The Quantified Self is a movement that seeks to acquire huge amounts of data on the aspects of peopleâ€™s daily lives. The metrics of this data concern, for example, the amount of food consumed, the amount of steps taken, blood oxygen levels, sleep patterns, and much, much more besides.
Quantified Self Movement
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The idea is that in the not too distant future there will be enough amalgamated data that medical scientists will be able to analyse and answer some of the biggest health questions of our times: Why are we over-weight? What causes our disease? Why do we feel sluggish?
On a smaller scale, the quantified self can actually be measured in isolation. By collecting your own personal data you can build up a picture of your own health and begin to answer those same questions for yourself.
Quantifying the self with technology
Fitness trackers are leading the way to a more concise overview of personal health. We know which exercises do the most for our cardio, what time during the night we are most deeply in sleep, what foods raise our blood sugars. Anything and everything can be monitored, and the data used to continuously improve our quality of life.
When we first put on a wearable fitness tracker and exercise for the first time, the data returned forms our baseline. From here, the drive to continuously improve our results kicks in every time we begin the exercise once more. If we burned 400 calories on our run yesterday, then today we want to burn 450. If we took 1000 steps today, then tomorrow weâ€™ll take 2000.
By being able to monitor our improvement over time, we are continuously encouraged to keep going, to keep improving, to keep getting fitter, faster, stronger and healthier.
Quantified self apps
The quantified self is a driving force behind wearable technologies such as sleep trackers and fitness trackers. Many of these trackers wirelessly connect to iOS or Android apps on wearersâ€™ smartphones. Below is a list of some the best quantified self apps available.
DigiFit is a full suite of fitness tracking apps that split up into the iCardio, iRunner, iBiker, iSpinner and iPower apps so that all of your athletic and fitness data can be recorded no matter what your sporting activity.
MoodPanda is a mood tracking app for iPhone. You simply rate your mood from 0-10 and optionally add a comment on whatâ€™s influencing your mood. The data is collected so you can monitor your mood over time and work out what brings you up and down throughout your day to day life.
RunKeeper is available on both Android and iOS, and tracks your runs, returning data on distance, duration, speed and calories consumed. Your data can be uploaded to a website where a Fitness Report creates a visualisation of your runs.
Fitbit is an app that connects to a special wearable device that tracks both your physical activity and your sleep. The data collected on the app is uploaded to a website where you can explore visualisations of your physical activity and sleep quality. The tracking of what you eat and your weight is also possible.