Tag Archives: fitness

What We Are Reading

We hope you enjoy this weeks list. Feel free to submit articles, show&tell self-tracking stories, and QS data visualizations. Just email me!

Articles
Why can’t you track periods in Apple’s Health app? by Nat Buckley. With the recent re-release of Apple’s HealthKit enabled self-tracking and personal data system it no wonder that people are taking a long hard look at what data is being excluded. With the popularity of menstruation tracking apps (this app has nearly 30,000 ratings) it’s surprising this was overlooked. This excellent post is a must read on the topic.

Now That Cars Have Black Boxes, Am I Being Tracked? by Popular Science Editors. Questions and concerns about surveillance are becoming more commonplace. As someone who is looking to purchase a car in the next year or so I was happy to see this post come across my stream.

The Quantified Self community, lifelogging and the making of “smart” publics by Aristea Fotopoulou. I love it when people take a thoughtful look at the Quantified Self community and write about their experiences:

For me, the potential of QS for public participation lies in the show and tell meet-ups that constitute a central feature of this community. Meet-ups enable the exchange of stories about the success or failure of lifelogging practices; they allow people to connect and form synergies around common interests, and to explore wider questions such as personal data management and ownership. [...] members touch upon key political issues and create temporary spaces of dialogue: what happens to personal data, who has access to these data (is it private individuals, governments or corporations)? For what purposes (medical research)? And how can these data be interpreted (by algorithms, visualisations) and used to tell stories about people?

Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker by Sara M. Watson. Sara uses her personal journey of recovery from hip surgery to frame an interesting question: Should we trust our fitness trackers to prescribe movement goals?

Show&Tell
Practical Statistical Modeling: The Dreaded After-School Carpool Pickup by Jamie Todd Rubin. Jamie wanted to understand if there was a way he could reduce how much time he spent waiting in line to pick up his son from school. Why not track it and model it!

Bulletproof Diet and Intermittent Fasting: 1.5 Year Results by Bob Troia. Bob takes a deep dive into his data to see if this particular diet is having beneficial health effects. Click for the great data, stay for the wonderful discussion and very, very thorough write-up.

Visualizations


Quotidian Record by Brian House. I’ve been a fan of Brian House since his early days visualizing Fitbit data. I was reminded of this work during a conversation about geolocation data and thought it would be a nice addition to our visualization list.

KMcCurdy_SMVisualizing My Daily Self-Management by Katie McCurdy.

What does my daily medication and self-management look like? How could I visualize this regimen? How can I communicate the ‘burden’ and work of caring for myself?

I decided to draw pictures of the things that I need to do on a daily basis; that way I could show the workshop attendees what my day was like instead of just telling them.

JawboneTimetoEatIt’s Time to Eat by Karl Krehbiel. Karl, a data science intern at Jawbone used the data from their global community of users the determine the likelihood of food and drink consumption during the day. Really fun and interesting visualizations here.

From the Forum
Seeking opinions of diabetic self-trackers for non-profit project
Five Years of Weight Tracking
What Disclaimer should I use when making my personal #quantifiedself data public?

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Conference Preview: Bill Schuller on Self-Tracking with Children

QSSF13PREVIEW

How will children respond to a world where personal data is ubiquitous? Bill Schuller is starting to find out with his two young children and will be sharing his story at the upcoming 2013 Quantified Self Global Conference.

BillSchullerBill started tracking his exercise and weight in 2010. His preschool-aged son, listening to his father talk about his daily metrics at the dinner table, began to imitate Bill’s tracking behavior, regularly stepping on the scale, not to watch his weight, but to “just check my numbers.” Bill then designed tracking games for him and his son. One of them involved putting things away in the house while tracking steps and gaining “clean-up points.”

This fun talk will feature more stories on the creative ways Bill and his children are playing with self-tracking. As a preview, we have a version of the talk that he gave in San Diego in March 2012. Watch the video and then find out at the conference what further data adventures Bill has had with his kids in the last year and a half.

The Quantified Self Global Conference will be held in San Francisco on October 10th and 11th. Registration is now open. As with all of our conferences, our speakers are members of the community. We hope to see you there!

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Bill Schuller on Quantifying With Kids

Bill Schuller started tracking his exercise and weight in 2010, and got into the habit of talking about his numbers each night at the dinner table. Before long, his kids got interested in tracking too. In the video below, Bill talks about what he learned and tells some fun stories, including one about a tracking game he made up with his five-year-old son to clean up the house while his wife was away for the weekend. (Filmed by the San Diego QS Show&Tell meetup group.)

QS San Diego: Bill Schuller – Quantifying with my Kids from Ernesto Ramirez on Vimeo.

