Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What to Track and How to Track It

From Wired Magazine, in their style, just what needs to be said. Biofeedback isn't about brainwaves necessarily, it is about keeping track and the ability to review, notice, and than choose to alter patterns.

There is a vast universe of personal metrics to capture. Start with these:

Vital Statistics
height // weight // age // birth weight // birth length

Vital Signs
body temperature // pulse // blood pressure // respiratory rate

visual acuity // auditory acuity

glucose level // blood-alcohol level // hemoglobin level // HDL level // LDL level // liver enzyme level

Women Only
estrogen levels // menstrual cycle

Men Only
testosterone levels // sperm count

caloric intake // hours of sleep // exercise duration // exercise intensity // lactate threshold // steps taken in day // mood // medication taken // hours worked // cigarettes smoked

and wait, there is more:


A piece of wisdom from Nike research:
"But that simple, dual-variable tracking can lead to novel insights, especially once you have so many people feeding in data: The most popular day for running is Sunday, and most Nike+ users tend to work out in the evening. After the holidays, there's a huge increase in the number of goals that runners set; this past January, they set 312 percent more goals than the month before.

"There's something even deeper. Nike has discovered that there's a magic number for a Nike+ user: five. If someone uploads only a couple of runs to the site, they might just be trying it out. But once they hit five runs, they're massively more likely to keep running and uploading data. At five runs, they've gotten hooked on what their data tells them about themselves."

But wait, there is still more:

This is why BeingSense is a wannabe: http://www.quantifiedself.com/

As soon as I saw the name of Kevin Kelly (Cool Tools and much more) starbursts appeared on the horizon. Worth the trip and happy to supply the introductory link. You're welcome.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Twittering Biofeedback Mostly Shakey Results

Change continues to accelerate. Keeping up consumes while energizing. Twitter offers an age reflecting signpost. People's conversation says a lot about how well they are keeping up or giving up. It seems to give a "Wii Age" reading. You know, taking into account your real age and how you responded to a couple of tests, this is how old you are acting....like the Wii Fit Body Test results. I still use some of the balance exercises, but tracking my Wii age seems to provide a processed biofeedback record that is the primary reason I turn on the unit these days.

Anyway, Twitter fascinates me. I've been using Twitter search for sometime, mostly to see what sorts of Tweets contain the word "biofeedback". There is information to be discovered through processing. Teaching uses of the platform demonstrate the potential for learning in other ways. Another tool that will change community communication.

Next search idea is to take a look at interest in biofeedback loops related to microorganisms living with us. Continually astounded by the shear mass and range of organisms humans consist of inspire respect for antibiotics as potent medications I'd prefer to avoid. Getting healthier is getting a better crew on board. We live in a biofeedback loop.