The Quantified Self - It's All About You!

Thursday, November 17, 2016. Author Dr Nathan West

"Quantified Self" is the name given to a movement whose propagators (Gary Wolf & Kevin Kelly) and followers try to measure (quantify) different aspects of their lives. It is a contemporary term for self-tracking any form of physical, behavioural, biological, lifestyle and environmental data relative to ourselves.

Human beings are naturally inquisitive creatures and also natural experimenters. Along with increasing personal understanding through self-tracking, we can also use the data to experiment with self-improvement; whether this be productivity at work, behaviour in certain situations, our reaction to certain foods, sleep, athletic performance, asthmatic response to air quality or just wellbeing, health and fitness in general.

You may already self-track some aspect of your life. If you have ever tracked your weight or kept a training or food diary to help improve your performance, body composition or general health, then you have already practiced a form of “Quantified Self”. "Quantified Self" also emphasizes the use of technology for collection and analysis of this data. The continued development of fitness, health and food trackers (e.g. – activity trackers, smart scales, smart health monitors (for heart rate, blood pressure or blood glucose etc.), smartwatches and smartphone apps etc.) will help improve the collection and quality of self-data. Therefore, technological development and innovation plays a major role, allowing us to track and measure ever more aspects of our lives, building a more complete understanding of ourselves.

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