Tag Archives: Fitbit

Improve your ZZZs with Fitbit Premium Sleep Profile

A good night’s sleep can help you feel rested and recharged, while also playing a critical role in your overall health and well-being. Since the introduction of Fitbit’s sleep features in 2009, sleep tracking has been incredibly popular – making information previously only available through a sleep lab accessible to users via their wrist. To date, we’ve analyzed 22 billion hours of sleep data, equivalent to the lifespan of over 5,000 tortoises. (Fun facts: a tortoise lives for up to 500 years and there are 60,000 giant tortoises in the world.)

We know our users are motivated to gather even more insight into their sleep, which is why today we’re introducing Sleep Profile. This new Fitbit Premium feature offers a new longitudinal analysis of your sleep patterns. It also makes your sleep data even easier to interpret with fun animal characters, so you can take steps to improve your sleep quality and, in turn, your overall health.

Monthly sleep metrics graphic showcasing each of your month-long metrics like sleep schedule variability, sleep start time, time before sound sleep, sleep duration and deep sleep, with how you compare with others like you.

Fitbit Sleep Profile users will receive a monthly sleep analysis where they can see ideal ranges for someone of a similar age and gender, and where they fall within each – so they see where they could focus on improving.

What sleeper type are you?

These critical data points gathered from your sleep analysis inform your designated Sleep Animal, providing a fun way to understand your sleeping style. Our extensive research and testing found six animal archetypes, each chosen for their distinct trends that correlate each animal's behavior with common user sleeping behaviors and patterns.

The following graphics highlight top traits and habits of each sleeper type, and how yours can impact your day-to-day:

How does it work?

Wear your Fitbit device to sleep for at least 14 nights per calendar month to receive an assessment. The more you wear the device to sleep, the more precise the evaluation. Sleep can vary significantly from night to night, so it’s helpful to analyze your sleep data over a longer period from your own sleep environment to uncover more insights into your habits and how you can improve.

As a Premium member you will see your Sleep Profile, including your sleep animal and monthly sleep analysis, on the first day of every month. Animals can change from month to month, and data collected throughout the month will inform the next animal you receive the following month. There is no “ideal” animal – each one can be used to better understand your sleep patterns and how you can improve your sleep quality.

Based on your sleeper type’s behavior, you will see where your sleep patterns compare to others like you – whether it’s setting a more consistent sleep schedule or creating a bedtime routine like trying the mindfulness content found within the Fitbit app to help you fall asleep faster. Getting quality sleep can play a critical role in your overall health and well-being, with poor sleep being correlated to increased potential health risks including diabetes, cardiovascular problems, obesity, poor cognitive functioning and more. Premium uplevels your Fitbit experience by helping you better understand your sleep patterns, your readiness to exercise and how your body responds to stressors, all with additional guidance and insights to help you achieve your health, fitness and wellness goals.

Sleep Profile is rolling out in the Fitbit app to Premium users with Sense, Versa 3, Versa 2, Charge 5, Luxe or Inspire 2 devices upon launch. Users will receive their first profile during the week of July 4, followed by monthly profiles delivered in the Fitbit app on the 1st of each month. (Note: Sleep Profiles aren't intended for medical purposes and users should consult their health professionals for questions about their health.)

How Dublin City University is prioritizing wellbeing

Mental and physical health and wellbeing have come into ever sharper focus since the beginning of the pandemic.

In January 2021, a Dublin City University Students’ Union survey of almost 2,000 students found that more than 80% felt alone more often than not in the past two years, and that over half found their college workload unmanageable.

This follows on from research published by the Union of Students in Ireland. Their National Report on Student Mental Health in Third Level Education found that one third of students have clinically relevant levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Last year, students at Dublin City University were given a Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatch to see how even small changes they made to their exercise, sleep and nutrition impacted their overall wellness. The participants in the course, called FLOURISH, reported improved aspects of their sleep (70.5%), healthier food habits (70.5%) and better understanding of their personal health and fitness data (93%).

The 5-credit module was focused on student wellbeing and it was led by Professor Alan Smeaton. In the report findings, you can see how the course delivered practical tips to 169 students for everyday wellness. It also helped students’ digital literacy, specifically the awareness of personal health and fitness data, and its potential for developing healthier habits.

Dublin based computing student Conn Byrne told us about his experience taking part in the course:

Why did you choose to do the FLOURISH course?

I wanted to learn more about how technology can help me better understand my health and fitness.

How did the FLOURISH course help improve your overall wellness?

I learned how small changes can affect my daily mood. Being on Fitbit kept me conscious of my healthy habits on a daily basis, not just when studying the course. I have now set a step goal, which I aim to reach daily. This has helped me to keep active, move regularly and push that little bit harder to get out there and stay fit.

