SP's response to my email, 4/27/13
Sunday, April 28, 2013
In all fairness to SparkPeople, I need to inform you all of their response. I was very impressed to receive an answer so quickly, and will certainly try to work through their recommendations.
Here is their response:
> I'm sorry that you are frustrated with some elements of the Fitness Tracker. I will try to respond to each of your questions here and hope that this helps to at least provide some explanation or background.
> Regarding Example 1:
> If you click on the "Mileage" tab on the Tracker, you can enter the minutes and distance without having to know the miles per hour.
> Please keep in mind that the calories burned are of course estimates; if you believe you have a better estimate, you can enter that number if you prefer. One way to do that is to click on the "Enter your own exercise" link that is under the Fitness Tracker's "Search" button; here you enter a description, calories, and duration. Please note that this option does not track the mileage.
> On your Spark Coach comment, please remember that the program is designed to help you reach your goals. If you find you are spending more time on the computer than you want/should, perhaps you can complete the main elements of Spark Coach and skip some of the optional suggested items. I almost hate to suggest that as I believe all the items are helpful; but, you also have to judge which items are most helpful to you in your own program.
> Regarding Example 2:
> I will pass your suggestion (of additional golf options) along to the team; but, I cannot say if nor when that may be added. In the meantime, one of your options (similar to one of the responses above) is to use the "Enter your own exercise" if you have a better estimate of calories burned. Also, you mentioned that you previously would have recorded that as 1 hour of fitness; if that better reflects how much of your 3 hour tournament was actually very active, then you can still use the golf option that is provided and enter the 1 hour duration. Note that the best way to estimate calories burned is to invest in a heart rate monitor; without that, we do the best we can to provide general estimates that are appropriate for the average workouts as defined.
> Regarding Example 3:
> I am not sure why you say you can no longer enter "a fraction of my yard work as exercise". You can still do that by entering the number of minutes that you think is appropriate for your yard work or any other activity you are tracking.
> Note that there is a "Gardening" option listed in the Tracker that my be more appropriate than the Farm Work option you mention.
> There is also an entry for "Shoveling Snow". If you are not seeing that, please try searching just on "shovel" and see if the entry shows up in the list for you then.
> I hope this helps!
> SparkPeople Support
Hello, Support Team at SP.
I am very impressed that you responded so quickly. Thank you very much.
I will make some of the recommended adjustments and will see where it takes me. I just don't like to take more exercise minutes than I find are due me, but also do know best how much effort and exertion was put into any type of my activities. I am, certainly, more exhausted working out with my trainer for an hour (she pushes me to my limits!), than doing 'gardening' for a couple of hours, although it often involves digging a desert landscape, full of rocks. The same goes for playing one hour of golf - I would be less exhausted than after 4 hours for a round, and certainly burn more calories over 4 hours of playing, than the one hour I claim. I chose 1 hour overall, although I walk most of the course, but there are pauses involved.
It will be interesting to see when our swim season starts next month, how I can record that activity. I haven't checked that one out, yet.
Thank you again for addressing "my" problems and frustrations and the recommendations you made. It is very much appreciated.