The Body-Data Craze

I’ve been working on a post about the Quantified Self movement. To set the stage for that, I thought I’d post this thought-provoking article from Newsweek.

Today, I’ve been on the phone four times, for an average of 24 minutes a call. my last phone call was 22 minutes 23 seconds long, according to the digital time device on my landline. It took me exactly 45 minutes and 10 seconds on the train to reach Brooklyn the other night: I counted the seconds off on my smart phone. My average mile when I ran 5K yesterday was 8 minutes and 45 seconds that showed up on the pedometer. (Nothing to boast about, I know.) As I was on deadline for this piece, I walked only 4,000 steps, not the advised 10,000. I know I am exactly 45 percent through my friend’s excellent nonfiction book thanks to Kindle (in the past you could have estimated that you’d read more than half). I am able to hold my plank at the gym for 54 seconds rather than the minute I always thought I could, which I know thanks to my phone’s stopwatch. My optimal sleep time is seven hours and 20 minutes and I wake up twice a night: I discovered that from a wristband that measures sleep duration and intensity. I now know for certain what before I only assumed: I always sleep lightly unless I take an Ambien. Continue Reading
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5 Comments

  1. I am not quantified for all of this! My life is defined by several boxes of unsorted photos upstairs in the spare room.

    Reply
  2. Reblogged this on Straighten up and fly right and commented:
    This blog post includes an interesting Newsweek article about numberfying ourselves and our behaviors. There’s also a guy named Nicholas Feltron who wrote his own app to track himself. He uses Processing (see previous post) to crunch the data and publishes an annual report on his life (The Feltron Annual Report). It is a beautiful display of graphic design, programming and narcism.

    Reply
  3. I bought one of those Jawbone Up bands which lays out tons of statistics, tracking sleep, activity.. Its amazing, but sometimes overwhelming! I’m constantly worried about not getting enough sleep, eating too many calories.. Oh, how I wish I was ignorant again!

    Reply

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