FAQ for Sonic Boom

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FAQs about the Sonic Striding Challenge


How do I log in to Sonic Boom?

  • Log on to mybenefit.county.org using your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Identification Number (Nine Digits starting with 903) found on your insurance card;
  • Click “Get Connected”; and
  • Click the “Sonic Boom” link.

NEW SONIC BOOM USERS will be sent to a registration page to set up their Sonic Boom account information

How do I edit my profile?
It’s important to complete your profile first because some things are pulled from the information you input (for instance, to determine your calories burned we need to know your height/weight). ALL information in your profile is 100% private unless you check the box that makes it public.
  • Click on “Edit Profile” in the upper left corner of your home page.
  • Fill in your personal information and click “Save.” Be sure to enter your height and weight in order for accurate data to record.
  • Enter your email address so that your log in information can be retrieved and sent to you if you forget your username and password. Many of the aspects of the program are email based, so please make sure to provide this information. Your work email is best, but a home email address is ok if you don’t have one at work.

How do I opt out of getting emails for various programs?

Preferences:
Setting your preferences will allow you to set times for receiving email notifications and other personal preferences.
  • Click on “My Preferences” in the top right-hand corner.
  • Select yes or no to receiving “Challenge of the Day,” “CaughtYa Points,” “Sonic Striding,” “Weight-Loss Warriors: Mission Nutrition” and “Joust” notification emails.

Questions About Your SonicPed

What kind of activity does the SonicPed measure?
The SonicPed measures steps (walking/running), as well as cycling, elliptical and other activities that have up/down/forward and back movement. It also measures total distance traveled and total calories burned from step-based activities.
 
How do I get started using my SonicPed?
Once you receive your new SonicPed, sign into the Sonic Boom website (see steps above) and click on the "Sonic Striding" tab.
 
How do I know if my ped is registered?
Your SonicPed is registered when you see the serial number that is on the back of your ped listed under "registered devices" on the registration page. Remember to turn your ped on by walking past the receiver. Once you do this, your last-seen date and time should be current. Your SonicPed must be activated by going by a receiver in order to start collecting data.
 
How do I register a new ped (do I need to unregister the old one?)?
Once you register your new ped, the old one will automatically be unregistered. The process of registering a new ped is the same as when you first registered. Click on the "Register My SonicPed" button in the Sonic Striding section of your personal web page and enter the new serial number under the "Add a New Device" heading.
 
How close do I have to be to a receiver?
It is best to be within the line of sight of a receiver, no more than 15-20 feet away. The device uses radio waves so the closer you are to a receiver, the stronger the signal will be. A ped must be "awake" in order to offload. If you are stationary in front of the receiver the ped goes to sleep to conserve the battery. To offload properly, walk by the receiver or tap your foot.
 
How long will the ped store my data?
One or two weeks, depending upon how much data you put on the ped. If you store this much activity, be SURE to spend enough time in front of the receiver to offload, especially if your receiver is located at a computer. Try walking back and forth and tapping your foot in the event that it is taking longer for your data to register. Several trips by the receiver throughout the day may be necessary to fully offload your data. Pressing the "Refresh Data" button on your Sonic Striding "My Stats" tab will help to refresh the data more quickly.
 
I wore my ped over the weekend and my data is not appearing on Monday.
If you wore your ped over the weekend, chances are you have accumulated a lot of steps. Since there is a lot of data stored on your ped, a few trips past the receiver may be required to successfully offload all of your data. Remember to keep the ped awake while off-loading (walking past the receiver or tapping your foot in front of it).
 
What if I lose my ped?
Let your wellness coordinator know right away. They will help you order a new ped through Sonic Boom. The charge for a replacement is $30. Your old ped will be unregistered once you register your new ped.  
 
If I work in one building and walk by the receiver in another building, will my data upload?
Yes. Any receiver will take your data.
 
The last seen date on my ped reads in the past.
 
Have you walked past a receiver?
You have to walk by a receiver for it to begin registering. If you haven't walked past a receiver in a couple of days or longer, stand near the receiver for about 30 seconds to make sure all of your data is offloaded. Note: If your last-seen date is within 24 hours, your ped is likely NOT dead.
 
Are you wearing your ped correctly?
The ped must be flat on the top of your foot facing forward (not sideways). The clip part faces your body and the open part toward your toes. It should be parallel to your foot and can't be hanging from the side of your shoe.
 
Is the receiver turned on? Do you see a running man icon?
Check to see if there is a running man icon visible in the bottom right hand corner of the desktop where the receiver is housed. If you do not see the icon, please contact your client administrator or Sonic Boom Wellness. For anl, internet connection receiver, check to make sure the light is on.
 
