My week of quantified self: day four

Weight & blood pressure

It is the penultimate day of my quantified self challenge, using Health Vault to track data, and following a lazy day yesterday I have made sure to be more active today.

Starting with a run just after I woke up, a cycle to work and then a session at the gym, I’ve been working to get the weight down and the blood pumping during exercise.

At the start of the week I noticed my body fat percentage was quite high too, using the Withings WiFi scales, and while this is a more long term goal, it has been good to see a little movement in the week (from 18% at the start of the week to 17% now, on average).

The WiFi scales are a great tool and like the pedometer, in fact even more so, it goes to the back of the mind, yet keeps on tracking. Every time I brush my teeth I step on to let it capture my weight, body fat percentage and BMI. There is no need to remember it or write it down, because it wirelessly syncs through my home WiFi. It then syncs easily to Health Vault through the connection centre, ready to show trends and to even share with whoever I choose.

The blood pressure monitor takes a little more effort to remember, it’s not a natural part of the day and I have only been using it for four days now – but soon it will become a habit. However it doesn’t take long; seconds to put on and the data is recorded within a minute. Thankfully my pressure is low and in the healthy section of the chart it comes with – although naturally it raises during exercise; a good thing, as it means you are in the zone.

Weight is a big issue in the UK, according to research I found from the NHS, 26% of the UK population are overweight and obesity can also lead to diabetes, certain types of cancer and strokes. High blood pressure can also cause problems, as can too low a blood pressure. So keeping track of both is a good thing to do!

It is also interesting to consider how tracking all these elements of your health can then be used to compare metric against metric. Perhaps the number of steps I take per day affects my blood pressure, going further how might sleep affect my weight – maybe even mood may be a factor? I am using just three metrics this week but there is no end to what you could potentially track and learn from.

I’ll be back tomorrow for my final post and will be sharing further thoughts and learnings from the week. Check back soon.


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