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Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices 
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 Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
Interesting article in November 24th issue of Time Magazine about personal tracking devices:
tracking steps and calories burned during the day; tracking one's diet; tracking sleeping time and quality of sleep; tracking running speed; wearing heart monitors and blood pressure sensors; tracking efficiency and intelligence;
Digital self examination is recorded and compiled, so you can't fudge it to make yourself feel better. Besides some scientific advantages by all that data, do we put extra stress on our lives by knowing all that information and by constantly worrying about not being more perfect?
I, personally, don't do any of that stuff...don't necessarily want to know about my imperfections...just living my life the way I like it... :)



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Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
I have a fitbit, the step monitoring device. I really enjoyed it and was religious about meeting a certain threshold everyday. Unfortunately a competitive friend of mine, sort of squeezed all the joy out of wearing it. So now while I wear it for my own information I don't ever upload my data anymore.


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Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
I took a long time until deciding to get a swim watch, just indoors, so no GPS etc. It could be a source of terror :), as its records of lap times and counts and all sorts of amazing numbers.

However, personally I think it is a tool and how we use it can make the difference between it being a terrorising little gizmo remind me of my imperfections and a helpful accurate notepad to track things.
Admittedly I'm not sure whether it can go from one to the other over time, but having finally used one for almost a year, it so far just plays the role of a notepad... I know I am not going to get amazingly faster or anything, I know I have bad weeks and good weeks, etc. and that its numbers will tell me mercilessly exactly what I did.

Exactly the latter is helpful, I know it's impartial :) and merciless... so it is objectively tracking me and I find it superbly useful after a flu, for example, seeing how I gradually get back to my normal level etc.

The main problem IMHO is how they are sold and how they are advertised. If they are advertised as your personal trainer (as many are), then they become much more easily a terrorising thing - we feel we have to "live up" to their numerical expectations. Of course it is nice to beat our own previous stats, but that's another thing.

If we ignore the fitness fascist advertising imagery and slogans, I think we can make much nicer use of these gizmos :)


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Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:02 am
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
Good comments, lehelvandor!
Unfortunately, I think too many people are influenced by continuous pressure of ads like "you have to have it", "a must have", "this will bring happiness and satisfaction", etc., etc. Pictures of great bodies and smiling, happy faces...but that applies for all product advertising. No, I don't hate advertising and realize that's an important tool of marketing, sales, and profits. I'm just somewhat amused at people who fall for it. :)



Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:28 am
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
I also have a FitBit that can also track sleep (not all models do). It provides a rough estimate of how much quality sleep you had, number of times awakened, disturbed, etc. That is pretty handy if you have sleep problems, have a large sleep deficit, etc. Improving that phase of life has much more impact than anything else for some people...



Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:35 am
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
I know people who wear a bracelet that calculates their caloric intake and physical activity levels throughout the day (and night), believing it will help them lose weight and get fit. Maybe it will, for a little while. And then they’ll take it off and it will go in a drawer somewhere and the fad will pass. It seems that the same people who would wear such a device are the same people who try the Atkins diet, Weight Watchers, boot camp – people who need more than just the logic that “if you put out more than you take in you will lose weight” – people who believe that they just can’t do it alone, I guess. Maybe those who "fall for it" feel a sense of despair, like, “OMG look at me! I have to do something! I’ll never fit into my jeans now… and the wedding is coming up…!” And it’s that desperation the money makers are banking on. Because really, no one makes money off a person who cooks with wholesome, home grown ingredients, has a high physical activity level and eats mainly for the energy – which, ironically, is the only guarantee for weight control and good health. I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever seen an advertisement (outside of a medical facility) or a billboard that promoted a healthy diet and high activity level without trying to sell something.



Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:15 am
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
At this stage in my life (yes, I'm old :)), I just try to enjoy all aspects of it, and practice the "everything in moderation" life style. If I crave that steak, that piece of pie, or that drink, I usually just have it. I always remember my mother, who lived with me the last 4 years of her life and died at 93, saying "oh, I can't have that, it's bad for me" and my thinking "oh, for God's sake, you're 93, just have it and enjoy it"...I'm pretty sure it's a generation thing, but I don't want any of those gizmos on my body :)...



Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:51 am
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
I don't want them either Crystalline. For one thing, I don't want to pay for a gizmo of any kind unless I just have to have it. Nothing turns me off quite like the infomercial.

But also, I don't need a bracelet to tell me if I'm in control or not. If I'm out of control, I pretty much know that I am. I know if I'm eating too much or not being active enough and the only thing that will do it is if I eat less and move more. I know I'd wear a device like that and then throw it away.

But if it works for some people then it works for some people. It's probably a mind over matter thing but it's all the same, if it works.

93 is a nice lifespan. I think about that expression... about not wanting the end of your life to be where you're tucked neatly into bed with your medications on your night table and your body well preserved but instead, you come sliding in with your shirt torn, a bottle of wine in one hand, chocolate in the other, shouting "What a Ride!" It's a nice sentiment but I fear we won't get to 93 that way! Then again we may not mind.



Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
LOL re "What a Ride!"...I think it has more to do with your genes than anything else...I see people that I know, who appear to be in good shape and are younger than me, disappearing before my eyes...it's all a mystery!



Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:01 pm
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Post Re: Wearable Fitness and Health Tracking Devices
Here is a great article from the New York Review of Books on new internet technology including uploading personal health data

Quote:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archive ... ?insrc=toc
The Creepy New Wave of the Internet
Sue Halpern NOVEMBER 20, 2014 ISSUE
The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism
by Jeremy Rifkin
Palgrave Macmillan, 356 pp., $28.00
Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things
by David Rose
Scribner, 304 pp., $28.00
Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy
by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, with a foreword by Marc Benioff
Patrick Brewster, 225 pp., $14.45 (paper)
More Awesome Than Money: Four Boys and Their Heroic Quest to Save Your Privacy from Facebook
by Jim Dwyer
Viking, 374 pp., $27.95


The Time article is at http://time.com/3584218/fitbit-apple-wa ... king-tech/


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