Are you one of the 26 percent of British people who own a health monitor, such as Fitbit? I was given one a few years ago and for a few months I used it to track my daily steps and see how I was sleeping (answer: wrong).
I started to worry and if I had not hit my 10,000-step target, I would have walked up and down the room very late at night, waving my hands until I arrived. Then the rope broke, the monitor went into the drawer next to my bed and has been sitting there ever since.
Why? I am not sure that the current generation of devices is bringing about the kind of health and wellness improvements that we have been promised.
Take the popular belief that wearing a bodybuilding monitor will help you lose weight – the idea being that if you use your body monitor to keep yourself healthy, you will burn calories and lose weight. Is that really the case?
Well, no. A few years ago, John Jakicic, a researcher in the department of health and physical activity at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States, enrolled 470 overweight people in a study where they went on a low-calorie diet, with monthly advice on health and health. nutrition.
Are you one of the 26 percent of British people who own a health monitor, such as Fitbit? I was given one a few years ago and for a few months I used it to track my daily steps and see how I was sleeping well (answer: wrong)
After the first six months, one group of volunteers continued to receive health counseling, while another was given activity controls. After two years, the volunteers were weighed again and although both groups were thinner and better, those who were not wearing activity controls were significantly less likely to lose weight (6 kg – more than 13lb) than the group. 3.5kg, or about 8lb).
Jakicic thinks wearing these accessories can encourage the belief that weight loss is more about what you do, rather than what you eat.
More from Dr. Michael Mosley for the Daily Mail…
The danger is that once you reach your goal, you are rewarding yourself with a higher calorie snack than you burned.
Many activity monitors also claim to tell you how much you sleep – and how much you enjoy, heavy sleep.
But it is not exactly right, and being told that you are not getting enough sleep can cause anxiety.
When my device told me I was getting more sleep than I needed, I began to worry about the need for more – and I kept worrying about it.
This is now known as orthosomnia, an unhealthy desire to get the right amount of ‘healthy’ sleep.
The term was coined a few years ago by sleep researchers at Northwestern University in the United States – noting that due to more and more people buying trackers, they were seeing more patients whose nighttime efforts caused, surprisingly, sleep problems. .
In one case, an examination of a 27-year-old woman who was complaining of insomnia revealed that she was indeed sleeping soundly. His response was: ‘So why does my bodybuilder say I slept badly?’
So if you are using these devices to monitor your sleep, take the results with a little salt: the best measure of whether you are getting enough sleep is how tired you feel in the morning. And remember that when you use them, you give them to companies that sell a lot of data about you. And that data can be copied.
I’m not very worried about hackers knowing how many steps I take, or how well I sleep, but what bothers me the most is that they can use trackers to guess the PIN code of your bank account.
Researchers from the Stevens Institute of Technology in the United States placed volunteers with 20 rows of smart watches and watches, and then asked them to enter the PIN code on keys or laptops.
Physiotherapists monitor and store information about your movements, so researchers could not only scan these devices but using computer software correctly estimated the PIN that had been entered more than 90 percent of the time.
Despite my criticism of current wearable technology, I believe that soon there will be many more devices that can measure important factors – such as blood sugar levels and how well your kidneys and liver function – without having to inject yourself.
At the moment, here are some of the oldest and cheapest ways I can track my health:
- Tape measure: In fact your waist should be less than half your height. Or cheaper is to use a small rope: measure a piece that is about the length of your length, then fold in the middle. If it does not fit your waist, you may want to do something about your girth.
- Clock: Use it to measure your heart rate, a good measure of how well you fit. Do this while sitting down, first thing in the morning, measuring your lashes on your arm. Less than 70 beats per minute is good; less than 60 is better.
- Blood pressure monitor: It is important to know your blood pressure because symptoms are rare, until you have a heart attack or stroke. Although there are smart watches that monitor blood pressure, the one I recently tried was real and not so accurate, it ended up with a health monitor in my bedside drawer.
How aftershave can help protect against traffic fumes
I am currently recording a new TV show in Los Angeles, City of Angels – although I think it should be renamed Los Autos, a city of cars.
It is dominated by traffic, and air pollution is so bad you can almost taste it. To be fair, some parts of the UK are not ideal.
One of the most dangerous pollutants from cars, buses and trucks is PM2.5 – very small particles that enter your lungs when you breathe, and then carry around your body.
Last year the UK’s PM2.5 levels were 1.8 times higher than the World Health Organization considers it safe. The purest air was found in the Midlothian in Scotland; The worst air was Lewes, near Brighton.
Air pollution kills about 35,000 Englishmen each year, mainly due to heart disease and stroke. But it is an effect on children that I find particularly anxious
Air pollution kills about 35,000 Englishmen each year, mainly due to heart disease and stroke. But it is an effect on children that I find particularly anxious.
Last year’s study by Stanford University in the United States found that it lowers IQ and alters children’s genes so they are more likely to develop heart disease later in life.
What is even more tragic is the fact that because their genes have been altered, these mutations may be passed on to their offspring.
Britain’s decision to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 is a step in the right direction. But what can you do now to reduce your risk?
First, if you must drive a car, try to avoid getting stuck in traffic because you will be sitting in a sea of air polluted by other vehicles.
Closing the windows makes little difference, and do not wear masks – unless they have passed the ‘Brut’ test: wear a mask and spray after a sharp shave such as Brut (or perfume) on your hand. If you can smell it, the mask is not enough. Next, try moving around trees and plants (including pot plants at work) – leaves are good at trapping small particles and absorbing gas pollutants.
Finally, eat more celery, carrots, parsnips and parsley. Research on mice showed that these vegetables, which contain a lot of antioxidants, help protect against the effects of acrolein, a motor-produced chemical that irritates the lungs and skin.
Reducing air pollution around the world can also increase food production (pollution impairs photosynthesis, a process in which plants convert light into energy).
In times of acute shortage of wheat, that is very important.
When I do not share a bed with my wife, Clare, I sleep worse, even though she tends to sleep and talk.
The case of sharing a single bed is compelling, with a recent study from the University of Arizona in the United States showing that those who reported reported less fatigue and stress – and more sleep time – than those who slept alone.
Source: | This article is from Dailymail.co.uk