How tracking our activity has turned us into data analysts

How tracking our activity has turned us into data analysts

Whether you’re like me and track your activity religiously or you just occasionally open Apple Health to marvel at how many steps you’ve walked today, a third of us are now collecting substantial amounts of data on a daily basis.

Read More

How tracking our activity has turned us into data analysts

Whether you’re like me and track your activity religiously or you just occasionally open Apple Health to marvel at how many steps you’ve walked today, a third of us are now collecting substantial amounts of data on a daily basis.

Fitness trackers of today are sleek, attractive and customisable but they haven’t always been like this. Flashback to 1982, when the first watch for serious athletes blessed us with its, let’s face it, hideous presence! Nevertheless, it was the first of its kind and fitness trackers are now serious pieces of tech helping to make us healthier in ways we’d never considered before. Combine that with the vast number of health, fitness and workout apps available to us and we’re sitting on a goldmine of our own activity data!

The Polar PE2000

The Polar PE2000

We’re all learning about what the statistics these devices tell us really mean. What’s a good resting heart rate? How many steps should I walk a day? What’s the difference between active energy and resting energy? Although these may look like any other number, we are in fact collecting so much useful data that we possess a great ability to track our activity, measure our wellness and progress towards reaching our individual health goals.

But, can having access to this amount of data become overwhelming?

We’ve all heard someone say, “let’s go for a walk, I need to get my steps up” and yes, that’s a good thing, you’re actively trying to move more, you want to hit the government recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week, right? Some of us even run around our bedrooms at 11.50pm to hit the golden 10,000 and that’s cool too, but a need to hit all the goals our devices give us every single day can drain us, make us sick and lead us to be out of tune with our bodies.

That’s not to say that capturing all of this data isn’t useful. It can help to remind us to get up when we’ve been sat staring at a screen all day or it can help us to get into bed at an appropriate hour. You’ll know if you feel better, or worse in yourself without the need for a tracker but the data you collect can help to give you an insight into why you feel that way – maybe you had a great night’s sleep, so you feel more alert or maybe you walked 15,000 steps yesterday and now your legs ache. Using this data can help to teach us what works for us and what doesn’t and that is way better than saying “My watch told me to walk for half an hour today, so I did”.

Remember that your fitness tracker is only capturing activity data points and your day is made up of so much more. Of course, you’ll perform much better on some days than others. Analyse your data objectively; if you want to just sit on the sofa all day because you’ve been running around like a headless chicken all week then you do just that!

Giorgia Robinson, Account Manager