Twenty-Two: A Beautiful “Heartfelt” Number

Whew! Those 2760 EXTRA steps tuckered me out!

Dog Owners Walk the Walk — 22 Added Minutes and 2,760 Steps 

Twenty-two is a beautiful — literally “heartfelt “– number and not just because it alliterates. Twenty-two  represents the additional minutes dog-owning oldsters walked per day relative to their non-dog-owning peers according to an NPR-cited study published ten days ago in the journal BMC Public Health. Those twenty-two minutes translate to a whopping 2760 additional steps per day [10,030 for DOs versus 7269 NDOs]. Now THAT should paste a smile on any pedometer enthusiast’s face.  Even better, these steps registered at moderate intensity. Since virtually all medical experts recommend 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity, the dog-walkers in the study regularly reached the recommended goal.

Why is this news? Studies have pointed to a connection for some time. Human Kinetics Journal published a 20-year meta-analysis of 29 studies documenting a correlation between dog ownership and walking. However, these previous studies relied upon self-reported measurements of physical activity.  The carefully-controlled BMS study, by contrast, monitored its participants’ activity with highly accurate Active-PAL monitors for three one-week periods.

Does this mean ALL people should get dogs OR that ALL dog owners get the recommended minutes of physical activity at moderate to vigorous intensity? Nope! And nope! Dogs require a lot of work, $$, patience, training, and love. They demand sacrifices. While they’ll return an owner’s love ten-fold, sometimes ownership poses a hurdle too high.

On to that second “nope!” The study’s researchers cautioned that even their definitive correlation between dog owning and twenty-two additional minutes of walking comes with caveats.  It matters whether one actually walks the dog. It matters whether one is the sole caretaker. Even the breed and dog temperament may have an effect; tiny teacup poodles and curious dogs that stop  and sniff every two feet probably will not add 2,780 walked steps. These and other possible confounding variables need further evaluation according to the study’s authors.

Are dog-walking owners home free where their physical activity is concerned? Maybe not. The amount of time one sits plays a significant role in cardiac/vascular health. Dog-owners and non-dog-owners spent approximately the same amount of time sitting. In addition, the number and duration of prolonged sedentary events in both groups were approximately the same. Research shows that prolonged sitting has an adverse effect on health EVEN if one gets daily exercise.

As CEO of OneTweak, I chose a pedometer without a computer interface because plugging into the computer can easily trigger the urge to surf the web.  Pedometers should trigger the urge to walk, not add to folks’ sitting-down time.

Mayo-Clinic researcher, James Levin, a leading “inactivity” expert, has deems excessive sitting a “lethal activity” according to this eye-opening  New York Time’s article.  Meanwhile, the jury is still out on the perfect sit-stand-move combination for folks in a high-tech universe.

Alas, the jury is NOT out on whether I need to get up from my desk. I’ve been SITTING in front of my computer WRITING about WALKING for hours.  My back and blood vessels have been angrily yelling at me for too long. Even Bailey implores me.

Who is Baily, you may ask?

He’s the tri-color on cuteness overload.  To be fair, all of Saussie Aussies’ Australian Shepherds’ rock out cuteness but Bailey’s special….cuz he’s mine. So this DOG-OWNER needs to clip on her OneTweak pedometer; this DOG needs to tuck into his halter and leash. And together, WE need to get our walk-on!  Sooner rather than later.

________

For more information on getting and staying healthy, check Positive Health and Wellness, a “site is for those of us who look for the information they need to live a more positive, healthier and happier life.”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Tall Tales and Great Guffaws

backwardsmanJan’s intro

Dave pasted a grin on my face from day one. Let me count the why’s…He bought a

pedometer for his mom. Sons buying pedometers for their mothers always lights

my smile.  I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that a pedometer can be life changing

if it gets one to walk more. Ergo, buying one for his mom looked more like an act of

love than not. He bought two pedometers which always makes an entrepreneurial

ME happy. He waxed helpful and creative by offering his accounting services

should the need arise. Helpful is good. He watched our setup video; such diligence

always delights. Lastly, he took time out of his busy day to touch base with me.

Thoughtful customers like him remind ME to be a better customer…nay, a better

human. Oh…I almost forgot…Dave is funny. Really funny.

 

One day, Dave sent me a perplexing story. I feebly offer my passion for seller

ethics and customer satisfaction to explain what happened next.

Dave’s Story

Who knew how much fun a pedometer could be?!  Yesterday I was going to mow the

lawn and was happy that pushing a mower would add to my step count.  I’m hoping

this silliness of looking at the OT [OneTweak] every little while will wear off.  A

few times a day should suffice!

