Steven Jonas

Steven Jonas
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Meetups This Week

There will be eight meetups this week in four countries on three continents. The group in St. Louis will be talking all things activity trackers, including how to get your data out. In Stockholm, they are teaming up with a local biohacking group to talk about biofeedback. The Philadelphia group will feature a show&tell by a neuroscientist who used self-tracking to “eliminate negative influences.” The Berlin group will have three show&tells on emotion tracking, happiness hacking, and quantified healing. We also expect some excellent videos and pictures to come out of the Boston, London, Shanghai, and Miami groups meeting this week.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Monday (October 20)
Boston, Massachusetts

Tuesday (October 21)
London, England
Miami, Florida
St. Louis, Missouri

Wednesday (October 22)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thursday (October 23)
Berlin, Germany
Stockholm, Sweden

Sunday (October 26)
Shanghai, China

Also, here are some photos from last week’s meetup in Zürich:
Zurich-10-14-14ZurichOcthighres_421558252

 

[Edit 10/20/14: Added Stockholm and Shanghai]

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Ralph Pethica: Improving My Fitness With Genetics

1_RalphPethica_QS Talk 2014 Powerpoint

One interesting aspect of personal data is how it can reveal what is unique about you. Nowhere is this more true than with genetic information coming from DNA testing kits. However, people are still at an early stage on how they apply that information to their lives. Ralph Pethica, who has a PhD in genetics, was interested in what his DNA could tell him about how to train more effectively. His findings were presented as an ignite talk at the 2014 QS Europe Conference.

What did Ralph do?
Ralph loves to surf. When it is the off-season, he trains so that his body will be in good condition for when the warm weather rolls back around. He used genetic research to inform how he designed his training plans.

How did Ralph do it?
Ralph used a 23andMe kit to find out his genetic profile. He researched those genes that have been found to have an impact on fitness to see his body should respond to exercise. For example, did he possess genes that gave him an advantage in building muscle with resistance training? He then modified his training routines to take advantage of this information and monitored his results (using the Polar watch and a Withings scale) to see whether his assumptions held up.

What did Ralph learn?
Ralph found out that he has genetic disadvantages when it came to strength training. This told him that progress in this area depended more on his lifestyle. In particular, he found that eating immediately after working out was important.

When it came to cardio exercise, he had a number of genetic advantages. The unexpected downside to this is that his body adapts quickly to any training regimen, resulting in a plateau. To get around this, he varied his training plan and monitored his results. On one day, he would cycle at a steady rate, while the next, he would use high-intensity intervals. His body seemed to respond to the varied training plan and he hit fewer plateaus. Without knowing which genes he possessed, and reading current research on those genes, it is unlikely that he would have discovered these effective customizations to his training plan.

Ralph has taken what he’s learned and built a tool called Genetrainer to help people use their genetic information to inform their fitness plains. You can check it out here.

Tools: Genetrainer, 23andMe, Polar RCX5, Withings Smart Body Analyzer

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Meetups This Week

There is one QS meetup this week and it is a good one. The group in Zürich will feature a talk on using movement, EKG and EEG sensors to better understand one’s sleep phases.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Tuesday (October 14)
Zürich, Switzerland

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Meetups This Week

This week, there will be three wonderful Quantified Self meetups in three countries on two continents. A couple of the groups will try a different format from the classic Show&Tell program. The Indianapolis group will get lunch and watch Show&Tell videos. Meanwhile, the Oxford group will have a working session where the attendees will explore a person’s data set. I love to see this experimentation, as organizers figure out what kind of format works for their group.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Monday (October 6)

Oxford, England

Thursday (October 9)

Oslo, Norway

Saturday (October 11)

Indianapolis, Indiana

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Christel De Maeyer: My Journey With Sleep Monitoring

Like many people, Christel de Maeyer felt that her sleep could be better. Presenting at our 2013 conference in Europe, Christel shares what she learned from collecting over three years of sleep data.


What did Christel do?
Christel tracked her sleep for 2 years with various devices. She tested the effects of different variables on her sleep quality, including consumption of alcohol, keeping a consistent wake time and changing her mattress.

How did she do it?
She used the Zeo to track sleep for two years, before switching over to a BodyMedia device. While making changes she monitored how her sleep data changed, as well as how she felt.

What did she learn?
Before self-tracking, Christel felt that she woke up frequently during the night, and the Zeo confirmed this. On average she woke up around 8 to 9 times. She suspected the mattress could be part of the problem. After considerable research, she replaced her mattress (to one that had a foam top), successfully reducing her wake-ups to 4 or 5.

