Nearly everyone you know probably owns a wearable technology fitness tracker or app. Additionally, many people feel that owning a Fitbit or Apple watch is more than just being healthy–it’s part of a data-driven approach to health. In this way, tracking fitness is just one aspect of the Quantified Self Movement: seeing human habits and health as a big collection of data. The quantified self movements suggests that by using modern technology to track our bodies and habits we can develop insights into better living.
Many people have embraced the possibilities that the quantified self brings to the wellness sphere. These proponents believe that having a completely quantified self can not only lead them to live longer and better lives. Moreover, the conclusions we can draw from big data on population activity levels and wellness could contribute to public health.
The Risks of The Quantified Self
On the other end, some people will find the quantified-self movement troubling. Privacy concerns over how employers or companies could use this data has made people wary of tracking their movements. For instance, consider the recent controversy in the proposed Preserving Employee Wellness programs Act. This bill would have penalized employees for not complying with genetic testing. Employees were concerned that if they this personal health information could lead to discrimination, and higher healthcare premiums. So while Genetic testing programs like 23andMe have empowered people, sometimes dissemination of this information could have adverse effects.
The quantified self movement is strongly influenced by technology. It focuses on what we can track, how we can track it, and what we can do with the data. For people with privacy concerns, there are still lessons they can learn. What this movement shows us most is that self-awareness can lead to self-improvement. So, whether or not you choose to use these apps, or write them down in a daily diary, tracking your habits will lead to positive results.
For more information on how tracking healthy activities (and reward for them) can help your workforce, contact our team!