How long will my battery last?
We recommend changing the battery around 10 percent.  When it gets below 10 percent, it might still record data but offloads will be more difficult.
 
My battery level on my ped jumped up to 99%.
You will not need a replacement. If you have a XXXX-00258-XXXXX series ped, your data will still appear. Keep trying to get an offload by going by the receiver.
 
I have lots of "other" minutes or steps.
If you are doing an activity without impact, the ped will not measure steps, just time. Working out on an elliptical or tapping your foot while at your desk is just two examples of non-step activities. Also, check how you're wearing your ped. If your ped is hanging off the side of a shoe or being worn incorrectly (or flopping around), it will show "other" time and steps.
 
My daily summary e-mail indicates that I have 0 steps and 0 minutes of activity, but I know I've been active.
Check the time that you have your email set to be sent. The daily summary email is representative of data between the hours of 12 a.m. and the time that the email is sent to you. If you have not been past the receiver or have not worn your ped during this time, the email will show zeroes. You can adjust the email summary time in "Preferences" on your home page.
 
Is my activity private?
Yes, if you created an "alias" or "nickname" that no one will recognize. If you meant to do so and would like to change it to something more private, please contact us and we'll make the change.
 
If I'm on a bike, how does it measure steps?
If you're doing an activity without impact, the ped will not measure steps but it will measure time. It will refer to that activity as "other activity" (same with time on an elliptical or other non-step activities) — and if your contest is based on time, it DOES count for the competition!
 
What if I'm on a recumbent bike?
Ah...THAT'S a different story. The ped can't pick up that kind of activity because your feet are on a vertical plane (no forward/backward movement). You'll likely see some activity, but the time won't be completely accurate.
 
Can I wear it swimming?
Yes! The peds ARE waterproof...they're tested to one meter (and may be waterproof deeper, but haven't been tested yet)! What we have verified is that the ped will record data during a freestyle stroke — just clip it to a waterproof watch or a "Livestrong"-type bracelet. Activity data will be recorded solely as time (no steps, distance, or calories).
 
Should I wear it on weekends and before/after work?
Definitely! Your activity time counts! The device will store your data for a week or two, depending upon your activity levels. The more active you are, the more you should offload data.
 
My calories don't seem right.
They may not be. The calorie count is most accurate for steps (running/walking). For "other" activity, they're less accurate. Be sure that your weight is entered correctly in your Sonic Boom profile. Caloric burn is based on your weight.
 
I've compared this ped to my old pedometer, and this one doesn't give me as many steps. What gives?
The pedometers that are worn on the waist, in a pocket or on a bra strap tend to dramatically overestimate steps. The pedometers worn on the waist basically just measure up and down movement or "jiggles," if you will. For example, riding in the car alone racks up a lot of steps. Sometimes even just shaking the pedometer will cause steps to change. The SonicPed uses sophisticated algorithms to produce a more accurate reading. Also, because the ped is worn on your shoe, it is far more accurate.
 
I don't want my ped anymore.
That's fine. You can turn it in to your administrator. Please let us know (or have the administrator let us know) so we can unregister your ped from your account, allowing someone else to use it.
 
Does airport security affect the ped?
No. You can check a ped in your checked-on luggage or wear it on your shoe. When you take your shoe off and they put it through the X-ray, it won't affect the ped. On rare occasions peds have been confiscated by TSA (we can't be held responsible!).
 
Will a race timing chip interfere with the SonicPed?
No. They use different receiver technology. If you're in a race with a timing chip, your SonicPed will not interfere and vice-versa. Good luck!
 

Questions About Sonic Striding Contests

Is the competition based on individual or team performance?
It depends upon how your administrator has set up the competition. It should be clear on the contest page.
 
What is the competition based on?
It depends upon how your administrator has set up the contest. The device is keeping track of steps, time, distance and calories. Most of the time, competitions are based on time (total activity minutes). That makes it fair for people who do non-step activities and doesn't give an unfair advantage to marathon runners. However, your administrator may elect to base a competition on steps, calories or distance.
 
If we compete as a team, is the competition based on total time or average?
Team stats are averaged.
 
How long does it last?
Check the Striding Home page for details.
 
Can I change teams?
Not once the competition has started, but you can change teams until the contest start date
 
Can we kick someone off our team?
Sorry. No. Kick 'em in the hiney instead and get them moving more.
 
What if I'm not into exercise?
Not a problem! Do what you can — every little bit helps.
 
What is Caught Ya Bein’ Healthy?
“Caught Ya points” are a way to reward each other for healthy behaviors.
Reward a coworker for being healthy at work!
  • Click on the “Caught Ya Bein’ Healthy” tab on the left side of your personal dashboard.
  • Type in the last name of the employee who you would like to award points to.
  • Select the number of points (1-5) to award.
  • Give a brief description of why you are awarding points to that person.
  • Click “Reward.”