Did you find using sleep data benefited your sleep routine overall?

I learned that sleep is one of the most important things for our bodies, and how it helps us to recover from almost everything that impacts us. Learning how easy it is to track and understand my sleep quality and the ways I can help improve my sleep was hugely eye-opening.

Have you changed any of your habits since doing the module?

I was able to track my physical activity, which is something I’ve always been interested in, and to see how to change certain lifestyle habits like taking more steps helped my mental goals as well. Being more intentional with my physical health will certainly help me going forward.

Mental health resources you can count on

When you or someone you care for is going through a mental health situation, it can feel isolating, overwhelming and distressing. To get through those moments, access to the right resources can make all the difference.

Anxiety and depression increased by 25% across the globe during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and hospitals and doctor groups recently called mental health a national emergency for adolescents. With these issues on the rise, searches for "mental health therapist" and "mental health help" reached record highs this year in the U.S.

Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, geopolitical crises and economic concerns also hit home for many Americans. To help support mental health challenges stemming from these issues, our goal is to surface authoritative information you can trust, create access to helpful resources you need in the moment and show empathy for everyone facing mental health issues. So in recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month in the U.S., here are tools built to support you when you need it most.

Resources for those in crisis

We know that many people turn to Search to get actionable information during a personal crisis, whether it’s related to suicide, sexual assault, substance abuse or domestic violence. In the coming weeks, we’ll update Search to use our AI model MUM to automatically and more accurately detect personal crisis searches in order to show you the most relevant information when you need it.

We’ve also made it easier to access clinically-validated mental health self-assessments from Search for conditions such as depression, anxiety, postpartum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These self-assessments, frequently used by medical professionals, are meant to help people understand how their self-reported symptoms might map to known mental health conditions.

On YouTube, updates to our crisis response panels better connect you with timely and important resources. For years, YouTube has shown crisis resource panels on certain search queries to connect people with local organizations that can help them through a moment of critical need. Now, crisis resource panels appear on the Watch Page and in search results. The number of topics that display crisis resources in YouTube search results has also expanded to include issues like depression, sexual assault and substance abuse.

A phone screen shows a YouTube video with a panel underneath that has contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

In the past month, searches for "local drug rehab centers near me" reached an all-time high in the U.S. As part of our ongoing commitment to help people find useful and accurate information related to addiction and recovery and to support the newly instituted Fentanyl Awareness Day, our Recover Together resource has a new section. Here you can find more information about the prevalence of fentanyl in illegally-made pills and the importance of naloxone, a legal drug that can reverse overdose from opioids like fentanyl, heroin, morphine and oxycodone.

A desktop screen shows a map that can be used to search for recovery resources.

Building empathy and reducing stigma

Sharing stories about mental health can normalize the issue and reduce stigmas that deter people from getting help. Working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, YouTube created a guide for creators with tips on how to speak from personal experience, work with experts and use inclusive language.

To listen to supportive community stories and helpful information on mental health, you can watch videos in this playlist on YouTube. For younger audiences, the YouTube Kids app features mental health content on expressing emotions and building coping skills through music, art and more. For more on what YouTube is doing when it comes to mental health, check out this blog.

Personal moments of managing stress

In moments when you need a hand managing your stress levels, Fitbit can help. SelectFitbit devices include a Relax app for deep breathing or an EDA (electrodermal activity) sensor so you can better understand how your body responds to stress — which is especially important as we all cope with the stress of the pandemic. From there, you can take steps to adjust your activity levels, improve your sleep or practice mindfulness to help manage the impact on your wellbeing.

A Fitbit device screen shows the Relax app.

Over the past year in the U.S., searches for “5 minute meditation for anxiety” more than doubled. Using Google Assistant, you can find and play meditations from Calm on your Google Nest display to help relax during the day or fall asleep at night. Just say, "Hey Google, show me meditations from Calm" or "Hey Google, start a meditation."

A Nest Hub screen shows the Calm app experience.

Contributing to community wellbeing

Beyond providing resources to people using our products, we’re also helping organizations and researchers that contribute to mental health.

Since 2019, we've provided $2.7 million and nearly 30 Google.org Fellows to help The Trevor Project use AI to support LGBTQ+ youth in crisis. Most recently, Trevor and a team of Fellows built the AI-powered Crisis Contact Simulator (CCS) that lets volunteer trainees practice realistic conversations with digital youth personas. The Trevor Project recently introduced a new persona to expand their counselor training.

Ask for help when you need it

It is always okay to ask for help — whether that’s going to Google or YouTube with questions you’re not comfortable asking anyone else or opening up to your friends and family or connecting with experts who can help you through the difficult moments. We need to support each other however we can.