 

Let me begin by telling you that I live at the beach, XXXXXX Beach to be exact, so

I live in the sky so to speak.  That is that my home is on pilings 15’ high.  Beneath

my home is mostly concrete and then the grass grows around the perimeter.

 

With the mower fueled up, glasses on, ear plugs in, gloves on, check, check, check.

Last thing, look at the OT for the count.  Off to battling the high grass after the

recent rains I go.  All the while, I’m thinking of your online story — inspired me to

make my own story — and all those glorious steps the OT is counting.

 

After about 45 minutes of battling tall grass, side stepping toads, cactus (yes, we

have cactus at the beach), the occasional palm frond, weed-eating and blowing off

the concrete my job was complete.  So I grabbed a cold water and the nearest

bench to survey the masterpiece that is a freshly manicured yard AND to take a

gander at the trusty OT strapped to my side.  Ahh, the satisfaction… until, 357

steps?!!?

 

Now, this yard is by no means Texas-size, a mere ¼ acre abutting a canal off the

Intracoastal Waterway and a scant 800 yards from the beautiful Gulf of Texas

(the maps incorrectly refer to it as Mexico’s Gulf), but 357 steps?!  After nearly

an hour of activity that only Richard Simmons would frown upon?  What gives OT,

malfunction?!

 

But wait, could this apparatus that has appeared to perform flawlessly these whole

four days I’ve owned it gone plumb loco in just an hour.  It was working fine before

my landscaping handiwork.  Take another sip of water I tell myself and think this

through.

 

Now, as I mentioned, the yard isn’t a boring rectangle of green nothingness.  There

are many little things to mow around, the fire pit, the pit smoker, a couple of palm

trees, the birdbath, etc.  So there are very few long runs when cutting this yard.

There are many back and forths, forths and backs.  Could what I suspected a

malfunction only be the ultimate in accuracy?!  Stand up I did next, straightened,

and took 10 paces backwards.  Well done OT, Accuracy be thy name, the new count

347 steps.

 

Did you know that walking backwards removes steps from the OT pedometer?  I

wish that worked for a few cars I’ve sold in my lifetime!  So then, flummoxed as I

was initially, how could I be upset at such a precision instrument?  I’ll now be

attempting to set the record for the most negative steps ever recorded on the OT

pedometer.  Look for me in the next Guinness book of records!

 

Now before you think me whacky (although my friends definitely think so too),

consider that mowing the lawn, while taking some physical exertion, doesn’t always

require much from the ol’ gray matter between the ears and allows for a

considerable amount of thinking.  While I really was thinking of the steps my OT

was counting, I did hatch this Tall Texas Tale whilst pushing said mower around the

yard.  Then this morning while waiting my turn in the barber’s chair was able to

quickly crank this out.

 

I hope it pastes another smile on your face.  I enjoyed thinking it up.  🙂  Have a

great day.

Dave

Jan’s Response

Humor jumped all over Dave’s Mark Twainian tale. After my great guffaws

subsided, though, I felt bewildered. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the

nonsensical step-count dilemma he presented. Here’s where I got ‘stupid.’

Somehow, I had missed the “Tall” in “Texas Tall Tale.” I actually walked backward

with ten pedometers; all ADDED steps. Then I thought, perhaps the low step count

happened because each time he stopped, he lost steps UNLESS he walked a ninth.

When I cut my grass — as seldom as possible, mind you — I  stop and start a lot to

accommodate turns and mowing around obstacles. I only walk continuously on longer

straight stretches. Maybe this explained part of the conundrum.

My ‘stupid’ only grew.

 

I relayed the above to Dave and told him to do the watch ‘n walk test to check the

accuracy. I told him to walk forward this time — it should not make a difference in

the count — because walking backward is more perilous. I closed with this, “Color

me delighted that my story inspired your story.”

 

Dave’s Response

Uh-oh!  My Tall Texas Tale was purely a tale spun for my mischievous pleasure.

My OT works perfectly.  I think I got about 1,800 steps doing my yard.

I promise not to bug you further, except when I order another unit for my Sis.

All the best and much success to you and your team.

… Dave

Jan’s Ending

Eventually, my red cheeks subsided and my gratitude grew. And grew. I had

received his tale right after I heard about the Dallas massacre. Cue me wallowing

in dejected muck. Too much awfulness. The next day, I received Dave’s “Uh-oh.”