Christel discovered that her sleep patterns looked significantly different after just two glasses of alcohol. Her REM diminishes to nearly 0% (though deep sleep seems unaffected).

Christel also found that total sleep time was less important for how she felt the next day than the combination of REM and deep sleep. Even if she only sleeps for six hours, as long as she gets at least 2 hours of combined REM/deep sleep, she feels good.

In addition to these findings and others she explores in the video above, Christel has taken her lessons and now helps others with sleeping issues. You can find more at her website.

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Meetups This Week

This week there will be three meetups in three countries on three continents. The theme for the Bogotá group will be the quantification of emotions. The Brussels meetup will take a look at AmWell’s tools for monitoring stress, sleep and activity.  And in Pittsburgh, they will feature casual hands-on demos before their talks.

To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Wednesday (October 1)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Brussels, Belgium
Bogotá, Colombia

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Meetups This Week

This week will see eight meetups in three countries on three continents and will show the different forms that Quantified Self meetups take. There will be longstanding groups like New York, who are putting on their 26th meetup, while Miami will be hosting their very first. London will be convening over 100 people with formal presentations, while Ashland will have an engaging discussion within a small group.

Show&Tell presentations will include Vienna’s Leonard Tulipan on how he applied his startup’s classification of “vanity metrics” vs. “actionable metrics” to his own medical data. Oxford member John Courouble will talk about the data around his weight loss plateau.

In addition to the standard show&tell format, Sydney will have breakout groups, while the Minnesota group will discuss the tools that their community is using. The Vienna and Portland groups will have guest speakers, including Vestigen, a company that tracks blood biomarkers for disease and Zenobase, which helps people aggregate and visualize their data, respectively.

If you are near any of these special events, you will definitely want to attend. To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Monday (September 22)
London, England
Sydney, Australia

Tuesday
(September 23)
Ashland, Oregon
Miami, Florida
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Vienna, Austria

Wednesday (September 24)
New York City, New York
Oxford, England

Thursday (September 25)
Portland, Oregon

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Meetups This Week

As the summer begins to close, QS groups are getting together all over to talk and share their experiences. During this next week, there are 8 groups getting together in four different countries. To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Monday (September 15)
Austin, Texas
This meetup will feature fascinating talks on baby measurements and turning tracking data into art.

Tuesday (September 16)
Dublin, Ireland
All of the talks at this meetup will have a sports theme.

Wednesday (September 17)
Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati group will host a couple of great guest speakers who will talk about heart rate variability and wearable application development.

Raleigh, North Carolina
A nice, low-key meetup for the group in Raleigh.

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
A group of trackers in the North Texas area will be getting together to talk about their self-tracking.

Thursday (September 18)
Groningen, Netherlands
This should be an intriguing meetup with talks on pH values, measuring physical load, and QS in health care.

Reno, Nevada
Reno is a brand new group and this meetup should be an auspicious start.

Manchester, England
The Manchester group will be getting together for a splendid conversation about QS.

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Meetups This Week

There will be five Quantified Self groups on two continents getting together this week. To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Tuesday (September 9)
Lansing, Michigan
The Lansing group will be meeting for a conversation about Quantified Self.

Wednesday (September 10)
Lausanne, Switzerland
This is the second meetup for this new Swiss group. If you are in the area, check it out!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The thoroughly excellent Pittsburgh group will be getting together once again for a set of Show&Tell talks.

Thursday (September 11)
Portland, Oregon
The Portland group will be convening for a joint-work session to make progress on their self-tracking projects.

Sunday (September 14)
Seattle, Washington
The Seattle group will be getting together for a happy hour and talk about all things self-tracking.

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Meetups This Week

There are a stellar collection of meetups going on this week. To see when the next meetup in your area is, check the full list of the over 100 QS meetup groups in the right sidebar. Don’t see one near you? Why not start your own!

Tuesday (September 2)
Geneva, Switzerland
The Geneva group will feature a show&tell about tracking weight-loss alongside Basis Band data.

Wednesday (September 3)
Oslo, Norway
The great Oslo group will be having their fourth meeting.

Thursday (September 4)
Berlin, Germany
The Berlin group is adopting a workshop format this week to talk about habit formation.

Cologne, Germany
The Cologne group has a packed program with talks on happiness, healthcare, and cryonics.

Sunday (September 7)
Lincoln, Nebraska
The Lincoln group has a great program that will cover measuring ketosis, the effect of antioxidants on migraines, tracking sleep, and using DNA to inform fitness plans.

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