In the battle of man versus robot, man has always emerged the winner… in movies. But, in real life, gadgets seem to do some pretty amazing stuff. What was thought to be impossible a decade ago now seems possible with the advent of wearable technology.
Here are a few of the many ways smart wearables have made people’s life easier.
Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic says sitting is a disease. When you sit for hours without moving, you develop problems such as obesity, body pain, and cancer. But thankfully, there are motion-tracking wearables that recommend moving activities such as stretching, standing up, and walking when you’ve been sitting for hours.
Essential reading: Why sitting is slowly killing you and what you can do about it
Cody, a 29-year-old software engineer from Livonia, MI, spends most of his day at the system – at work and home. He says his Polar Loop alerts him when he has been sitting for too long. It even reminds him about his inactivity time when he remains idle for over an hour. He strongly recommends wearables for people who work on 9 to 5 jobs.
Not just at work, people sit for long hours at home reading books or watching their favorite TV programs. Simple alerts provided by these devices can nudge them to get up and move those stiff muscles and joints.
Count your steps
Walking is one of the best ways to improve your health and fitness. That said, it makes sense to determine how long you need to walk to stay healthy or how many steps you should climb to trim your waistline. This is where wearable devices come into the picture.
Essential reading: Tips to help you hit 10,000 steps per day
Even a 10-minute walk down the street can boost your energy levels and metabolism. But, to determine how far you’ve walked, you need wearables to keep you informed on your progress.
According to the National Institute for Health, if you aren’t walking 5,000 steps a day, then you are leading a lazy lifestyle. It is only when you hit the 8,000-10,000 step mark, that you are considered “active” in terms of your physical activities.
When it comes to weight loss, burning calories is only 50% of the job. The other half depends on watching what you eat. Fortunately, there are wearables such as the Jawbone UP3 that use sensors to keep track of your physical condition and suggest a list of low-calorie meals to help with your weight loss goals.
For example, when your wristband alerts your Android or iOS app that you’ve slept less the previous night, your mobile app can recommend a high-protein breakfast instead of your regular meal to boost your energy levels. Essentially, it is like a personal assistant keeping on eye on your physical and mental state and suggesting appropriate measures to make you more productive during the day.
Or you could opt for a combination scale/fitness tracker/blood pressure monitor. Companies such as Fitbit, Withings and iHealth have a range of devices on offer. In this sense, your smartphone app acts like a central hub – collating all this information. You can then use these insights to better understand how changes in your lifestyle influence your health and fitness. Watch for example, your weight and blood pressure levels come down, as you put in that extra run every week.
People who strain their upper vertebrae by constantly looking down at their mobile phones while at work or travelling are at risk of developing “text neck” (aka cervicalgia). Wearables can help with simple but effective alerts to remind you if you are slouching. When you raise your head often, you tend to relax your backbone. Wearables only provide reminders, which is all that you need to take action.
Check out this overview of wearables that monitor your posture.
We hear a lot about the need to exercise regularly to get our heart rate up. But at the end of the day, the heart is also a muscle, and it needs sufficient rest. Have a look at the range of heart rate monitors that record your ticker at rest and provide key numbers that will help you to understand a bit more about preventing heart disease and hypertension.
From the moment you wake up till the time you hit the sack, smart devices offer a number of ways to help you monitor your health and take appropriate steps to improve your lifestyle.
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