Quantified Self presentation: Tracking seat time, and turning it healthy

At the Quantified Self Global Conference in Sept., 2012 I presented a project/experiment that I call the HealthESeat.  My goal was to make computer ‘seat time’ more healthful by adding moderate exercise without interfering with intensive computer work (I like to program!).  Naturally, everything is monitored and measured digitally. This video is created from the slide deck. 

HealthESeat Gamification Experiment

I was curious about the effects of gamification on use of my HealthESeat, so I hacked together an interface from the pedal speed to control a driving/flying simulation based on Google Earth. You can pedal and fly anywhere in the world.  

Would you like to try out the simulator?  You’ll need a modern browser with the Google Earth plug-in installed.  Since you don’t have a HealthESeat, you’ll have to drive/fly with your keyboard, but I think you’ll still have fun.  Here are the keyboard commands:  (Note: except for the Fly and Land commands, you have to hold down or press the key repeatedly, not just poke it once.)

  • G to Go (whether driving or flying — basically the throttle)
  • left-arrow and right-arrow to steer (driving or flying)
  • F to Fly (only available when your speed exceeds 150 mph)
  • L to Land (only available once you are flying)
  • up-arrow and down-arrow to climb or dive (flying only)
  • space-bar is the brake (only when driving, of course)


Many other keys are active, but I’ll let you discover them yourself.   Just remember, you’re not getting any exercise this way, so don’t overdo it!  You’re now flight-qualified!