Part of my organic farming experience this year is to track just how hard family farmers work at their everyday jobs. It is fairly common when I tell people that I want to be a farmer that they respond with, “You know, farming is really hard work.” This I know, and know very well by this point. Riding my bicycle across the United States was a cake walk compared to my summer so far on the farm.
The Nike Fuelband contains an accelerometer that tracks my motion. It basically works as a super-charged pedometer. The more I move, the more NikeFuel I earn. Nike figured out an algorithm based on my height, weight, and motion over time to create NikeFuel. Basing it on my hard days versus my easy days, I would say it is fairly accurate.
The only place it falls short is that it cannot tell how “heavy” I am working. For instance, we recently got some of our beef back from the butcher. Fifteen cows worth of beef to be exact. The FuelBand did a great job of tracking how fast I was running between the truck and the cooler to get the beef in the freezer before it thawed. What it could not take into account is that each box weighed an average of 45-55 pounds. I am sure Nike probably has some products that will connect with a heart rate monitor to better measure that, but for now, the FuelBand does not. I think if it could measure how heavy things are in addition to how fast I have to move with them, there isn’t a person on the planet who can compete with a farmer. Think about it. Fifty pound sacks of chicken and pig feed, rocks, pulling weeds, harvest buckets full of vegetables, boxes of beef… The list of heavy lifting goes on.
To give you an idea of some of the things I am doing with my FuelBand on, check this out:
How am I doing in the numbers?
As of 7/24/2012 (my brothers’ Birthday) I have earned 662,806 NikeFuel.
I have been using the FuelBand for 116 days.
My average NikeFuel per day is 5,714
My Nike+ profile also shows me how I compare to the rest of the Nike community.
Those images were taken from my Nike+ Profile.
You may or may not be asking yourself, “Hey this guy is selling this whole Nike FuelBand thing pretty hard. What is his affiliation with Nike?” The answer is honestly, none. Starting this project I had no affiliation with Nike at all. I did try to write to them to see if they were interested, but they did not bite. It was not until recently that I heard anything from them at all.
Just a couple of days ago I got an e-mail letting me know that Nike loved my project and supported farmers. They offered to send me another FuelBand, because I am sure they thought mine was getting a lot of wear on the farm. I accepted and they are sending it in the mail.
Why am I sharing this?
I want to be honest and upfront about everything on FoodCyclist.com.
I want you to have the details so you know where I am coming from with this project. My first passion and motivation is farming, and helping to get farmers a fair shake. I have irrefutable proof that farming is one of the hardest occupations you can choose, and my FuelBand is helping to support that. The fact that Nike took notice is just a bonus on the side. That being said, I would be happy to work with them more on this. It is a good product, I stand by it 100%, and I would not say it on here if I did not think that.
What is the end result of me tracking a farmers’ efforts with my Nike FuelBand?
I have a couple of motivations when it comes to my Nike+ FuelBand Farmer Experiment.
- Quantify the physical efforts of the hardest profession on the planet.
- Use that data to help give family farmers’ the credit they deserve.
- Satisfy my competitive nature by completely dominating other athletes.
My thanks to Nike for taking notice of my project, and for supporting it. And always, my thanks to all the other family farmers, athletes, and average Joe’s, that stay active, and earn their NikeFuel.
How do you earn your Fuel? Leave a comment below.
Nike+ FuelBand Ice Family Farmer Experiment