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Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

Tracking Fitness and Change

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

“Heart Rate Monitoring Device” by pearlsband is licensed under CC0.

fitnessbandsAccording to a 2013 Pew report, 60% of U.S. adults ages 18 and over nationally track their weight, diet, or exercise routine, and 21% of all adults surveyed use technology to do so.  Fitness and activity trackers such as Fitbit or Nike+ can certainly help with setting goals or finding extra motivation.

But how effective are these technologies? Recent studies reported by The Guardian show promising results in terms of retention. But lasting change takes more than a device.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institute of Health, published a guide to help consumers think about how to move through stages of change:

  1. Contemplation – thinking about making a change
  2. Preparation – planning and goal setting
  3. Action – making actual adjustments or changes
  4. Maintenance – finding a routine and overcoming setbacks

Want more information on how to execute each stage and overcome common barriers? Check out the guide here: Changing Your Habits for Better Health. You can also find additional resources for tracking progress and developing health habits on the MedlinePlus topical page on Exercise and Physical Fitness.

And then here are are some considerations if you’re in the market for a fitness tracker: Consumer Reports Fitness Tracker Buying Guide. But whether you use a high-tech gadget or a paper journal, consider what makes for lasting change!

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Identifying Opportunities in Obstacles

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

In the October 2015 issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association, Jeff Williams and Neil Rambo describe their library’s experiences following a major disaster. In October 2012, Super Storm Sandy caused significant damage to New York University Health Sciences Library’s facilities and collections. Williams and Rambo describe what they learned in their insightful JMLA article “It’s the end of the world and we feel fine.”

Although the losses experienced by our staff and our users were wrenching, we began to see that this forced disruption, this destruction completely out of our control, also provided opportunities. These included moving more quickly and forcefully in new areas than would have been previously imagined. Some of these included: (1) improving infrastructure around online services and resources, and (2) engaging with our various user communities to better understand their knowledge and data discovery and management needs.

Even though the resulting water damage triggered a significant adjustment to library operations, the authors note that some good came out of the experience. The library was forced to rethink library services provided in the health sciences center. At the end of their article, Williams and Rambo describe a thought experiment that can be a jumping off point for library organizations to reimagine their own libraries. Their article is well worth reading.