The truth of the tale – that is, the lie of it [as in “tall tale”] – made me laugh

uproariously. Laughing at myself felt wonderful. Dave had given me a delicious

guffaw-making story that I can pull out and dust off for the rest of my life. I can

give his gift to others. I’m still smiling.

I told Dave he had a way with words – weird because he makes his living with

numbers – and asked whether I could share. Dave said it was the least he could do

for pulling my chain. Actually, he didn’t say that – I embellished – but he happily

agreed. And now you know the rest of the story.

Can You Lose Weight By Walking?

chubby-guy-jogsWalking benefits us in so many diverse ways that weight loss often gets lost in the mix. Yet, weight loss matters. To some, it’s the prime motivation to walk — at least, in the beginning. So, CAN you lose weight by walking? Is it an effective method? Helen Sanders, chief editor at Health Ambition, has the answers in this informative well-written article. She also explains the fundamentals of walking for weight loss and how to best implement a walking program. “Humans were made to move,” she notes, “although it’s easy to forget that as we’ve progressed from hunter-gatherers to working desk jobs and commuting by car from door to door.” Walking works wonderfully BECAUSE it is so basic and organic; its benefits intertwine in a wondrous synergy. One walks to feel better. One feels better so one walks. OneTweak CEO, Jan Brauner, goes one step further: “I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that a pedometer can be life-changing IF it gets one to walk more.” Helen Sanders would no doubt agree. Read more.

Nick’s Story

Yesterday hurt…a lot. The pain started when my personal computer, a lifeline to my world, crashed.  After a frantic visit to my geek squad, the problem was diagnosed and resolved with a state of the art HDMI cord.  Alas, on the way home from said squad, a car slammed on its brakes sans taillights and my lifeline toppled head over heels from its precarious perch. Thudding sensations chewed the pit of my stomach. After arriving home, further consultation with the aforementioned geek squad ensued.  They resuscitated my lifeline. I could hardly believe my luck. Fifteen minutes later, my glee met a swiftly-rolling swivel chair abruptly toppling over a cord left on a hard tile floor. I smashed my occipital region on a hard tile floor. The fall left me overwhelmingly nauseated and frustrated. In short, it hurt…a lot.

Enter Nick, a One Tweak customer whose email was the first I read after picking myself up off of the floor.

He wrote:

Jan,

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. It had been a little while since I had checked email.

I have received my OneTweak pedometer and it was delivered in a timely manner.

As far as the pedometer itself is concerned, I love it! I love how simple and easy to use it is! I had been debating between getting a wrist mounted one (similar to a FitBit) and decided that was a little too complex for me. I have been wearing it every day at work, something I have not done in almost 12 years (when I was a night security guard and walked 12 miles a night). It has become part of my uniform now! I have not been able to wear it when I go walking on the local trail yet, it has been too cold.

I would like to thank you for reaching out to your customers and also for making a simple, yet fantastic pedometer. I am extremely happy I purchased the OneTweak pedometer! Again, thank you for your time and an amazing product.

Sincerely,

Nick M.

I responded thusly:

Nick, 

Just WOW! I have an admission to make. Your email truly affected me–in good way, of course–because it was so genuine and unabashed. In a world awash in cynicism, your delight struck me as singularly delightful. It also reminds me to be a better customer…a better person, even. Thank you for the gift of a smile.

 

Congrats to you for being such a veteran walker. There is ample evidence that walking confers feelings of well-being along with phenomenal health benefits. If you’ve read my story on our website (Share Your Story segment), you’ll see my first-hand account of how walking changed my life. Methinks you know all about it! Twelve miles a day rates way up in impressive territory.   

Thanks so much for your feedback and for choosing OneTweak!

 Warm regards,

Jan Brauner

OneTweak CEO

 

Today, I received the gift of Nick’s story. It made me forget about the pain in my head while it put a smile in my heart. Simple kindnesses can do that.

Jan,

Thank you for the nice reply! You have inspired me to share my story, something I rarely do! If you would like to use it on your website or blog, please do so. I don’t think it is terribly exciting, but it is my story.

I grew up in a small town, we walked every where! I would walk to school, work, to my friends’ houses, etc. This was a habit I carried on in to my teenage and young adult years.

Towards the end of high school, I took a job as a park ranger. Walking played an almost daily role in my job duties. I was employed seasonally at one park, took some time off and then went to another park closer to home. I would even walk to work.

