The Rise of Wellness Technology
Wellness technologies have become increasingly important in today’s society. The ability to maintain wellness through the use of technology has combined two vital sectors to improve the daily lives of people around the world.
The fitness band market is crammed with different devices, available at varying prices, most of which offer the same basic services and functions. Along with step counting and the number of active minutes, fitness trackers are now offering sleep monitoring and 24/7 heart rate tracking. They enable people to monitor activity and health effortlessly and with unmatched accuracy, providing a constant electronic finger on pulse. Along with the fitness wearable, most bands are accompanied by a phone application, allowing consumers to monitor progress and more detailed information such as distance travelled and calories burned, which can be both highly beneficial and unfavourably detrimental.
Whilst some might be quick to call the rise of fitness band usage a ‘fad’, when used correctly, the devices can be very useful. They help users to become more aware of how much, or how little, they move and exercise, prompting them to become more active in their lives. For people with medical conditions which are aggravated by an unhealthy lifestyle, fitness bands can support patients towards living a healthier lifestyle by providing feedback through constant tracking of daily activity and help them maintain regular exercise. These devices have the ability to play a large role in healthcare with both patients and clinicians becoming more familiar with this type of technology. Future developments could see the devices becoming an integral part of society and consequently healthcare, with information being automatically uploaded into medical records and health insurance companies offering incentives when goals are reached.
At the same time as providing positives, fitness trackers may have negative effects. For example, fitness enthusiasts may become addicted and over reliant on the device, once users start to see the numbers fall and performance improve it can be hard to let go.
Nonetheless fitness trackers can prove to have many benefits to encourage people to exercise and move around more with individually-tailored goals and display overall health improvements.
Although there are endless benefits of a good night’s sleep, significant numbers of people don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. With the recommended amount of sleep for a average adult being 7-9 hours a night, typically, people don’t get this recommended amount of sleep. A full night’s sleep is important for everyone, both mentally and physically, however old or young. It is proven to reduce stress, boost mood and energy, improve memory and critical thinking. Not getting the right amount of sleep is also linked to weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Sleep tracking apps can provide detailed information about an entire night sleep. Whereas, sleep apps provide white noise and peaceful nature sounds, also providing stress-relief exercises.
For those who suffer from sleep problems, sleep tracking apps can collect data on sleeping habits from the comfort of your own bed, as opposed to spending a night in a sleeping lab. Apps have proven to be highly accurate in the output of sleeping data. This can then be analysed by a sleep specialist or doctor. As the apps keep track of all your sleeping data, it provides an automated and precise diary of sleeping habits and can gather information about sleeping problems like insomnia. These apps also provide sleep cycle monitoring alarms, which monitor your sleep cycle and wake you up during your lightest sleeping phase. Getting up during your lightest sleep phase allows you to get up when your body is ready rather than being jolted awake during a deep sleep phase. This can avoid feeling grumpy throughout the first hour of being awake.
White noise and sound apps can help you to fall asleep and may help some users by distracting their busy brains. The apps work by providing soothing sounds which are redundant noises that distracts the brain but you don’t have to focus on it. Which noise works best depends on the individual. People who are used to falling asleep with white noise would probably now claim they cannot get to sleep without it. Although the use can be beneficial, problems can arise when you feel you can’t get to sleep without it.
When you count the number of sleeping apps on the market, for both white noise and tracking, it may seem like there is a holy grail of getting a good night’s sleep. However effective sleeping apps can or cannot be, most of the time it falls on an individuals lifestyle and routine as to whether they are getting the right amount of sleep.
Wellness technologies and sleeping apps are fast becoming an integral part of everyday life. Easy accessibility allows consumers to fully engage with new types of technology and apps with the potential benefits of improving how we live our lives. As to whether or not this trend of wellness technologies will continue; we’ll just have to wait and see.