Week Two!

The highlight of my second week of summer was a Wednesday night dinner out at Ema with my family, but more about that later on in this post 🙂 First, a little update on my research progress!

On Monday I met with Dr. Welch to go over some content ideas and study names for our sedentary behavior reduction intervention and my interview project. Dr. Welch was out for the rest of the week and Dr. Phillips was at a conference, so it was just me at the office getting started on developing our intervention content! Most of our materials were adapted from the Fit2Thrive study, another project I have worked on at the EHL. For our sedentary behavior reduction program, I wrote a number of weekly feedback emails so the women can stay up to date on their progress, motivational “coaching” emails, and compiled videos of different workouts and individual exercises that we can push to the women as part of the study. I also developed an educational ebook that participants will be able to refer to for more information about exercise, sedentary behavior, and their safety. I sent those materials as well as a few ideas for study names to Dr. Welch and Dr. Phillips and am still waiting to hear back!

The rest of my time in the office was spent on the Fit2Thrive study. I made a few orientation calls to the women to explain to them the different components of the study that they will receive and tried to troubleshoot some of their tech questions. I knew we would run into lots of problems with the app, but I didn’t expect how many hours we would spend trouble-shooting with our tech team!

These types of situations can be very frustrating for our participants. One of my coworkers was talking to a study participant on the phone last week and she was very abrupt about how she was frustrated with the length of the instruction packets and how the apps weren’t working for her. Usually our participants are very grateful and patient, so this was unexpected. This conversation really affected my coworker and we had to take a little break to calm down from some of the participant’s harsh words. We are looking at it as a positive experience, however, because criticism allows you to adjust your work  and better handle tough situations in the future.

On Wednesday night I enjoyed meeting up with my parents and my sister at Mediterranean small plates restaurant Ema. The restaurant’s large windows were open to the outdoors, so even though we were sitting on plush leather chairs inside it felt like we were dining al fresco. Trendy music played in the background while we nibbled on an avocado and sweet pea spread, shaved romaine and farro salad, crispy potatoes, asparagus, and chicken, lamb, and beef kefta among other dishes. We ended the night with a trip to Sprinkles Cupcakes and brought them back to my apartment in Rogers Park.  Spending time with family is the best mid-week pick me up 🙂

Overall, a pretty smooth week! I expect that things will get crazier next week when Dr. Phillips, Dr. Welch, and Monica are all back to work on our summer project. Will update you soon!

-Annie