PEERtrainer: How DirectLife increases your motivation to exercise

Friday, November 19 2010

PEERtrainer had several PEERtrainer community members use and test DirectLife. Here's some of the feedback from the users who responded to this product particularly well. We also present feedback from Philips. This back and forth will give most people a good idea if this particular "exercise motivation system" is a fit for them.


PEERtrainer User dixie130 had this to say about her experience using the system:

“I did my 100% today and I know, without question, that I will continue with meeting 100% of DL and making good choices. That’s what I am most excited about.”

DirectLife coach Jen Dowdeswell responds:

“People love getting those 6 lights on the device. A good coaching tip: When you start, expect just a slight increase in your goal activity level. Just a little bit more than you usually do. When you increase your goal level to 10, 11 and 12 the difference is quite substantial and that is when people notice it is not as easy to get to 100% anymore. That’s when the coaching really comes in. One recent participant I was working with had to walk 1.5 to 2 hours a day to hit their 100% number. This is where increasing intensity comes in, and when you learn to fit that intensity into your life. But you do this slowly.”


PEERtrainer user alim10 had this to say

“I just love this monitor! I have to admit, I’ve been doing well increasing my activity, but I feel a little daunted that I have to be burning an extra 200 calories to reach my goal. That seems like a lot to get in, but I will get there.”

Jen responds:

“It is important to note that they targets progress gradually. The accountability comes in when you see the lights and you see how your activity maps to the lights. We designed this system to foster long term behavior change, and it is important that you chunk this down week by week. If you feel success week by week, you’ll stick with it. This is where the coach can come in and really help, and tell people that there is nothing wrong with modifying your goal up or down. The key here is that your goal is customized. Everyone is different and starts at different places. The coach can help people with small adjustments, and most importantly help set the correct expectations. One thing that we see is that many people used to be much more active when they were younger, and their definition of activity is being sweaty and red and out of breath. DirectLife Coaches show you how all the activity in your entire day adds up and this helps to change that perception. People think they need to workout so many days a week to be fit. We help them see how everything they are already doing is helping them meet their goals.


PEERtrainer user lsuepet says:

“Bottom line with this monitor, you know exactly where you stand, good or bad, and by naming your activity you can get and even more accurate picture even if it is not a pretty picture!”

Jen responds:

“This is why coming face to face with reality is so important. Most of the time people think their activity level is higher than it actually is. And people do tend to get a little defensive about this, which can be a little tough for people. But you use that to make a change, which is the whole point of this. You have immediate feedback, and you start working towards a goal based on some crystal clear reality. As you engage the system, you start to develop “intrinsic” motivation. Which means that you may not be happy about where you really are, but once you start engaging with those little lights, a whole new pattern takes over. That shift is EVERYTHING….”


PEERtrainer user alim10 adds:

“this does bring out my competitiveness too! I love that. I love the team site on the DirectLife website. When I went on it today, it said I was third, and I loved that! Not that I was third, but that I could see where I was in comparison to everyone. It’s motivating me to do more so I guess I like the competition!”

Jen responds:

“This comment touches on so many points because of competition and motivation. The desire to still hit the percentage of 100. This is enhanced by the motivation of the team. If you get involved with the team on DirectLife website it can enhance your accountability. And if you want to be completely private, you can still do that without being seen by others. Lets say we are both in this program. You could log on and see how you compared to me, but they could not logon and see how they compared to you. This is more about the results. Results are always based on the percentage of the target, not based on calories burned.


PEERtrainer user jenny64 says:

“I’m loving the coach feedback/analysis, and also being able to view my day by the hour. I can totally see the spike in activity wherever I’m running up and down the stairs to/from my 4th floor walk up.”

Jen responds:

“I love her comment about the “spike in activity.” She is looking at her data, drilling down to the hour view and she realizes that she got added activity when she ran up the stairs. It is great that you can really drill down and see how the data is represented.”

Jen’s final comments:

“I can’t express enough the relevance of those targets enough. I would encourage anyone using this program to contact your coach. As the program evolves you might enjoy an extra challenge. And if you find for some reason you are having a disconnect with your coach just call us and we will switch your coach. And if you are not having the result you want, we really want to hear from you. We can only fix problems that we know exist!”

Read the full article on the Peertrainer website

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