Together with library services and the activity measurement development company Fibion, the Economic Development Division of the City of Helsinki has launched an experiment that involves testing the borrowing of activity trackers at two libraries in Helsinki. The tracking devices are available for borrowing until the end of October.
Established in 2014, Fibion Oy is a company that specialises in the monitoring and tracking of sitting and physical activity. The dissertations of the company founders focused on the health effects of sitting and everyday physical activity and, consequently, the company’s products and services are built on empirical information obtained from the founders’ dissertation research. Fibion’s activity analysis is based on accurate accelerometer and position sensing technology, as well as scientific research information on the adverse effects of sitting in relation to the health benefits of physical activity.
The system monitors physical activity with a small tracking device placed in the user’s trouser pockets or on a thigh band. The week-long analysis period provides considerably more accurate data than the corresponding services of commercial activity bracelets and sports watches. After the tracking period, Fibion’s analysis application creates a report that provides detailed information about the user’s sitting and activity habits and whether their habits are in balance in terms of health benefits.
In the experiment coordinated by the Economic Development Division, Fibion’s tracking devices are brought to the libraries of Laajasalo and Herttoniemi, from where they can be freely borrowed by customers. At the end of the loan period, each customer is given a personal activity report and recommendations for changing their activity habits.
“The selections of the libraries already feature a few borrowable products that support health, wellbeing and physical activity. We felt that a tracking device that promotes wellbeing would be an excellent addition to our already extensive selection, and it would also support the City’s strategic objectives related to increasing wellbeing and health,” explains Director or Herttoniemi, Laajasalo and Roihuvuori Libraries Anne Mankki.
The purpose of the experiment is to survey how the borrowing of the tracker device, the actual tracking and the creation of the report could be implemented as conveniently as possible. Additionally, the customers taking part in the experiment will be asked whether they find the tracking useful and whether they would like the device to be a permanent part of the libraries’ selections.
“We have co-developed our product with the City of Helsinki before, obtaining excellent results from our pilot period back then. We have now developed a new user interface for the project, so it will be interesting to pilot and co-develop the new functions together with the City. Customer feedback will be highly valuable in terms of potential further development,” comments Sini Lindqvist from Fibion.
The tracking devices can be borrowed by customers of all ages and physical conditions who are interested in activity tracking and, potentially, changing their lifestyle. The experiment will last roughly six months. The tracking devices will be available for borrowing at Herttoniemi and Laajasalo Libraries until the end of October.