If and how is measuring physical activity beneficial?
Let me start by saying that I am convinced that measuring physical activity can be very useful, but only if we do it wisely. Anyone who has ever been exposed to orienteering knows that the problems of reaching our destination will almost never arise from losing our understanding of where we want to go. Instead, it gets sour when we lose knowledge of where we are right now.
Using this analogy, it could be argued that the more often we measure our physical activity and thereby have a realistic picture of the situation, the more likely we are to stay on track with our goal. But if all this is so simple, then why, in an age where it is easier than ever to measure activity due to technological advances, much of our society is still so passive? There are certainly a number of reasons, but it is certain that one factor is often the use of the wrong metrics, which I will explain below.
Most physical activity metrics are designed with the needs of performance athletes in mind. In other words, attempts have been made to use technology to aggregate and display to people a variety of data that could improve maximum performance in a particular sport. And it has been done very successfully! With speed, heart rate, oxygen consumption, altitude difference, recovery, weather and many other indicators, both top athletes and hobbyists have been able to achieve even better results.
The problem, however, is that most people's goal in terms of physical activity is not to improve their maximum performance by the end of the day. It is certainly a positive result, but for only a very small % it is a key target. For most people, physical activity is more of a means to other goals in life.
The really important question is what is the moderate level of activity if we want to live as healthy as possible for as long as possible. However, this question requires a different yardstick than a mere measurement of performance, on which reliance centrally can have a demotivating effect. This is especially true when it comes to the age or some other factor that means getting worse results in the long run. For many reasons, it is easier for many to give up the measurement at all, as it is to experience that the previous results cannot be exceeded or even repeated from year to year.
However, if the definition of success is the achievement of the goal of moderate activity that takes into account a person's individual physical condition, then it is possible to experience permanently positive emotions by measuring. It is for this reason that the YuMuuv activity formula was created not so much for top athletes who already have enough resources today, but rather for the goals and interests of “ordinary people”. The YuMuuv solution (read more about the activity formula here) is an easy way to achieve and monitor healthy physical activity, regardless of a person's athletic ability or stage of life. In summary, it can be said that measuring physical activity is useful, but only if it is based on the right measure and purpose. In the latter, YuMuuv is happy to reach out to everyone.