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Andy Leigh: Around the World on an Arduino

Andy Leigh wanted to row around the world from his bedroom. Why? To lose weight and to do some kind of project with the open source hardware Arduino. He chose rowing because it’s a low-impact activity that he can do with his injury. But manual tracking in a spreadsheet was too cumbersome. In the video below, Andy walks through his hardware hacking in fascinating detail, and reveals his route around the world, which he is plotting on a Google map as he goes. (Filmed by the London QS Show&Tell meetup group.)

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Rob Portil on Weight Loss and Muscle Gain with FitBit

Rob Portil is sixty-six years old and has been overweight twice in his life. He’s been using FitBit for the past four months, and has reached his target weight. In the video below, he describes how he experiences the daily tracking, how his sweetheart experiences it differently, which Four Hour Body workouts he does, and some key eating tricks he learned along the way. (Filmed by the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup group.)

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Dave Kil on Optimizing Workouts

Dave Kil runs marathons. He has detailed records of all his workouts for the past year and a half. Recently, though, he started feeling that running was getting boring, and he wanted more variety in his workouts. So Dave helped create sensors that can monitor different activities passively, including cycling. He also added high-intensity training and social running to his routine. In the video below, he shows the results on his body fat and muscle mass. (Filmed by the Bay Area QS Show&Tell meetup group.)

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Robert Carlsen on Riding Through Mountains of Data

Robert Carlsen, a recent graduate of Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU, created a really neat little iPhone application called MobileLogger to better understand bicycle commuting behavior in New York City. Like many other activity tracking applications MobileLogger samples and stores data from the phone’s GPS and accelerometer. What makes MobileLogger unique is that the raw data from each activity log can be exported in a variety of different formats for analysis. Check out the video below to learn more about Robert’s project and read more about the MobileLogger application here. (Filmed at the NY Quantified Self Show&Tell #7 at NYU ITP.)

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Cedric Yau on The Well+Tuned Life

Cedric Yau trains in kung fu 12 hours a week. He wanted to track his his activity and energy levels, so he created a text-messaging service called Well+Tuner, where he also records notes for how he feels on different days. He learned how to time his food intake and 50 daily supplements for maximum energy, correlated his dating success with his mood, and discovered which exercises were most helpful for healing from an injury. A great self-experimentation story! (Filmed at the June 2011 New York Show&Tell meetup)

Cedric Yau 6-2011 from Steven Dean on Vimeo.

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Announcing: the Quantified Self Forum

By popular request, we have just launched a global QS forum at: http://forum.quantifiedself.com/

Gary, Dan Dascalescu, and I took some exciting topics from the conference and turned them into forum discussions, with expert moderators to help explore ideas and answer questions. You’ll find discussions on:

- Apps & Tools, moderated by Dan Dascalescu

Data Ownership & Privacy, moderated by Ryan Calo

Design, moderated by Steve Dean

Habit Change, moderated by Ernesto Ramirez and Gary Isaac Wolf

Fitness, moderated by Alexandra Carmichael and Dan Dascalescu

Learning & Cognition, moderated by Nick Winter

Medical tests, moderated by Dave Asprey

Mood, moderated by Margie Morris

Nutrition, moderated by Alexandra Carmichael and Dan Dascalescu

Sleep, moderated by Alexandra Carmichael and Gary Isaac Wolf

Self Experimentation, moderated by Seth Roberts

QS Startups, moderated by Eri Gentry and Ernesto Ramirez

QS Research & Media, moderated by Rajiv Mehta

QS Open Forum for any Quantified Self topic not covered above, moderated by Alexandra Carmichael and Gary Isaac Wolf

Please join in the conversations, ask questions, share what you’ve learned, and come play with us!

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FitBit vs. Body Media

This is a guest post from Ted Vickey. Thanks Ted!

As part of my PhD in physical activity, social networking and technology, I have been wearing two devices that have monitored my daily activities – FitBit and Body Media.

Image002 vs. Image006

This post is not about discussing the devices, you can find information about each on their websites. I am interested in comparing the data collected on the same day, doing the same activities.

For April, this is what was collected with regards to the number of steps I took per day:

Each device was worn as suggested per user directions.

In all but two days, FitBit recorded more steps on the day than did Body Media.  The average difference per day was around 589 steps per day, two days showed a greater than 100% difference in the number of steps.

To early yet to determine why.  I will continue to wear both and look at additional data as it become available.

Has anyone else noticed this discrepancy in step measurement? Ted is currently talking to the CEOs of Body Media and FitBit, and will report his findings at the upcoming QS conference.

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