“The best way to anticipate the future is to fully understand the present.” - Susannah Fox, Pew Internet Research
What is Self-Tracking or Quantified Self?
QuantifiedSelf.com describes self-tracking as “self-knowledge through numbers.” Self-tracking is not new. Many athletes have been meticulously monitoring personal metrics for decades. And some people with chronic conditions such as migraines, diabetes, and allergies have done the same in an effort to shed light on how daily habits may influence their symptoms. But new consumer tools have made self-tracking both simpler and more rigorous, generating reams of data that can be scrutinized for patterns and clues.
Today, devices, sensors, and apps help you track many aspects of your life. But according to Susannah Fox, not all self-tracking is done through devices or even paper-and-pencil. Seven out of ten people claim to be self-trackers, but surprisingly, half say they keep track in their heads!
- 60% of U.S. adults track their weight, diet or exercise.
- 1 in 3 track health indicators or symptoms.
- 1 in 5 use an app, website, spreadsheet or a device.
- 34% of self-trackers say data has affected a healthcare decision.
- 40% of self-trackers said it led them to ask an MD a question or seek a second opinion.
- 46% of self-trackers say that the data has changed their overall approach to health.
What are your experiences with self-tracking so far?
- Fitbit Fitness Monitor
- Dylos Air Quality Monitor
- Withings Blood Pressure and Pulse
- Moodscope App to Track Moods
- Zeo Sleep Monitor
- What is your favorite self-tracking app?
- Help me understand what would encourage you to share your data in the comments below!