Friday, July 5, 2013

Wearable Devices Nudge You To Health

David Pogue in the NYtimes writes about "Wearable Devices Nudge You to Health"

"You’ve heard of the Quantified Self movement? It’s the rise of watches, clips and bracelets that monitor your physical activity, sleep and other biological functions. The idea is that continual numerical awareness of your lifestyle works to motivate you: to park farther away, to get off the subway one stop sooner, to take more stairs. You study the graphs, you crunch the numbers, you live a longer, healthier life. (And you try to avoid being a crashing bore at parties.)"

I wonder if they really help as nudges... Anyone has a study on this?


  1. Not aware of any studies, but there might be "pooled data" available from some QS communities. However: If the effect comes from the attention and awareness that tracking creates, it might be more challenging to create a study since the control group would have to be tracked as well. For an outcome like weight, muscle strength or other "stock like" outcomes that might not be a problem, as you could measure it before and after the study period - but it might make it difficult to study effecs on more "flow like" outcomes such as "average steps per day".

    Anecdotally, I found that waking up to a "sleep score" with a Zeo sleep monitor made me more motivated to go to bed early, not drink coffee in the evenings etc as a way of trying to get higher scores. Not because I thought sleep was more important than before, but because I had a very clear outcome measure and it became like a small game where I wanted to get "good scores". Partly, such gadgets may also work by making you aware of trends: Just stepping on a weight scale and logging the trends on an iPhone app (weightbot) prompted me to make small adjustments (like cutting down on sodas and snacks) because I had the background awareness of my current first derivative.

  2. I LOVE this device, it's so cute and good performance, all information are useful, thank for sharing this!
    wearable devices