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InnerScore: Quantifying the Impact of Small, Meaningful Habit Changes

By Svetlana Vinogradova, PhD, May 15, 2020

innerscore headerWe know from psychology, behavioral science, and our own experiences that the path to achieving our biggest goals is built of slight, incremental steps. No matter how early or far into your personal health journey, small milestones can actually be big achievements when paired with consistency. So we've created a new tool—InnerScore—to help you visualize the compounding impact of these small, meaningful changes over time.


The "something is better than nothing" approach

When planning to reach a goal, it's vital to adopt the mentality that little changes matter—and can add up to big results. For example, one study found that running for just 5 or 10 minutes per day leads to better heart health and a reduced risk of all-cause mortality—making quite the case for the time-tested "something is better than nothing" adage. It's small increases, even by a mere 5 minutes per day, that can help someone eventually build up to the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

And this approach applies to much more than just exercise. Want to improve your diet and nutritional habits? Even a single healthy decision or swap can significantly change the course of your health outcomes later in life if done consistently over time. One study found that by simply replacing a daily sugary or caloric beverage with water for 6 months, participants could significantly decrease their fasting blood sugar levels.  

InnerScore captures and measures small, daily changes in your wellness

The simple truth is, as humans, these marginal improvements can be hard to notice—making them a weak motivational tool. But what if you could quantify those improvements and watch them compound over time? Would it help you stay on track towards your goals? We think so. So to help our users monitor that exact kind of small, daily progress, we've designed a highly-personalized metric called InnerScore.

InnerScore's purpose is to help you visualize the translation of small, persistent actions into big changes on health and life quality. It's also incredibly useful for summarizing the status of your biomarkers. Baked into its formula is the number of optimized or problematic biomarkers from your latest InsideTracker test and the impact of each on your overall health. So if you've ever struggled to interpret the weight each biomarker result has on your wellbeing, InnerScore can help to clarify.


How to unveil your InnerScore

Once you purchase an InsideTracker test, you'll go through the on-boarding process, during which we'll calculate your InnerScore based on your bloodwork results and the data from your wearable fitness tracker (if available). This starting score will serve as a snapshot of your overall health. 

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During on-boarding, you'll also customize your 90-day plan based on ultra-personalized InsideTracker recommendations. Starting on Day 1, InsideTracker will monitor your progress by allowing you to check in and confirm whether you completed actions on your plan for a given day.

And that's all it takes. With each check-in, your InnerScore will change to reflect the actions that you have taken and their impact on your wellbeing. And even if you don't see dramatic changes in your InnerScore by Days 2 or 3, sticking to your plan virtually ensures you will by Day 90.

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A simulation of InnerScore in different scenarios

Let’s see how InnerScore works for someone who starts their plan on January 1st with an initial InnerScore of 72. Here are 3 possible scenarios of what can happen in the next 90 days: 

  • If they don't check in (gray line), we assume that they're not following their InsideTracker recommendations, and their InnerScore stays the same.
  • If they check in confirming they completed their recommendations 2 days per week (light green line), we will see a gradual increase in their InnerScore—and can expect it to reach 73 after 90 days. Remember, even small changes matter!
  • If they're fully committed to their plan and check in every day (deep green line), their InnerScore will increase more rapidly—reaching 77 in 90 days!

InnerScore is even more dynamic with Fitbit

Connecting with a Fitbit device makes InnerScore even more comprehensive and informative. In fact, even the gray line will fluctuate over time in response to changes in sleep quality and in resting heart rate, both of which have important implications on health and are detected by a Fitbit.



The takeaway about InnerScore

Some of the most powerful changes you can make for your wellbeing are the small ones—sometimes too small to even notice. But with InnerScore, you can measure and track the impact of small, daily changes over time in a clear and concise way.