In my previous post on Tracking Yourself, I discussed my experiences with devices to track everything from your weight to your activity to your sleep. My latest fitness tracker is the OURA Ring. The OURA Ring is made from a scratch resistant Zircona outer ring with a hypoallergenic resin securing the electronics and sensors from the inside. Because of this rigid form factor, you must choose a size of ring (6 to 13). Even if you know your ring size, I highly recommend ordering the FREE Sizing Kit comprised of seven plastic rings that you can use to judge the fit as you wear it through out the day.
Why Another Fitness Tracker?
I decided to buy the OURA Ring because because it seemed less obtrusive than my Fitbit Charge 2 HR, which would cut off circulation to my arm at work and when I slept, and get caught on long sleeved shirts and other articles of clothing. Also, my Beddit 2 stopped working when the latest version of the app was not compatible with Android 5.0 so I was really not monitoring my sleep at all.
OURA also offers two new features: temperature and actionable feedback. Temperature was an interesting feature to add because it affects how you sleep and helps differentiate heavy respiration due to exercise (movement) or just heat (typically sedentary).
Actionable feedback may seem like a minor feature, but they are a HUGE step forward. While Fitbit does a great job tracking your movements, and Beddit does a great job tracking your sleep, OURA will keep track of your activity and sleep and make recommendations regarding your activity and recovery needs, whether you should exercise or not, allowing you to reserve your decision making power for the bog of daily decisions and taking the guesswork out of the work-rest spectrum.
Precise Data vs. Accurate Data
The point of the Quantified Self movement is not just to provide data, but actionable data. As with all data, data that is collected automatically is more consistent, and prone to fewer errors. Some will question the accuracy of wearable electronic health monitors, but I feel they miss the point. Most people do not calibrate their bathroom scales with a certified weight when they buy it. Instead, they accept that any change, gain or loss, is the same regardless of the starting weight. In the same way, if whether my device reports my resting heart rate is 75 bpm or 85 bpm, an increase of 100 bpm during exercise is a increase of 100 bpm, and a good measure of my activity level that day.
Stay well engineered,
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These statements or products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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