by post_author

Fitbit Rest || Stress-reduction journey

Point behavior exists

  • People are stressed/anxious
  • People are experiencing negative health related to stress/anxiety (eg: high blood pressure, insomnia, etc)
  • Rest is not truly “restful” (eg: watching tv, going to a bar after work)


  • Start “stress reduction journey” via app/online 
  • Different mindful rest activities for each day and plans for each day’s meditation with step-by-step instructions
  • Fitbit measures current resting heart rate and sets goal heart rate for rest period
  • Fitbit buzzes once when goal heart rate is reached. This does not signal end of meditation
  • Data available: Average daily heart rate/stress level; meditative heart rate/stress level; cardio heart rate
    • Graph of heart rate/stress level throughout day- observe pre and post meditative state
    • Graph of change in average daily heart rate/stress level
  • Journaling/listening to music/reading (productive rest) in addition to mindful rest

How the behavior changes

  • Going on the “stress reduction journey,” daily tracking and comparing goal heart rate with stress levels

Behavior is changed

  • People, now able to track the daily effects of time engaging in mindful and productive rest activities, more actively and consistently engage in times of completely holistic “restfulness”

Target Behavior

  • Taking part in mindful rest for 20 minutes with productive rest that promotes self awareness and reflection daily, promoting long-term cognitive and mental health


Through Fitbit Rest, we are trying to get people to take time out of their day to think about and enhance their mental well being. When someone decided to start the stress reduction journey, they are given step by step instructions on meditation and mindful breathing techniques and given; daily programs that can be tailored to their lifestyle and preferences; and long terms goals to achieve.

When beginning the program, the user will be asked to lie down for 3 minutes so that the Fitbit can get a baseline resting heart rate/stress level. Based on that, the fitbit will give you a program and goals. The first session starts with one easy 5 minute breathing exercise and progressively builds up the amount of time to 20 minutes, although users are encouraged to meditate longer if they can/desire. The start of a meditation period is signaled by the user pressing a “start” button on the app or the fitbit, depending on the model of fitibit. During a meditation period the fitbit will shake once if/when you reach your goal heart rate (hitting goal heart rate does not mean a meditation session is over however). Users can then track day-to-day their average heart rate for the day and for their meditation period. In addition to watching themselves learn to control their bodies via heart rate, users can also compare their stress levels during the day and their quality of sleep in relation to when they meditated (eg: meditation before bed improves sleep quality while starting the day with meditation can leave you calmer throughout the day).

In addition to meditation, users are encouraged to partake in “productive rest” and are able to log this information into the fitbit app or online. Productive rest consists of listening to music, journaling, reading, etc. It qualifies as rest that is introspective rest and more active than meditation (watching tv or hanging out with friends would not be considered productive rest). Productive rest is another outlet for stress and to enhance well being.

Fitbit Rest is very much in line with fitbit’s goal of promoting wellness. Mental well being is as important as physical and in today’s busy world, we would like to make it as easy as possible for people to take time to de-stress. We want to change behavior so that people take care of themselves mentally. Lowering stress can help you lower your blood pressure, sleep better at night, and just be happier overall. Using fitbit, these changes can be more tangible and encourage people to “stick with it”, or continue their journey.

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