Measure What You Want to Manage

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Measure what you manage for healthy living using technology

One of the best things about using technology for health is that you can use sensors and devices to make the “invisible” visible. Above are my actual “activity” rings for today as recorded by my Apple watch. I feel pretty good about having closed two of them: “move” (which tracks overall steps and activity, in red) and “exercise” (which tracks minutes in which you have an elevated heart rate, in green). I still have some standing to do (that’s the blue ring), but that’s OK.

Having a watch that helps me see how I’m doing has made a huge difference to me in the last few years. Because of it, I take the stairs instead of the elevator, or decide to take a walk while on the phone rather than sit at my desk.

“Measure what you want to manage” is a popular business adage attributed to management guru Peter Drucker, and I find it’s just as applicable in health and wellness. You can’t really know how you’re doing if you can’t see it.

I’ve tried lots of different trackers over the years--the Fitbit, the Misfit Shine, and the Jawbone Up, but the Apple watch is my favorite, partly because of its sleek design, and partly because it combines so many other functions (like telling time, and a phone, and playing music) in one device, and I don’t want to wear several different devices on my wrists at a time.

Do you have a single favorite tracker? If so, what do you like about it? Have you tried several over the years?