New Fitbit feature makes AFib detection more accessible

Today, Fitbit received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for our new PPG (photoplethysmography) algorithm to identify atrial fibrillation (AFib). The algorithm will power our new Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature on Fitbit.[71d620]

You’ve got rhythm, but is it irregular?

AFib is a form of irregular heart rhythm that affects nearly 33.5 million people globally, and individuals with AFib have five times higher risk of stroke. Unfortunately, AFib can be difficult to detect as there are often no symptoms and episodes can come and go.

Our new PPG AFib algorithm can passively assess your heart rhythm in the background while you’re still or asleep. If there’s anything that might be suggestive of AFib, you’ll be notified through our Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature — allowing you to talk with your healthcare provider or seek further assessment to help prevent a significant medical event, such as stroke.

So how does PPG AFib detection work?

When your heart beats, tiny blood vessels throughout your body expand and contract based on changes in blood volume. Fitbit’s PPG optical heart-rate sensor can detect these volume changes right from your wrist. These measurements determine your heart rhythm, which the detection algorithm then analyzes for irregularities and potential signs of atrial fibrillation.

The clinical validation for Fitbit’s PPG algorithm is supported by data from the landmark Fitbit Heart Study, which launched in 2020 and enrolled 455,699 participants over five months. The study was conducted entirely virtually during the pandemic, making it one of the largest remote studies of PPG-based software to date. Data presented at the 2021 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions found that the Fitbit PPG detections correctly identified AFib episodes 98% of the time, as confirmed by ECG patch monitors.

Because AFib can be so sporadic, the optimal way to screen for it is through heart rate tracking technology when the body is still or at rest — making overnight detection when people are asleep especially important. The unique capabilities of Fitbit devices — especially its 24/7 heart rate tracking and long battery life — give it the potential to accelerate identification through long-term heart rhythm assessment.

All the ways to monitor heart health with Fitbit

With today’s FDA clearance of our PPG-based algorithm, Fitbit now provides two ways to detect AFib. Fitbit’s ECG app, which takes a spot-check approach, allows you to proactively screen yourself for possible AFib and record an ECG trace that you can then review with a healthcare provider. Additionally, the new PPG-based algorithm allows for long-term heart rhythm assessment that helps identify asymptomatic AFib that could otherwise go undetected.

The Fitbit PPG-based algorithm and Irregular Heart Rhythm Notifications feature will soon be available to consumers in the U.S. across a range of heart-rate enabled devices. We want to make AFib detection as accessible as possible to help reduce the risk of potentially life-threatening events — like stroke — and ultimately improve overall heart health for everyone. We’ll continue to work with the BMS-Pfizer Alliance to develop educational content for patients and healthcare providers that will help identify and support people in the U.S. with irregular heart rhythms consistent with atrial fibrillation.

Visit our site to learn more about our PPG technology.

The Check Up: helping people live healthier lives

My years spent caring for patients at the bedside and in the clinic inspired me to find ways to improve health for them and their communities at scale. That passion eventually brought me to Google where I could help solve the world’s most significant health challenges.

I joined the company just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. At the time, most people hadn’t heard of “flattening the curve” or “mRNA vaccines.” But what they did know was that they could turn to Google with their questions. The COVID-19 pandemic strengthened our resolve that Google could and should help everyone, everywhere live a healthier life. It also accelerated our company-wide health efforts.

We embed health into our products to meet people where they are. Our teams apply their expertise and technological strengths and harness the power of partnerships to support our 3Cs – consumers, caregivers and communities around the world.

Today, we’re hosting our second annual Google Health event, The Check Up. Teams from across the company — including Search, YouTube, Fitbit, Care Studio, Health AI, Cloud and Advanced Technologies and Projects team — will share updates about their latest efforts.

Among the areas of progress, I’m delighted at the ways our teams are working to support consumers with helpful information and tools throughout their health journeys.

Making it easier to find and book local care providers in the U.S.

When people have questions about their health, they often start with the internet to find answers. No matter what people are searching for on Google Search, it's our mission to give high-quality information, exactly when it’s needed.

The Search team recently released features to help people navigate the complex healthcare system and make more informed decisions, like finding healthcare providers who take their insurance.

At today's event, Hema Budaraju, who leads our Health and Social Impact work for Search, introduced a feature we’re rolling out that shows the appointment availability for healthcare providers so you can easily book an appointment. Whether you put off your annual check-up, recently moved and need a new doctor, or are looking for a same-day visit to a MinuteClinic at CVS, you might see available appointment dates and times for doctors in your area.

While we’re still in the early stages of rolling this feature out, we’re working with partners, including MinuteClinic at CVS and other scheduling solution providers. We hope to expand features, functionality and our network of partners so we can make it easier for people to get the care they need.

