Wearables for health abound. They can track lots of different metrics for health and can help gamify the pursuit of your goals. Matt & Niki explore why you might consider wearing wearables & how they use them.
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Wearables for Health
What are wearables?
Wearables are devices that you wear (duh) that can track various data.
Some of the things they can track include: calories burned, steps walked, heart rate, body temperature, and sleep quality.
Wearables for health have grown more accurate in their measuring, but the primary reason for wearables is not accuracy but precision. You can compare different points in time and recognize trends (e.g. in general my sleep quality has improved over the last year as I reduced my alcohol consumption).
Some things they track directly, such as heart rate and movement. Others they track indirectly, by combining and analyzing various pieces of information they record directly.
For example, sleep quality can be assessed by recording heart rate and movement.
Why Wear Wearables for Health?
Wearables provide various metrics that you can track. So why wear them?
As Dr. Sullivan, Niki, and CJ discussed in this podcast, if you’re gathering data, you need to know why you’re gathering that data. This does cost some money, attention, and time to record and observe these metrics.
Wearables for health help gamify the pursuit of your goals. Anyone who has ever measured their daily steps has noticed that if they’re close to a big number, such as 10,000 steps, they will typically do the extra work to hit the daily goal.
This incentivizes you to push a bit harder to hit certain markers. These markers do not necessarily equal better health, but they may correlate with improved health. Thus, this gamification can lead to improved results toward achieving or crushing your goals.
What wearables for health should not do is add stress. If you find missing a certain goal stressful, or you’re worried about what your wearable will tell you about your sleep quality, then you’re missing the point.
These should be tools for improving health and accomplishing your goals, not another stressor (as if we need more).