Recently there has been some movement in the market of wearable devices. While this market had a fast growth, today there are some players who switch gears. Nike Fuel armband most probably will be discontinued over the next months. LarkLife was discontinued after a few months of its existence. Fitbit Force had a recall in the marktet because of rash induction. Rumors say that activity trackers will be more and more implemented in the smartphones. As wearable activity trackers are hard, usually they don’t have a screen where you can see your results immediately, there is always the synchronisation that has to take place. And apart from that, practise shows that after a 6 month period or earlier, the tracking devices are going into a drawer somewhere unused. I have some in mine as well.
I still use Runkeeper for my physical activity and BodyMedia for my sleep and activity tracking. Even though my data is more or less the same all the time, I just like to have that data now, it is an extra confirmation. Using Runkeeper as an extra app on the iPhone is mainly because of the data has a different presentation and there is also the availability of music that motivates me to run and do Tai Chi during my excercise. In addition I use Lift to keep track of my frequency on the excersise habit. I like Lift as a frequency tracker to see the difference in seasons and time availability. Something I need to pay attention to. So I tend towards mobile apps as well, although mobile apps can’t solve everything. In different areas we will still need wearables too, but maybe in different ways.
All in all if I reflect on my change in lifestyle I started in October 2012, the technology use was one aspect and made me curious on my results, but more importantly it is that 30 minutes in nature, in the calm, that makes me feel my day starts differently and I feel more happy during that day, that makes me continue doing this. The feel good aspects about doing the activity is the major trigger in continuing this! Technology is just a small aspect in the whole picture, to make it more complete.
I found the perfect spot to practise the activity, it is easy and accessible. And it fits in my planning (time availability) or I make it fit in my planning 🙂 .
View the thesis here!
We observe that more “smart devices” are becoming part of our daily life, and people that quantify aspects of their lifestyle are becoming more mainstream. In doing so, they leave a huge digital footprint behind in an active and passive way.
We notice that the Quantified Self is mainly focused on creating awareness towards a healthier lifestyle. We learn that there are opportunities for realizing healthcare that is more oriented and organized around prevention. Not only on an individual level, but also on a population level. Patterns might be discovered in user data helping to support predictions in a more granular and personalized way. At the same time, a lot of questions arise when using Quantified Self. How do these device integrate in people’s daily life? Are they as effective as we think? Do they create enough awareness and persuasion to create a sustainable and healthier lifestyle? Do they facilitate a structural behavior change with the user? Do they continue the lifestyle they adopted during the tracking period? Or are we seeing more a temporary phenomenon in the usage and behavior changes?
A few months ago RunKeeper implemented goalsetting in their application. What I like about is of course the different options to set goals. Especially the tiny incremental goalssetting possibilities and the immediate feedback you get accordingly.
My routine for more then a year is to do a workout 3 times a week, if possible more, but 3 times a week for sure. I usually run 10 minutes – 10 minutes Tai Chi – another 10 minute run. So it is not a lot, it takes 30 minutes of my time, and it is easy to manage.
Since the RunKeeper update I tried different goals, but the one I really like ‘run total distance by x date. Every week I try to set another goal, just a tiny little bit higher then the previous one. So my end goal is to run 10 km a week. What the trigger is, is really simple, seeing the progress bar grow during the week in achieving my goal, this is great feedback! And after my run the awesome feeling when I get when I get immediatly the overview of what I achieved! Below the different screens that show me my evolution in reaching my goal!
If you want to start working out, try this method to aim at a long term of behavior change. It will guide you smoothly towards your next goal.
Progress screen immediately available after your workout is finished, gives the ‘Awesome’ feeling.
Screen two more global overview of the achievement, result of the previous week, workouts per week
Screen 3 where the different goals that are passed, aligned with dates.
I thought it would be fun to track my study moments and writing about my research during the acadamic year 2012-2013, including the summer of 2013. Just to know how much time I would spent to finish and succeed. To see my Green Span Behavior over time.
The study moments are mainly reading for my master thesis, there are 79 checkins starting October 2012. It is possible I forgot to check in, but I’m pretty rigid about it. So lets say that I studied an average of 4 hours per check in (there will be peaks here and there), that would be 316 hours 39,5 days, 1,3 month.
The writing includes writing for my thesis, writing papers, writing articles concerning my research. In total 86 checkins. The habit says 30 minutes, but it is much more than that, usually around 4 hours writing a day.Also here I started tracking in October. 344 hours, 43 days, 1,5 month.
In addition there are the classes, that are not included in the study check ins. An acadamic year is more or less 6 months activity, in the master year we had 4 hours a week (October-December, 13 weeks, 52 hours), 8 hours a week (February – May, 9 weeks, 72 hours, I noted a few weeks less, because I was abroad for a few weeks and not attending the lectures)
In total 784 hours, is 98 days, 3,2 months on full time basis 8 hours a day. Spread over 9 months – one acadamic year.
It is not finished yet, but almost! Thesis is in proofread, and with my promotor for a last review. So there will be some correction rounds and finetuning. When it is finished you will be able to read it here! There are some interesting findings in there on self-tracking, if you are interested in this area stay tuned!
Screenshots Lift App, keeping track of habits. There is overlap, because it could not go in one screenshot.