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Fitter, Happier: Improve Your Health and Productivity with R

Marc Garrett (Intridea)

Intridea is famous for our distributed team. We believe that letting people work from home leads to happier employees and better client outcomes. But there’s one drawback: the freshman fifteen! Working from home means working close to your refrigerator. Last fall, we decided to do something about it and got Fitbits for the entire team to help us get up and get moving.

We’ll show attendees:

  • how to use R to query your own health data
  • how to use R to aggregate your team’s health data
  • how to visualize the data in an attractive and legible heatmap within R
  • how to query Github data within R and mash it up with Fitbit data. After all, they both measure the same thing: activity over time!

We’ve learned some surprising things about our team: for example, activity level doesn’t necessarily correlate with age. We’ve looked at what time of day our team works, what time of day our team plays, and seen first hand the importance of letting our engineers time shift. We’ll show attendees how to ask the right questions of their own workplaces. We’ll even share tips for getting your team to feel comfortable being measured.

Three types of people will love this talk:

  • First, anyone who likes data visualization. We’ll show various heatmaps and discuss ways to spot trends in the data.
  • Second, anyone who likes R. This will be an beginner level R talk — you don’t need to know statistics or be a Matlab refugee in order to follow along.
  • Third, anyone who works in healthcare and want to drive better health outcomes for patients or employees.

So that’s it O’Reilly. We’d love to present at Strata. Any questions, please ask! And thank you for the chance to share our ideas. Bye!

Photo of Marc Garrett

Marc Garrett


Marc is a MITX award-winning solutions architect.

Prior to joining Intridea, Marc was Vice President of Interactive Development at Bridgeline Digital. Marc has developed web solutions for the National Children’s Museum, the Washington Redskins, Hooked on Phonics, and Congressional Quarterly.

The author and editor of numerous programming titles, Marc was also instrumental in architecting the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, a program that distributed Apple laptops to every seventh grade student in the state of Maine. Marc holds a Juris Doctor from American University, Washington College of Law, and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia. He has worked in New York, Washington DC, and Singapore.

Marc recaptures nine days of his life every single year by working for Intridea.

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