There are a lot of numbers we can use to describe our lives. We probably know our weight and blood pressure. We know how much money we make and how much we are (or aren’t) saving for retirement. We know our child’s school test scores. And we might even know how many Facebook friends we have.
While they can’t tell the whole story, these data points are one measure of how we’re doing in life. In many cases, the numbers are reason to celebrate. But more importantly, sometimes knowing something about yourself — like a cholesterol number that’s a few points too high — can give us the information we need to make positive changes to improve our lives.
This idea — that data about our lives can lead to change — has been driving a revolution in self-tracking that is just now starting to go mainstream.
For close to a decade now, a group of people have been asking the question: “If knowing a little bit about my life can be good, would knowing a lot about it be even better?”
As the technology improved and more people realized that having better data about themselves was leading to changes that improved their life, the “quantified self” movement was born.Watch Gary Wolf, the Wired Magazine writer who coined the term “quantified self,” talk about self-tracking in this 2010 TED Talk (above).
As the world races towards a future where everything from our cars to our toothbrushes is connected to the Internet, this new wave of self-tracking data will improve our lives in new & surprising ways.
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About Michael Wood, Chief Fitness Officer
Michael Wood, CSCS, is Chief Fitness Officer at Koko FitClub, driving the development of integrated strength and cardio training and nutrition programs for Koko members nationwide. A nationally acclaimed fitness expert, Michael has conducted research as a Senior Exercise Physiologist at the Nutrition, Exercise Physiology and Sarcopenia Laboratory at the Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, and has lectured at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. He has been named Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” Personal Trainer, and made the Men’s Journal “Dream Team” list of the nine best trainers in the U.S. Michael and his family live in North Attleboro, MA.