Do you need a device to measure your well-being?
Updated: Jan 8
I think you don't. I think you know better.
I can see why it's an attractive idea ... Know thyself ... We like to have information about ourselves and we like to quantify and visualize stuff. But let's talk about what and how these devices are contributing to a healthy lifestyle, or are they?
I think data about yourself can be very helpful if you use it to improve your habits and therefore health. And if that is how the device is working for you, great, I won't question that!
(Except, no, I will. How many people are able to do any sort of statistical analyses on their own data to detect meaningful cause-and-effect relationships between habit change and any health improvements?)
What I am questioning, though, is whether the devices are really telling you something you don't already know.
If you sat all day, do you need a device to tell you you need to move more?
If you wake up fresh and well-rested, do you need a device to tell you that you slept well?
Or if your heart is about to jump out of your throat even though all you are doing is talking on the phone, do you need a device to tell you you are stressed?
I know these are extreme examples, here is a less extreme example. You can tell the difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise without a heart rate monitor because they FEEL different! You don't need to measure your pulse...
You know whether you got enough REM sleep because when you haven't, you have hard(er) time controlling your emotional outbursts. And so on, and so forth...
So instead of buying fancy equipment, wouldn't we better serve our health and well-being by learning to be more mindful about the body and reading its signals? By developing our own inner sensors and using them?
Unlike the producer of the next fancy piece of equipment, I am not going to make a lot of money by promoting this non-fancy alternative, but here it is:
Every morning, when you get out of bed, ask yourself: how am I feeling? Then answer as precisely and honestly as you can. Here you go, you know how you've slept!