Apps for Wellness

Apps for Wellness

a presentation at the CECA Board meeting, Wednesday, February 1, 2017, Sliders, Plantsville, CT

Developed by Dr. David L. Stoloff, Professor, Education Department,

Eastern Connecticut State University, stoloffd@easternct.edu

Some faculty complain about the distractions caused by students using smart phones in their classrooms. An introductory study on this topic –

McCoy, Bernard, “Digital Distractions in the Classroom: Student Classroom Use of Digital Devices for Non-Class Related Purposes” (2013). Faculty Publications, College of Journalism & Mass Communications. Paper 71.  Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/journalismfacpub/71

indicates that digital distractions are common in classrooms but students oppose the banning of digital devices, finding them a slight distraction from their learning.

Other faculty wonder how smart phones might be used to enhance learning in the classroom. For this latter group, I would recommend taking a look at

O’Sullivan, Eileen (n.d.) Smart Phone Use in a Higher Educational Setting.  Retrieved from http://webhost.bridgew.edu/eosullivan/INST525/smartphone/uses.htm

Let’s discuss having fun with your smart phone.

Smart Apps for Faculty Wellness and Goodness

Several faculty members at Eastern Connecticut State University have made use of smart phone apps for monitoring their diets and have experienced weight loss.

I would recommend trying MyFitnessPal that may be downloaded from https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ .   MyFitnessPal is owned by “UnderArmour Under Armour, a global leader in sports performance and innovation” and, according to this linked press release, is “powered by more than 80 million registered users, MyFitnessPal is the leading free resource for achieving and maintaining health and fitness goals, providing nutritional information for over five million foods and offering caloric data associated with hundreds of exercises, empowering its community to make better, more informed healthy-living decisions.”  One sets a daily caloric maximum; the challenge is to stay under the maximum.  I find that I stay under the maximum by exercising and recording the duration of the exercise in MyFitnessPal, which estimates caloric expenditure and then calculated intake – expenditure for a daily net caloric intake.

To record my daily indoor and outdoor walking and running and outdoor biking, I make use of Charity Miles, downloaded from http://www.charitymiles.org/ .  Charity Miles is sponsored by “forward-thinking brands like Humana, Johnson & Johnson, and Chobani!” ow and has “earned over $1.7M for charity” according to its web homepage.    Distance travelled using Charity Miles is calculated by GPS.  I was surprised how much walking I do just going to class.  Charity Miles allocates about $.25 a mile to a charity one selects from their list of over 30 options.  I estimate that I have “earned” over $500 for the Alzheimer’s Association in 2016 through evening walks and biking that I would have done even if I was not doing more good using Charity Miles.

Another way to do good for actions you would have taken in any case is to do your internet surfing using GoodSearch – http://www.goodsearch.com/ .  You may download GoodSearch to your smart phone, tablet, or laptop.  Registered users make use of a search engine, which is powered by Yahoo search engine, and earn a 1 cent for every search they make.  So far, I have earned over $130 – representing over 13,000 searches I would have made otherwise – for the charity of my choice.  In this case, I am contributing to Mazon, an international food bank.  There is a choice of 11,000 local and national charities in GoodSearch’s list of options.

Please contact me at David Stoloff – stoloffd@easternct.edu – if you have any questions or comments on MyFitnessPal, CharityMiles, or GoodSearch.  This discussion is also available at https://writingsdls.wordpress.com/apps-for-wellness.  Best wishes for good health and fun during this spring semester.