Who: Brielle S., former collegiate athlete & Oura summer Intern
Surprising Oura Insight: Brielle was surprised to find their HRV was below average due to a hectic summer of travel. Over the course of their internship, they worked on a healthier, balanced approach to exercise and sleep — and saw their HRV improve.
Congrats on your Oura internship! Tell us what led you here.
I was a track and field athlete at Stanford. Halfway through college, I decided to leave the team and focus on academics, and I had the opportunity to join the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance as part of the first cohort. That piqued my interest in sports science and research. I started taking classes in exercise physiology, which got the ball rolling, and I realized that’s what I wanted to study.
It sort of snowballed from there. I got connected with the Women in Sports Tech Fellowship, which paired me with Oura — my number-one choice for an internship. Now I’m doing a summer internship in product design. A product design internship is a perfect blend of my interest, because I studied design in undergrad too.
What are your career aspirations?
This fall, I’m going to the University of Michigan to get my master’s in movement science.
Before this internship, I was aiming to work in sports science — such as working with a professional sports team or a university athletics department to keep athletes performing at their best. But after this internship, I think my driving principle is to raise awareness of the importance of movement in general for our holistic health. Oura has helped me to see the way that everything is connected.
As a former athlete, I appreciate that Oura is more about gentle encouragement. We know that folks are just trying their best, and it can be really hard to be healthy. It’s important to try to just take those small steps to being healthier — not just for aesthetics, but for life in general.
How has using Oura had an impact on your own health journey?
Oura has been really helpful as I readjust my relationship to movement and activity. As an athlete, I was exercising for performance rather than for health. After a back injury, I had to take a long break from training and exercise, and found it was pretty tough to get back into it consistently once I physically recovered.
When I first joined Oura, I noticed my baseline heart rate variability (HRV) was low. That was my catalyst to try to get back to exercising and moving for joy and health, rather than for training. It’s been especially helpful this summer—I moved back home and have traveled a bit for work, so my routine has been thrown off, and I don’t have as much time or space to move in the ways I’m used to.
Using Oura to measure the impact of my efforts and having a marker that I can always rely on — rather than just how I’m feeling that day — makes it easier to keep me going.
What have you been working on during your Oura internship?
I’ve done a bunch of member interviews to better understand how members are using Oura. From there, I’ve been working on developing a features that help facilitate how members work with their healthcare providers and motivate them to commit to long-term lifestyle behavior change.
What advice do you have for other college athletes or students in general?
It might sound a little bit like beating a dead horse, but sleep is just so, so important. I think of the sci-fi movies, when they put people in a pod to recharge — and that’s literally what we can do simply with sleep. Plus, understanding Oura’s Sleep Score contributors, such as sleep stages and sleep efficiency, can also help you understand how you sleep, as opposed to just trying to get eight hours.
So, just go to bed. You can wake up earlier tomorrow to work or study. Nothing is more important than getting your rest.
What’s Your Oura Story?
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