There are a ton of wearable tech (WT) options out there: Fitbit, Whoop, Aura, Apple Watch and Garmin are but a few that come to mind. Did you know “smart clothing” is a thing?! Yes, it vibrates to correct your form and even remind you to do things like fix your posture and engage your glutes (translation: buttocks).
How useful and accurate are these devices? Do I need one? Do I even want one?
Let’s tackle the first question: How useful and accurate are they?
Accuracy is important, but what also matters how reliable the device is at detecting the metrics it’s tracking. Some WT are certainly more credible than others with actual data to back up their claims. Many renown publications like the New York Times have awarded various WT as “the best option for most people to monitor their movements and take steps toward improving their health.” But even the most accurate and recognized WT will never perfectly record every metric (steps, calories, sleep, distanced traveled, etc).
So that brings us to the second question: Usefulness?
It depends. I encourage members of the PBW Transformation Program to use any WT to measure their 10,000 steps or equivalent activity. Without WT they’d have to hop on google maps every time they took a walk to estimate the distance they walked and then try to calculate if it equated to 10k steps. Not practical.
Sure, some smart phones track your steps, but if you keep it in your pocket while you walk the steps are quite underestimated because the swinging of your arms is a key factor in measuring your step count. Guess what? That’s what I use. My iPhone Apple Health tracker. I know it underestimated my steps, but for my purposes I don’t need it to be NASA science level accurate.
For many folks the step metric being astonishingly pristine is a huge motivator. I’ve heard the words, “I can’t sleep til I close my rings!” from numerous PBW members. It’s addictive to get that little digital praise. And frankly if it works run with it!
I want to mention that there is of course a massive problem with what companies who track our data do with this information. Delving into this would be an entirely separate inquiry. I’m mentioning it here as something for you to research and consider. Who has the rights to your heart rate, sleep schedule, step count, stress and oxygen levels and probably where you are at any given time. Eek!
But, I like using this extraordinary, unparalleled, never replicated technology called my human body to measure things like my perceived rate of exertion, my stress levels, my cycle, my hydration, sleep hygiene and state of consciousness. When we can’t sense the cues our incredible body is giving us because of technology and screen in our faces all the time, I am not convinced more technology is the answer. In my experience downloading nature every day keep me in a rhythm that aligns with the planet. In my experience, stepping onto my Pilates mat arms me with more information about my well-being than any gadget.
Life is so quick.
It is so easy to miss it…
To miss the moment.
To miss being awake for our own life.
So, use your WT to know you’re not turning into a rock that never moves
or to track something especially meaningful to you, your health or your sport.
But otherwise, just tune into your own body.
It is signalling and communicating with you 24/7 with information if you just stop to listen.