The Quantified Self - It's All About You!

"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.

Another aspect to developing increased self-knowledge is understanding biologically what makes you, you! We may all share similar characteristics, but we aren't identical. This is due to the genetic variation that exists amongst all of us. This genetic variation leads to some people being more prone to developing certain diseases, responding to certain drugs differently, gaining weight more easily, or being naturally more athletic (e.g. – stronger or a higher aerobic capacity). However, this genetic data alone is not personally very useful or necessarily interesting (unless you’re a science geek like me) and needs to be combined with lifestyle and environmental data to develop a better understanding of yourself.

Therefore, self-tracking of physical, behavioural, biological, lifestyle and environmental data plus your genetic data can be a powerful combination and can be used to make improvements in your fitness, health and wellbeing. This is where FitnessGenes comes into play! We use a combination of genetic, lifestyle, and environmental data to quantify and personalize how you should eat and exercise to optimize your health and fitness results.

We also have many exciting updates to make to our results delivery in early 2017 which will allow you to easily self-track more aspects of yourself (these will be available to new and existing customers) and allow us to give you more personalized health and fitness recommendations.

There has been a lot of talk of “self” or “you” or “your” in this blog post and self-tracking might seem like a selfish self-improvement endeavour but if you look at the bigger picture, you will be helping more than just yourself. The more data you provide, the more data the scientists at FitnessGenes have to work with (meta self-tracking data), the more knowledge we have (meta knowledge) and this helps fine-tune everyone's recommendations. In the title for this post it said "… It's All About You!" and while self-improvement is, you will also be benefiting others in their quest for self-improvement and vice-versa.

If you are already a FitnessGenes customer, then keep a look out for the exciting updates we have coming early in 2017. If you are yet to unlock your fitness DNA, you can purchase your FitnessGenes DNA Analysis Kit or Genetic Workout System from our online shop, to start improving your own wellbeing, health and fitness while also aiding others achieve their own health and fitness goals.

Check out our Media Center for numerous reviews of authors quantifying themselves and fine tuning their diets and training with advice from FitnessGenes.

*Please note FitnessGenes will not share any of your data with any outside individual/parties/companies/organisations without your permission

Written by Dr Nathan West

Thursday, November 17, 2016