The Health Diaries

Fitbit Founder James Park Always Walks to Work

‘When I’m out of the office, I’m still thinking about work’

Jenni Gritters
Elemental
Published in
4 min readMay 7, 2019

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There are many ways to live a healthy life. The Health Diaries is a weekly series about the habits that keep notable people living well.

JJames Park is the CEO, president and co-founder of Fitbit. He’s been with the company since 2007 and has essentially grown up with the fitness tracker brand, which helps consumers track steps, sleep, stress, and much more. During the past few years, Park has been tasked with reimagining Fitbit as the market shifts from trackers to smartwatches.

This week, Park talks to Elemental about his workout routine, healthy eating struggles, and obsession with Coca-Cola.

I don’t typically use an alarm clock. I’ll only use it if I have a super early morning meeting, or if I’m in a different time zone and my circadian rhythm is messed up. If I’m in San Francisco, which is my home base, I usually end up waking up naturally, on my own, around 7 a.m.

After I wake up, I do a quick workout. I don’t have much time, so I’ll usually workout for 20 to 30 minutes. It’s a combination of a very short, high intensity run and then some basic calisthenics, like pushups and sit-ups. After my workout, I get ready for work.

I walk to work, which is about 15 minutes from my home. I get to work around 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m., and I eat breakfast at the office. My go-to breakfast changes each year. Some years, I’ve been into yogurt or fruit. Right now, I’m on a big peanut butter sandwich binge.

I drink coffee very rarely. Only once or twice per week, because I usually don’t need it. When I do drink coffee, it’s usually only a half of a tiny cup.

In general, I try to eat reasonably healthy. Recently I’ve been having some salads brought in for lunch, but occasionally I’ll fall off the wagon and eat something kind of “bad.” I don’t take any supplements or vitamins.

My typical day is usually packed with meetings. I do try to carve out time for myself, though. We have this thing at Fitbit called “no meeting half-day Wednesdays,” which is from 1 p.m. onward, and I try to preserve that time. I…

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Jenni Gritters
Elemental

I’m a writer and business coach for freelance creatives based in Central Oregon. I write about the psychology of small business ownership.