Motion trackers and lifestyle technology

I have been recently looking at various activity monitors and apps as I am developing an interest into stress related research and wellness. Most of the research published in this field in the last twenty years suffers in fact from lack of technology to quantify more aspects of wellness and physical activity. Original studies in this field had to rely on questionnaires (reported activity/sleep/food intake), but now with the development of small portable technology measurement opportunities have improved.

In the last few years I used mainly heart rate monitors, actigraphs, and the sensewear armband to look at activity patterns, energy expenditure and sleeping patterns of athletes.

One of the most interesting tools I have come across is the Jawbone bracelet and its iPhone® app.

Jawbone seems to be a true wellness device. In fact it is capable of tracking your activity, your sleep and your meals. The Jawbone band has a built-in precision motion sensor that automatically tracks your movement (steps, distance, calories burned, pace, intensity level and active vs inactive time ) and sleep (hours slept, time to fall asleep, light vs. deep sleep and sleep quality). No information is available on validity and reliability of its measurements, and at the moment I am not aware of any study published using it.  The reviews from various bloggers and magazines (see this one on Wired) have been positive. However I still have not managed to see one in action as it has been impossible to buy one online (perennially out of stock). If I can get hold of one, I promise I will write about it.

This seems to be potentially a great product for wellness and elite sport which can allow us to understand more about activity patterns, sleep and eating patterns of our athletes/clients. If it is precise and reliable.

 

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