Screenshot of new appointment availability feature

Helping people in Brazil, India and Japan discover local, authoritative health content on YouTube

Of all the information channels people turn to for health information, video can be a helpful and powerful way to help people make informed healthcare decisions. People can watch and listen to experts translate complex medical terms and information into simple language and concepts they easily understand, and they can connect with communities experiencing similar conditions and health challenges.

Dr. Garth Graham talked about YouTube Health’s mission of providing equitable access to authoritative health information that is evidence-based, culturally relevant and engaging. In the past year, YouTube has focused on building partnerships with leading health organizations and public health leaders to increase the volume and visibility of authoritative health content through new features.

Starting this week in Japan, Brazil and India, YouTube is adding health source information panels on videos to provide context that helps viewers identify videos from authoritative sources, and health content shelves that more effectively highlight videos from these sources when people search for specific health topics. These context cues help people easily navigate and evaluate credible health information.

Supporting heart health with Fitbit

In addition to information needs, people use our consumer technologies and tools to support their health and wellness. Fitbit makes it easy and motivating for people to manage their holistic health, from activity and nutrition to sleep and mindfulness. Fitbit co-founder James Park shared how Fitbit believes wearables can have an even greater impact on supporting people with chronic conditions, including heart conditions like atrial fibrillation (AFib).

In 2020, the team launched the Fitbit Heart Study, with nearly half a million people who use Fitbit. The goal was to test our PPG (Photoplethysmography) AFib algorithm, which passively looks at heart rate data, to alert people to signs of an irregular heart rhythm.

We presented the study results at the most recent American Heart Association meeting, showing that the algorithm accurately identified undiagnosed AFib 98% of the time. We’ve submitted our algorithm to the FDA for review. This is one of many ways we’re continuing to make health even more accessible.

Building the future for better health

These updates are only a slice of what we covered at the event. Check out our Health AI blog post and tune into our event to hear more about ways we are advancing better, more equitable health for everyone.

True or false? Busting sleep myths for World Sleep Day

“You need to sleep on your back.”

“No, on your side.”

“Actually, what really matters is your mattress.”

“I thought it was your pillow?”

“Sleeping in short bursts will make you feel more refreshed.”

Everyone has a hot take on how to get the best rest — and Dr. Logan Schneider, M.D., and Dr. Conor Heneghan, PhD, have heard them all. “We all sleep, and we’ve all experienced good sleep and bad sleep — and because of that, most everyone has dabbled in a bit of sleep-related ‘citizen science,’ which has created both reasonable and outlandish theories,” says Logan. Both are part of the Google team that examines how technology can help improve sleep — from tracking how much you’re getting each night to understanding your sleep quality and how to potentially improve it — across Nest and Fitbit.

Since we’re celebrating World Sleep Day later this week, we decided to play a sleep myth-busting edition of true or false with Logan and Conor.

True or False: You need eight hours of sleep.

False. Everyone’s body and sleep needs are different, Logan says. “Basically, you need as much sleep as it takes to not feel…well, sleepy…over the course of your day.” While many recommendations suggest getting at least seven hours of sleep, this is based on what people report — which is often an overestimation of actual sleep. “When looking at objective measures of typical sleep, we tend to see that the actual amount of sleep humans get is around six and a half hours,” Logan says. Ask yourself: Am I waking refreshed? Am I alert without the assistance of caffeine or napping? Am I generally able to perform well mentally and physically? If the answers are “yes,” you’re likely getting enough sleep.”

If you can avoid it, try not to make too large of a difference between your weekday and weekend schedules. Dr. Conor Heneghan

True or False: Sleeping in on weekends can actually make you feel less rested.

True. Sleep sets your body’s internal “clocks” that determine when you should be alert and when you should be asleep. “The main way this clock gets set is by light exposure around the time you wake up,” Logan says. “So, if you’re sleeping well past the time you usually wake up, you’re confusing your body, telling it to adjust to a later time zone.” And this might not feel great when you go back to your normal schedule.

“While tempting to sleep in on the weekends, in general, your body responds best to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. If you can avoid it, try not to make too large of a difference between your weekday and weekend schedules,” Conor adds.

True or False: Power naps are highly effective.

False…ish. “Various studies have explored the relationship of health and napping, and there have been lots of different results,” says Logan. “But the National Sleep Foundation found that polyphasic, or multi-period sleeping — aka, naps versus sleeping all night — isn’t ideal for most.” Trading naps for nightly sleep won’t benefit most people. That said, napping is a way to avoid hazardous situations when you’re sleepy. “If you need a nap to make it through the day, shorter naps, something like 10 to 20 minutes, tend to be the most restorative without causing consequences for the next primary sleep period.”

Each time your alarm goes off, you’re disrupting your sleep, so any ‘sleep’ you get after hitting snooze isn’t restorative. Dr. Logan Schneider

True or False: My exercise routine and diet impact how well I sleep.

