Apps and wearable devices are touted as a means to transform your health. But are we too obsessed with the ‘measured self’?
Health trackers can encourage increased activity, but experts say they do not always tell users exactly what they should know.
Martin Lewis realises he is obsessive about counting steps and that its something approaching pride.
It is not as though the creator of Moneysavingexpert.com has nothing else to do. Lewis is rarely off-air and returns to present another collection of The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV later this month.
He monitors his activity, has a chart of his weightlifting routine, and even keeps track of the Scrabble games he plays with his spouse, the TV presenter Lara Lewington. He credits his measure obsession (that includes running 25 kilometres a week) with losing weight and helping him reduce symptoms of repetitive strain injury.
There are other ethical problems, such as highlighted by the tech writer Evgeny Morozov. By measuring ourselves, and accepting responsibility for our health, does this permit the government to sideline more vulnerable men and women? For Calvard, the experience of older people given a panic button is proof that this is already happening. It allows the state to narrow its responsibilities to a specific, quantifiable response as opposed to a more holistic approach that can not be shown with information.