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Project Baseline Presents Thanksgiving Day Insights

| Written by:

Naxin Wang

Analytics Program Manager, Verily

At Project Baseline our goal is to map human health. An important part of mapping health is to understand what it means in the context of our day-to-day lives. Thanks to the innovative tools and technologies that we develop and use at Verily, we're able to do exactly that. We can begin to track and understand how health changes outside of the doctor's office.

Holidays offer an exciting opportunity to see how people's habits and thus health can change in the context of life events. Thanksgiving, for example, is a day where most Americans' routines are altered: Many individuals don't have to work and instead get together with relatives or friends they may only see once a year to indulge and relax. We were curious how this particular holiday impacted our participants' activity and sleep habits, so we turned to the sensor data we collected that day.


We measure activity through our Study Watch, an investigational wristwatch that participants wear on a daily basis. On Thanksgiving, we saw a 14% decrease in activity time from the daily average since the study launched in April 2017. Surprisingly, even though our participants logged fewer active minutes, they logged more steps. More steps over less time is possible because our participants were running! On an average day, only 0.3% of our participants' activity time is spent running. On Thanksgiving, that average jumped to 2.4%. Whether they joined a local Turkey Trot or took a jog with loved ones, there was a notable difference in activity that morning.


Whether it's because of a big meal or an exhausting day of cooking and catching up with relatives, our participants on average logged 30 more minutes in bed on Thanksgiving night than an average night. We measured this through the sleep sensor that participants place under their mattress, which passively monitors their sleep.

On behalf of the entire Project Baseline team, we hope you had a great holiday and look forward to sharing more insights as we continue our journey of mapping human health. This holiday season, we are thankful to our study participants and everyone who makes this initiative possible. If you're interested in joining us in the new year, visit to apply.

Disclaimer: The Project Baseline study is research, not clinical care. The results or data shared here are not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat any disease. Results or data collected from sensors, investigational devices, and wearables in this study may not have been validated and therefore may not be precisely accurate. The data for this infographic was collected from participants via the Study Watch and Sleep Sensor from April -November 2017.

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