True. “Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your sleep. Studies have shown that moving during the day can support better sleep quality and minimize anxiety, too,” Conor says.

Sleep can also be impacted by your diet, especially when it comes to alcohol. “While we all enjoy an occasional drink in the evening, on the whole, data shows alcohol too close to bedtime has a negative effect on your sleep. Alcohol might make you fall asleep a little faster, but you’re more likely to get restless throughout the night because it can disrupt your REM sleep, a restorative stage when you're deep in your dreams. If REM is interrupted, it’s common to feel drowsy the next day,” Conor says.

True or False: The snooze button is your friend.

False. It’s best to allow yourself to sleep in until you need to wake up rather than setting an early alarm and snoozing. “Each time your alarm goes off, you’re disrupting your sleep, so any ‘sleep’ you get after hitting snooze isn’t restorative,” Logan says. “It takes a while for your brain to fall back to sleep. By snoozing, you’re breaking up the natural cycles of sleep and keeping your brain in more alert and resulting in lighter sleep, which won’t actually help you feel rested.”

“Consistency is what’s best for sleep,” Conor says. “And hitting snooze can disrupt that consistency, so you won’t feel refreshed.”

Plus, Logan says, you’re tricking your brain into thinking that snoozing feels good, when, in fact, you’re not actually getting more of what you need — refreshing sleep.

Encouraging better diabetes management through wearable technology

The latest insights from Diabetes UK show that over 4.9 million people are currently living with diabetes in the UK, with rates almost doubling in the last 15 years. At the current prevalence rates, the NHS spends around £10 billion on average each year in managing and treating the condition, which will also increase alongside growing rates. However, research consistently shows that combined lifestyle interventions can be effective in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes by ~50%.

The pandemic has significantly impacted patient access to healthcare and millions of patients with diabetes have been unable to get regular health checks with their healthcare team. With many GP appointments still being held remotely, wearable devices are increasingly being piloted to help people monitor long-term health conditions and, as a result, the value of wearable devices to help people better manage such conditions is becoming increasingly recognised.

Focusing on holistic health

In November, people in the UK and particularly those living with diabetes, will be able to use a new blood glucose logging tool from Fitbit. They will be able to track their glucose levels by manually logging them throughout the day. Users can then view those levels right in the app alongside other metrics from Fitbit such as physical activity, sleep and their logged nutrition, to help better manage their holistic health and wellness all in one place. Within the app, users will be able to set personalized ranges so they can see when they are outside their target range to better identify important changes. They can also receive reminders to log their glucose levels so they can view their trends over time.

Fitbit has a multi-year partnership with Diabetes UK to help raise awareness of the condition and help educate people on the importance of getting to know their body and how it works. This is in order to encourage behavior changes that may help lessen the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help people to understand and manage their diabetes, in addition to benefiting overall health and wellbeing.

“We want to help empower people with cardiometabolic conditions such as diabetes so they can better manage their health and wellbeing,” says Nicola Maxwell, head of Fitbit Health Solutions in EMEA. “We hope that by making the blood glucose logging feature available through our app, it will help provide accessibility for more people. We are passionate that our work with Diabetes UK will continue to raise awareness for and help improve the health of those living with diabetes.”

Useful tools and technology

The increasing rates of diabetes, coupled with increasing focus on patient self-management, highlights the need for tools and technology to help people with diabetes better manage their condition.

“Often when people are diagnosed with diabetes, they feel overwhelmed and in reality have to spend most of the time self-managing their condition,” says Emma Elvin, Senior Clinical Advisor at Diabetes UK. “By logging their blood glucose levels in the Fitbit app, users can see what types of lifestyle factors affect their diabetes and how their blood sugar fluctuates. Seeing all their trends in one place can help people to gain back control. This can give them a greater sense of control and help them to begin to make small changes to manage their diabetes more effectively.

  • The Blood Glucose feature is not a replacement for medical advice and is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. It is intended to simply help you monitor and keep track of your information. You should talk to your healthcare provider for more guidance on blood glucose management.
  • This feature is rolling out to all UK users, English only in November.

Are we stronger than we give ourselves credit for?

Fitbit is working with Professor Ilona Boniwell as part of paid collaboration to develop insights and guidance on positive psychology. This blog is based on that information as well as the results of a survey conducted by an independent third party, Course5 Intelligence, of general consumers in 12 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

What do you think of when you hear the word strong? An image of a weightlifter, Olympian or someone that can withstand a lot of exertion? Strong, based on its traditional dictionary definition, is a word that evokes images of physical fitness and being ‘tough.’ However, perceptions of the word are shifting as more people prioritize inner strength and self care. Here at Fitbit, we think the last 19 months in particular has shown how a holistic approach to health, prioritizing both our mental and physical well-being, can help us feel strong in uncertain times.