To view how many points co-workers have:

  • Click on “View Leaderboards."
  • Type the name in “Alias” to look up a specific person.

To view who has given you points or who you have given points to:

  • Click on “View History.”
  • Under “People who caught me” will be a list of points received, reason given, and who they were given by.
  • To view who you have given points to, click on “Given” above in blue
What is Challenge-of-the-Day?
The Challenge of the Day is a fun way to help you make healthier decisions each day. It’s the small changes you make that will add up to have a big impact on your health. Challenges are sent to your email account or you can review them online. They are educational, engaging, sometimes a little wacky and often with an added twist of excitement. You simply complete the challenge, rate the challenge, add a comment or create your own.
 
To access Challenge of the Day:
  • Click on the “Challenge of the Day” tab on the left side of your personal dashboard.
  • Blow the challenge description, select whether you have completed the challenge and enter your comments.
  • Click “Submit.”
  • To submit your own challenge, click “Create-A-Challenge” at the top right corner of the screen. We may like your challenge so much that we’ll post it in the future.
What are Health Trackers?
The Health Trackers are designed to guide you in monitoring your daily activity levels and nutritional intake.
 
Hydration Tracker
  • Click the plus (+) sign each time you drink 8 oz. of water.
  • Click the minus (-) sign if you’d like to go back.
  • You will have reached your goal if you meet the value that is indicated next to “My Goal:” Your hydration goal is calculated by the accurate weight you have put in your profile.

Food Journal

  • To enter your meals into the food journal, click the box next to each meal (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack.)
  • Input meals into the pop-up box that appears.
  • You will have reached your goal if all six meals are recorded.

Activity Tracker

  • Click the plus (+) sign when you have completed five minutes of exercise.
  • Click the minus (-) sign to go back.
  • You will have reached your goal if you achieve 30 minutes of activity.

Fruit and Veggie Tracker

  • Click the box next to the color of each vegetable/fruit that you have eaten that day.
  • You will have reached your goal if you have eaten 1 of each vegetable/fruit color displayed.

Weight-Loss Warriors: Mission Nutrition
Whether you have weight to lose or just want to maintain, when you become a Weight-Loss Warrior, you have the power to win the battle of the bulge. We’ll arm you with everything you need to know about the most effective way to lose weight and keep it off. We’ll even delve into psychological issues like mindless eating and emotional dependence on food. You can compete for prizes or battle it out on your own — either way, we’ll help you win.

  • Click on the “Get Started” tab on the left side of your personal dashboard.
  • Create an alias, enter your Sonic Boom password and click “Sign Up.”
  • Fill out your private profile information; current weight, goal weight, goal date, height, weight, daily exercise level, gender and birth date. Click “Submit.”
  • Fill out your public profile information (optional) and click “Submit.”
  • Click “My Page” on the top of the page to update your weight and view your progress chart.
  • Click “Battle Plan” on the top of the page to view the interactive booklet filled with education on nutrition and physical activity.
  • To view contest information click on “Contests” at the top right-hand corner of the page. In order to compete in contests, you will need to first sign up for this optional program.
What are Jousts?
Joust allows you to set up health-related competitions/challenges with your friends (or foes). Choose from dozens of pre-loaded contests or create your own.
  • Click on the Joust tab on the left-hand side of your personal dashboard.
  • Press the “Create a Joust” tab to set up your own contests and in invite others to join you.
  • Choose “Join a Joust” to jump into the action of a joust that someone else created.
  • Log in each day and update your progress or, if you’re competing in a “verified” joust, be sure to get your data verified regularly (off-loading your Sonic Ped or stepping on the Sonic Scale). Click “I Accept the Terms” to agree to the privacy statement.
    • “My Jousts” displays the jousts you are currently participating in and have already competed in.
    • The “View Details” tab in the upper right corner breaks down the results of your prior jousts, displays your rating and lists the trophies you have won.
What are Sonic Status Mach Levels?
You’ll be earning points for everything you do in the Sonic Boom program. Check out the number of points you have accumulated on a specific day, your total points, or the average number of points for your company.
 
To access Sonic Status:
  • Click on the “Mach Levels” tab on the left side of your personal dashboard.
  • Here you will see points required for achieving Mach Levels.
  • Click “View Report” if you’d like a further breakdown of your points earned.
  • Enter a date range at the top of the chart to view daily, weekly, or monthly points.
  • Click on “Leaderboard” to see the total points for individuals at your organization and where you rank in comparison.
  • Type the name in “alias” to look up a specific person.