Spire, Day 1

My first day of the Spire was overall a surprisingly great experience. I didn’t feel it at all, and the data was interesting.

Overall, I averaged 16 breaths / minute, right at average for an adult male. Spire tracks five different kinds of activity / breathing:

  • Calm (green)
  • Focus (blue)
  • Tense (orange)
  • Active (yellow)
  • Sedentary (gray)

My breakdown for the day is below:


You can see that I had large swaths of tense breathing today. Those correspond to one-on-one conversations — a combination of meetings, phone calls, and dinner with my sister. I enjoyed every one of those interactions, so what it tells me is that, when I’m talking, I’m taking short, tense breaths. I can understand how, after a day of meetings, I’m totally exhausted as a result. It’s a good indication that I need to be more conscious of how I breathe when I’m in conversation with others. This isn’t totally surprising to me, as I often get animated and intense when I talk, but seeing the actual data is always a completely different experience.

From the standpoint of my desired use of this tracker — as a way of tracking participant stress — if this pattern holds true for people in general, it pollutes the data, because it will always show tension when people are talking. That’s interesting data, but I’m interested in when folks are feeling stress versus other emotions. If I could isolate when people are not talking and see if folks are ever tense then, that would be useful, but it would require an additional data source. Maybe none of this matters for the purposes of facilitation. Still, something to note.

Otherwise, I was a calm, focused breather throughout the day as I worked — good news!

The notifications were definitely too noisy for me. If I have a streak of calm breathing, getting buzzed is counter-productive. I turned off notifications for calm and focused breathing, and left everything on. I do find it valuable to get buzzed if I’ve got a streak of tense breathing, as it’s a great reminder to pay attention and breathe.

When I have a large enough baseline, I’d definitely like to do some meditation experiments to see if it affects my overall ratio of calm versus tense breathing.