In a recent survey conducted by Course5 Intelligence on behalf of Fitbit in August 2021 of more than 13,000 people in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UAE and the UK1, one in ten people surveyed believe the traditional, or dictionary definition, concept of ‘strength’ as being physically strong. 46% of those surveyed recognize that the definition of true strength is a combination of mental and physical traits while 39% of respondents define it as the ability to deal with the stresses and challenges that life can present us with. So how can we lean into our inner strength to enhance our lives? Strength looks different for everyone and most of the time we can easily define someone else who we perceive as strong — but don't necessarily think of ourselves as strong based on our own personal definition of it.

This tendency to overlook our own strengths is reflected in our survey whereby 68% of respondents cited someone other than themselves when asked to name the strongest person they know, and instead naming a parent (20%), friend (10%) or spouse (10%). Though it’s great to recognize other people in our lives as strong individuals, honing in on our own strength and flexing it can help shift one's mindset.

What makes you feel strong?

Positive Psychologist, Professor. Ilona Boniwell who teaches positive leadership at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and HEC Business School, states: “If something doesn’t feel right people automatically look for what is wrong, what am I not doing right. I encourage people to think differently. Instead, look at what is working for you — when do you feel stronger? - and focus on that to affect any changes you want to make. A shift in mindset and strengthening your self-belief will help build resilience that will help you better cope with daily stressors and challenges — which is something we all face.”

When it comes to how people build mental strength to feel ready to take on each day, sleep comes out on top with 66% of people surveyed saying a good night’s rest helps them feel strong. Physical exercise came second for 52% of those surveyed, while the mindful activity of setting goals came third with 32% of people.

Tools to improve mental well-being

“The idea of ‘self-care’ is much more than a buzzword, it is a continuous practice and, like strength, it doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. Mental strength is increasingly recognized as a major part of our overall health, but it takes time to nurture. Fitbit can help support your self-care practices with over 300 sleep and meditation relaxation session in Fitbit Premium2, including content from Calm, the #1 App for Sleep and Meditation3 and Deepak Chopra, M.D., Pioneer of Integrative Medicine, and Founder of The Chopra Foundation and Chopra Global, whose exclusive Mindful Method sessions are designed to help improve your emotional well-being,” Joanne Savage, Marketing Director in EMEA, Fitbit at Google.

So, more people are checking in with themselves, but what about how we speak to ourselves? Much of self-talk depends on your personality. In the survey, the findings show that men are more likely to engage in a more positive internal dialogue (42%) or what’s known as ‘positive self-talk’ compared to 33% of women. Alongside gender discrepancies, there were also differences in generations as well. According to the findings, when it comes to discussing mental resilience, 71% of those aged 25-44 were more likely to feel comfortable talking about their mental and physical strength with friends, family members or colleagues, as opposed to 67% of those aged 18 – 25.

“This is a strength in itself, recognizing how important it is to talk, to share how we are feeling with others,” said Professor Boniwell. “If you take time to focus on the positive aspects of your daily experiences you will begin to recognize just how strong you are. Before going to bed every night, think back over your day and remember three good things that happened - things that went well, that you succeeded in, enjoyed or were grateful for. This is more important than you think — appreciation helps you realize what you have accomplished, which, in turn, fuels your self-belief.”

As people move towards a more holistic approach to health, our recent survey shows that sleep and exercise are a top priority in feeling mentally stronger. To build on this, Professor Boniwell’s advice in shifting our mindset can help build resilience and therefore our coping skills with the inevitable daily challenges that arise. Fitbit can support your goals to help feel stronger through the community and tools which can help with your sleep, mindfulness and activity. Visit www.fitbit.com for more inspiration.

Professor Boniwell is one of the European leaders in Positive Psychology, having founded and led the first Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of East London. Today, she leads the International MSc in Applied Positive Psychology (I-MAPP) at Anglia Ruskin University and teaches Positive Management at l’Ecole Centrale Paris and HEC Business School, and consults around the world as a director of Positran. Her main teaching expertise lies in the areas of Positive Psychology and Positive Psychology applications.

1 A survey by Course5 Intelligence conducted on behalf of Fitbit in August 2021 of 13,053 adults in 12 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa. (UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, and UAE). The participants are a representative sample as selected by Course5 Intelligence.

2 Fitbit Premium is only available in select languages. Content & features subject to change. Access these services in the Fitbit app. Fitbit app is only available for compatible Android and iOS devices. Internet connection required for use.

3 Calmcontent is only available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Japanese, and Korean.

HLTH: Building on our commitments in health

Tonight kicked off the HLTH event in Boston that brings together leaders across health to discuss healthcare's most pressing problems and how we can tackle them to improve care delivery and outcomes.

