindlessly repeated. These same people used to claim a pound of muscle burns 30 to 50 kc / day. Just because something is repeated over and over doesn't mean it is true. Personally I think the cycles of overfeeding and then cutting aren't healthy either. A lot of times people are focused on adding hundreds of grams of muscle a week and they don't even consider smaller amounts of muscle a month a gain. Those gains still add up.

    The thing is, if your body is healthy enough to use some of the fat, you don't necessary end up with an energy deficit. New muscle weights a lot more than fat since muscle has very high water content and fat is pretty low water content. Normally water doesn't contain calories. :wink:

    Besides I went through two pretty hellish years as far as diet goes where I was always fighting hunger and was trying to lose weight through calorie restriction. I lost fat but gained a lot of strength and ended up gaining 2 kg over those two years. So I know for a fact that exercise doesn't always result in weight losses. Part of that period I worked myself up from 2 to 3 chin-ups to over 40 pull-ups per workout, so yea I gained a lot of strength. At one point I was doing 500 pushups in a workout, always moving to harder style pushups. So I have some experience here.

    I used to make up a lot of games ... that kept me entertained through the pain. Although most of the pain was delayed ...
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,966 Member
    peleroja wrote: »
    @midwesterner

    I can't shake the feeling that the Fitbit One uses a 3-axis motion sensor and not an altimeter to gauge floors. I had several of them for a few years, read the manual, etc, and think I got that idea from Fitbit. But you aren't the first person to tell me I'm confused on this.

    I found the floors climbed feature to be pretty useful on hikes. Their 1 floor = 10 feet convention was a good idea, it makes easy mental math. I'd know the total altitude gain for a hike, and the Fitbit would tell me how close I was to the top. It was very reliable when used properly.

    The Fitbit One uses an altimeter, not a 3-axis motion sensor.

    I love having the feature for hiking too and even use it to estimate daily gain on multi-day trips as it works even when I have no GPS or cell signal and only has to be charged every couple of weeks. It's not perfect but it's awesome to get an idea.

    Thanks for the link. I can't argue with the people who made it. :smile:

    A lot of the hikes here are probably like a lot of the hikes where you are. They're X miles long, and require Y feet of elevation gain. Y is always a big number, because mountains. (Looks like you enjoy them, too.) When I did Easy Pass, I knew it was 3,000 feet of elevation to the top, that was a lot more important to me (in terms of how to marshal my effort) than how many miles I'd gone. Just keep checking the altimeter every now and then, pace myself, rejoice that the amount of uphill I have ahead of me is less than last time I checked.
  • GottaBurnEmAll
    GottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,722 Member
    Strength gains are a sign of neuromuscular adaptation, not new muscle tissue growth.
  • dykask
    dykask Posts: 800 Member
    dykask wrote: »
    * You can't know from day to day if you have a calorie surplus or not.

    That may or may not be true. Let's assume for the sake of discussion that it's absolutely true. That still wouldn't support the idea that exercise causes people to gain weight. Only a calorie surplus causes weight gain in the sense that we're concerned about, and that's true whether you measure the calories or not. Exercise burns up (opposite of provides) calories, so it cannot cause weight gain.

    There are many forms of exercise and the exercise that builds muscle does it by breaking down the muscle fibers under stress. Then the body rebuilds those fibers. It is all controlled by hormones at that point and has little to do with energy as long as there is enough. The body doesn't have to break down proteins for energy when there is plenty of stored energy that can be accessed. There is just a lot more too it than calories. Now if insulin levels are too high and the energy from fat can't be accessed, then there is a problem and the body will deal with an energy deficit. That is when people start to suffer.

    Again most of the weight in lean body mass is from water, not for the dry mass. Water is calorie free.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    dykask wrote: »
    * You can't know from day to day if you have a calorie surplus or not.

    That may or may not be true. Let's assume for the sake of discussion that it's absolutely true. That still wouldn't support the idea that exercise causes people to gain weight. Only a calorie surplus causes weight gain in the sense that we're concerned about, and that's true whether you measure the calories or not. Exercise burns up (opposite of provides) calories, so it cannot cause weight gain.

    Exactly.

    What does the ability to measure the calories from exercise have to do with whether exercise burns calories?
  • dykask
    dykask Posts: 800 Member
    edited October 2016
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    dykask wrote: »
    * You can't know from day to day if you have a calorie surplus or not.

    That may or may not be true. Let's assume for the sake of discussion that it's absolutely true. That still wouldn't support the idea that exercise causes people to gain weight. Only a calorie surplus causes weight gain in the sense that we're concerned about, and that's true whether you measure the calories or not. Exercise burns up (opposite of provides) calories, so it cannot cause weight gain.

    Exactly.

    What does the ability to measure the calories from exercise have to do with whether exercise burns calories?

    What does burning calories have to do with building lean body mass? Both are just side effects of exercise.

    The only really useful thing about measuring workout calories it to make a game of it. However, it can also be harmful because that can encourage people to over train or to do the wrong kind of training too. It really depends on the goal, doesn't it?

    I don't mind the tracking because it is fun. But sometimes it is a lot smarter to lose a competition and take care of your health. So the game aspect is good for getting people to start but maybe not always a positive thing.