I continued working as a ranger almost my entire way through college. However, my inactivity during my off months combined with a college diet began to take it’s toll. I ended up at the heaviest I had ever been, I was well over 200 lbs and I am about 5’9″.

After college I took a job as a night security guard at a local zoo, this was my first experience with pedometers. I was curious how much I walked on my nightly rounds, I found out a basic (no extra duties) was 12 miles! The weight melted off me!

I left that job to broaden my horizons, and became employed as a restoration tech for a company that dealt mainly in fire and water damage. While it was physical, I still missed walking. After a difference of opinions I was forced to leave.

It was at this time that I found my current employer. I started as a driver/messenger for an armored car company, and did I love it! Lifting and walking, why join a gym. After almost four years I was promoted to Assistant Manager of a department (now I drive a desk). After a few doctor’s visits and discussions about trying to have a baby with my wife, I noticed old habits were catching up to me. That and my blood pressure was rising. I decided to make a change.

I started eating better and decided to start walking again. Jogging has always bothered me due to an old sports injury. It was at this time I decided to get another pedometer, I considered something fancy/flashy but missed my old simple one from the zoo. After finding OneTweak, I decided that was right for me. I now wear my pedometer as part of my daily uniform. I am even known to pace around our dispatch center (my office). I have to get my steps in!

I apologize for the lengthy email, but I wanted to share my story.

Thank you,

Nick

Just WOW!!!!

 

 

 

Jan’s Story

 

ShareYourStory

 

Few things in life inspire us as much as a personal story. I love them. To me, the best ones usually involve a pick-myself-up-from-the-bottom narrative. Let me tell you mine.

I am the CEO of OneTweak Pedometers. After spending decades in the Middle East raising five children, I returned to the US and discovered computers. I reveled in the cornucopia at my fingertips. Every click brought something to twizzle over; my viral world riveted me. Hooked me. Obsessed me, even.

Soon, I spent as many as sixteen hours a day on the computer.  I discovered research capabilities unimaginable in a world sans computer.  A world’s database bowed before me. I devoured it.

But this veritable feast had a downside. I viewed life from the viral edges; I didn’t fully participate in it. My computer steeped me in the tawdry entrails of human existence on a large scale.  I began to feel depressed.

My stamina withered into nothingness. My obsessive computer stints literally deprived my body of movement, as necessary to the human physiology as oxygen.

Worse, my should-be-retired husband of forty-two years had returned to work overseas, leaving me alone for the first time in my married life. I don’t do ‘alone’ well.

Then, everything changed.

We decided to start selling pedometers on Amazon.  Newbies in the world of marketing, we dubbed ourselves OneTweak.  Our name represented our belief that we would find a product that ‘tweaked’ our lives and those of our customers in a positive direction. And, we would ‘tweak’ that product in at least one way to make it better.

I felt ethically compelled to test our pedometer and those of our competitors. I began to walk. A lot. I went from sedentary to mobile. I sought a pedometer that did not require an online interface. My goal was to wean folks OFF the computer -reduce their sittin’ down time– not seduce them onto one to view their metrics and compare them with others.

Then, everything changed even more.

My world grew increasingly lovely. I began to skype my husband every day about business and brass tacks. We were apart but together. Geography was no longer our tyrant. My energy sky-rocketed. I immersed myself in goals and productivity.

I gentled ‘in the moment.’ Walking gave me time to ponder metaphysical abstractions and everyday logistics. Walking gave me energy. I lost weight. My outlines morphed. My insides morphed. Hope and I began to swap howdys.

Now I walk between 10,000 and 20,000 steps per day. Along my ‘walked’ path, I learned a great deal. Our set-up guide needs to be easier. I have a

lot to learn about customer interface and Amazon metrics. I dabble in website construction. I have discovered the power of social media and am learning how to mobilize it for our business. I encountered Pinterest and Instagram for the first time. New worlds are opening up to me.

I don’t think it is hyperbole to say that a pedometer can be life-changing if it gets you to walk more…to live more.

No doubt, OneTweak is a ‘work in progress.’ And, I have a lifetime. To walk toward the goal posts.

If YOU have a story about your pedometer experience or walking’s impact on you, I’d love to hear it. I’d also love to post it on our blog… with your permission, of course. You can remain anonymous OR you can be the named author. Your story can be short or long, with a picture or without, funny or serious. Anything works. Remember…your story is YOUR story. 

I believe your narrative can be transformative. We live and revolve in a couch-potato nation filled with folks just like me…nibbling around the edges of life. Tell your story and change the world nibble by nibble!

Contact us at support at support@OneTweak.com