Over the past two years, the pandemic shined a light on the importance of our collective health — and the role the private sector, payers, healthcare delivery organizations, governments and public health play in keeping communities healthy. For us at Google, we saw Search, Maps and YouTube become critical ways for people to learn about COVID-19. So we partnered with public health organizations to provide information that helped people stay safe, find testing and get vaccinated. In addition, we provided healthcare organizations, researchers and non-profits with tools, data and resources to support pandemic response and research efforts.

As I mentioned on the opening night of HLTH, Google Health is our company-wide effort to help billions of people be healthier by leaning on our strengths: organizing information and developing innovative technology. Beyond the pandemic, we have an opportunity to continue helping people to address health more holistically through the Google products they use every day and equipping healthcare teams with tools and solutions that help them improve care.

Throughout the conference, leaders from Google Health will share more about the work we’re doing and the partnerships needed across the health industry to improve health outcomes.

Meeting people in their everyday moments and empowering them to be healthier

People are increasingly turning to technology to manage their daily health and wellbeing — from using wearables and apps to track fitness goals, to researching conditions and building community around those with similar health experiences. At Google, we’re working to connect people with accurate, timely and actionable information and tools that can help them manage their health and achieve their goals.

On Monday, Dr. Garth Graham, who leads healthcare and public health partnerships for YouTube, will join the panel “Impactful Health Information Sharing” to discuss video as a powerful medium to connect people with engaging and high-quality health information. YouTube has been working closely with organizations, like the American College of Physicians, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Mass General Brigham, to increase authoritative video content.

On Tuesday, Fitbit’s Dr. John Moore will join a panel on “The Next Generation of Health Consumers” focusing on how tools and technologies can help people take charge of their health and wellness between doctors’ visits — especially for younger generations. Regardless of age, there’s a huge opportunity for products like Fitbit to deliver daily, actionable insights into issues that can have a huge impact on overall health, like fitness, stress and sleep.

Helping health systems unlock the potential of healthcare data

Across Google Health, we’re building solutions and tools to help unlock the potential of healthcare data and transform care delivery. Care Studio, for example, helps clinicians at the point of care by bringing together patient information from different EHR systems into an integrated view. We’ve been piloting this tool at select hospital sites in the U.S. and soon clinicians in the pilot will have access to the Care Studio Mobile app so they can quickly access the critical patient information they need, wherever they are — whether that’s bedside, at clinic or in a hospital corridor.

In addition to Care Studio, we’re developing solutions that will bring greater interoperability to healthcare data, helping organizations deliver better care. Hear more from Aashima Gupta, Google Cloud’s global head of healthcare solutions, at HLTH in two sessions. On Monday, October 18, Aashima will discuss how digital strategies can reboot healthcare operations, and on Tuesday, October 19 she will join the panel “Turning of the Data Tides” to discuss different approaches to data interoperability and patient access to health records.

Building for everyone

Where people live, work and learn can greatly impact their experience with health. Behind many of our products and initiatives are industry experts and leaders who are making sure we build for everyone, and create an inclusive environment for that work to take place. During the Women at HLTH Luncheon on Tuesday, Dr. Ivor Horn, our Director of Health Equity, will share her career journey rooted in advocacy, entrepreneurship and activism.

From our early days as a company, Google has sought to improve the lives of as many people as possible. Helping people live healthier lives is one of the most impactful ways we can do that. It will take more than a single feature, product or initiative to improve health outcomes for everyone. If we work together across the healthcare industry and embed health into all our work, we can make the greatest impact.

For more information about speakers at HLTH, check out the full agenda.

These researchers are driving health equity with Fitbit

Under-resourced communities across the country have long faced disparities in health due to structural and long-standing inequities. Unfortunately, the pandemic has further widened many of these gaps.

Still, health equity research in digital health remains limited. To help address these issues, we announced the Fitbit Health Equity Research Initiative earlier this year to help support underrepresented researchers who are early in their careers and working to address health disparities in communities.

Over the past decade, researchers have used Fitbit devicesin over 900 health studies, in areas like diabetes, heart disease, oncology, mental health, infectious disease and more. Today, we’re awarding six researchers more than a total of $300,000 in Fitbit devices and services to support their research projects. Additionally, Fitbit’s long-time partner, Fitabase, will provide all projects with access to their data management platform to help researchers maximize study participation and analysis.

