Impact Feature Issue on Supporting Wellness for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Beth Terrill:
Getting Fit with My Fitbit


Beth Terrill lives in Elmhurst, Illinois, working as a high school mailroom assistant and park district child care worker.

My doctor said I have to exercise more to lose weight. She said if I don’t lose weight, I could get diabetes. I don’t want to take medicine. I am working hard to lose weight. My doctor said I should try not to eat a lot of things that are white like bread, pasta, and cereal. If I eat something that is white I should only eat as much as could fit in my one hand. I am trying to eat more fruit and vegetables. I am trying to exercise more. My Fitbit helps me to exercise. Staff help me to:

  • Check how far I have walked each day by helping me plug my Fitbit into the computer.

  • Set new goals on my Fitbit when I have success.

  • Set up contests with my friends who have Fitbits. We set the same weekly goal and we see who reaches the goal first. Everyday my Fitbit gives me an update.

  • Set up a contest with my sister, who lives far away, to get us to both exercise more.

  • When I look at my Fitbit on my wrist it reminds me to walk more.

  • Now that I have a Fitbit I walk to work.

  • I am looking into an adapted Fitbit that will let me use it in the pool when I swim.

  • Sometimes I have trouble sleeping and my staff can look at my Fitbit to see how long I sleep each night or if I wake up a lot.