Your Phone Collects Data on You. How can you turn this to your advantage?
The iPhone tracks a lot of data and when it comes to your health you can take ownership of this and make it work for you.
You probably already know that your phone tracks how many steps you take. If you’re trying to get motivated to move again, keeping an eye on your daily step count is a great way to do it. It can get quite addictive, especially if you set up a competition between friends and colleagues. Aim for 10,000 - 12,000 steps a day or even give yourself a month's target to really drive the competitive nature. It really can get you out and around the block one more time before bed!
But there’s so much more!
What you may not know is that there are apps and services out there that reward you for your daily step count. One app is Qantas Wellbeing which gives you Qantas points for beating daily goals, they have a 28-day trial where you can earn a good few points, after that you will have to sign up to a Qantas Insurance package if you want to continue. (Add link)
Another app is Sweatcoin, you earn Sweatcoin points by walking, and you can spend them with a number of their partners. It uses data from the app, but you have to be outside as it tracks via GPS, so a great incentive to get out and start moving.
There is also a health fund that will track your steps and other activities to give you shopping vouchers, rebates and discounts. Check out AIA Health & Vitality
Other tools may be less well known, but exceptionally useful. The iPhone for example tracks your step length, the time during walking that both feet are on the ground, and walking asymmetry. So what do these stats tell you?
Step length is a good indication of your mobility, especially as you track this over time. If you do notice that step length has started to decline, you can take action by increasing your strength and balance. Seeking help from Allied Health professionals can help you head off the trend before it becomes a problem.
Double Support Time is the time during walking that both feet are on the ground, typically this range is around 20-40%. As we age the time we spend with both feet on the ground when we walk is an increasingly important measurement. The more strong and confident we are at walking the more mobile and less likely we are to fall. Shuffling and being unstable on your feet, demonstrates a lack of strength and balance, this will show up as an increasing Double Support Time score. If you see this score increasing over time, addressing strength, range of motion and balance is the first step. Again, your Allied Health Professional or a PT can help you create a focus for improvement.
Another feature that could interest you is walking asymmetry. Walking asymmetry compares your stride for each leg. The aim is to have your strides as similar as possible, with your score closer to 0 the better. The average score is 20-40% because none of us are symmetrical. If you notice your score creeping up (from your base) this may mean you are favouring one leg, have a slight pelvis tilt, or a number of other functional factors at play. This compensation may be mild to start with, but can also increase over time. So, if you notice this score increasing or your score is above 40%, make an appointment with us at Muscle Medicine or a Physio and ask for an assessment so we can see how we can help.
Keep an eye on this stat for injury prevention too, track how your walking asymmetry has been trending over the year, if you see the score increasing get a jump on it before you experience any pain and see a specialist to help get you back to your normal.
There are plenty more stats it's just a matter of taking the time to explore.
Why not make the most of what the health apps on your phone have to offer? You may just gain financially as well as physically.