Learn more about the awardees and their research:

A photo of Sherilyn Francis of Georgia Tech

Improving postpartum care for rural black women

Black women in the U.S. are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth when compared to their white counterparts. And in Georgia, the disparities are more pronounced among rural populations. “As Black women who reside in Georgia, we’re more likely to die simply by becoming pregnant,” shares Sherilyn Francis, a PhD student in Georgia Tech’s Human-Centered Computing program. Her research aims to improve postpartum care for rural Black mothers through a culturally informed mobile health intervention. As part of the study, participants will receive a Fitbit Sense smartwatch and Fitbit Aria Air scale. By combining insight into physical activity, heart rate, sleep, weight and nutritional data with health outcomes, Sherilyn and her colleagues hope to shed light on ways to reduce the risk of severe maternal morbidity for Black mothers.

A photo of Jessee Dietch of Oregon State University

A look at sleep health in transgender youth

Transgender youth (ages 14-19) are at elevated risk for poor sleep health and associated physical and mental health outcomes. However, there’s no research to date that examines how medical transition and the use of gender-affirming hormone therapy impact sleep health. Jessee Dietch, PhD, who is an assistant professor of psychology at Oregon State University, will analyze participants’ sleep using a Fitbit Charge 5. The hope is that the findings will highlight potential points for sleep health intervention that could lead to improved wellbeing for a community that is already at an elevated risk for poor health outcomes.

A photo of  Rony F. Santiago of Sansum Diabetes Research Institute

Preventing the progression of type 2 diabetes in Latino adults

The causes and complications of type 2 diabetes (T2D) disproportionately impact Latinos. Motivated by personal experiences, Rony F. Santiago, MA, is an early-career researcher at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute and manages T2D programs that support the Santa Barbara community. Rony and his team, in collaboration with researchers at Texas A&M University, aim to recruit healthy Latino participants and those with pre-diabetes or T2D who will each receive a continuous glucose monitor and a Fitbit Sense smartwatch. They hope to analyze physical activity, nutrition tracking and sleep patterns to better understand the impact these behaviors can have on blood sugar and the potential to improve health outcomes, including the progression from pre-diabetes to T2D.

A photo of Toluwalase Ajayi of Scripps Research

Investigating how systemic racism impacts maternal and fetal health

Black and Hispanic pregnant people experience higher rates of pregnancy-related mortality in comparison to their non-Hispanic white counterparts. And Black infants are twice as likely to die within their first year of life in comparison to white infants. Toluwalase Ajayi, MD, pediatrician, palliative care physician and clinical researcher at Scripps Research is the principal researcher for this study, PowerMom FIRST, which is part of her larger research study PowerMom. PowerMom FIRST aims to answer questions about how systemic racism and discrimination may have a negative impact on maternal and fetal health in these vulnerable populations. In this study, 500 Black and Hispanic mothers will receive a Fitbit Luxe tracker and Aria Air scale. Researchers will assess participant survey data for health inequities, disproportionate health outcomes, disparities in quality of care, and other factors that may influence maternal health alongside biometric data from Fitbit devices. Data, like sleep and heart rate, will help researchers better understand the impact that systemic racism experienced by Black and Hispanic pregnant people may have on their health.

A photo of Susan Ramsundarsingh of SKY Schools

Building healthy habits in adolescents facing health disparities

Experiences of trauma, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and social inequity, are linked to poor health habits among marginalized student populations. Although there is a known relationship between unhealthy habits such as physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and socioeconomic status, there is little clarity on effective interventions. Susan Ramsundarsingh, PhD is the National Director of Research at SKY Schools, which develops evidence-based programs aimed at increasing the wellbeing and academic performance of under-resourced students. In this study, researchers will pair Fitbit Inspire 2 devices with the SKY School program, which teaches children social-emotional skills and resilience to improve health and wellbeing through tools like breathing techniques. Six hundred adolescent students will be assigned to three groups to measure the impact of the interventions on heart rate, sleep and physical activity during the 2021-22 school year.

A photo of Victoria Bandera of UCHealth

Reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors in Hispanic families in Colorado

Hispanics have a disproportionately higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors relative to non-Hispanic whites, as well as higher rates of modifiable risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension. Victoria Bandera, M.S. is an exercise physiologist and early career researcher at UCHealth Healthy Hearts in Loveland, Colo., whose research aims to combat health inequities that impact the Hispanic community. Participants enrolled in the Healthy Hearts Family Program will receive a Fitbit Charge 5 and take part in a 6-month program that includes an educational series on cardiovascular disease risks, healthy behaviors and health screenings. Researchers will encourage participants, ages 13 and older, to use their new Fitbit device to monitor and modify their health behaviors, such as eating habits and physical activity. They will then analyze changes in physical activity levels, body composition and biometric variables to assess the impact of the Healthy Hearts Family Program.

For the past 14 years at Fitbit, our mission has been to help everyone around the world live active, healthier lives, and along with Google, we’re committed to using tech to improve health equity. We hope the Fitbit Health Equity Research Initiative will continue to encourage wearable research and generate new evidence and methods for addressing health disparities.