From sleep to steps – the 10 areas of life Brits are tracking the most | The Sun03/09/2023
BRITS are fast becoming a nation of trackers.
From steps to hours of sleep, we Brits have a fascination with the numbers that dictate our health and lifestyle.
And now, research has revealed what people like to track the most.
A study of 2,000 adults found monitoring their step count comes in at number one, closely followed by tracking exercise levels and energy use.
Others keep an eye on their heart rate, weight and how much they’re sleeping.
Meanwhile the most popular tracking devices people use are online banking, weather forecast apps and smart meter displays.
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Of those who have a smart meter, it helps 59 per cent keep track of the amount of energy they use at home.
It also helps 38 per cent find ways to reduce energy use.
The top 10 things Brits track
3. Energy (gas and/or electricity) use at home
4. Heart rate
7. Calories burnt
8. Spending habits
9. Screen time
10. Blood pressure
The survey was commissioned by Smart Energy GB, whose spokesperson, Victoria Bacon, said: “Technology is really useful when it comes to staying motivated and keeping track of your lifestyle.
“There are so many devices people use to stay on top of their life and accomplishments – from telling you how far you’ve run to monitoring your heart rate, and smart meters to show energy use around the home.
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“With the cost of living rising so fast, it’s no wonder that tracking technology is becoming popular with more and more people.”
The survey went on to find three quarters (74 per cent) of Brits now use tracking technologies as part of their daily lives, up from 69 per cent a year ago.
And two thirds don’t believe they will ever give up keeping tabs on parts of their lifestyle, showing how ubiquitous this tech has become.
The research went on to find nearly four in 10 (39 per cent) believe technology keeps them in control of certain areas of their life.
Furthermore, 34 per cent think monitoring things makes them feel more motivated, and a third (33 per cent) use this technology in a way they find helpful.
Health is a huge area for tracking tech – eight in 10 of those that use tracking apps for health feel more conscious of their wellbeing.
The same amount are more likely to notice issues with their heart rate, sleep and fertility quicker than without keeping an eye on themselves.
And 57 per cent of those who monitor their fitness are motivated by seeing how other people are doing.
Victoria added: “It’s no wonder tech helps people feel in control and stay motivated when you can see real time results – and improvements.
"If you saw you ran 5km, you may want to run 6km next time.
“It’s also helpful when it comes to saving money."
Does all this tracking actually work?
Experts have already questioned the effectiveness of some tracking devices, including smart watches.
A paper published in 2016 found that those who wore Fitbits for a year had no change in weight or blood pressure.
However, the medics in Singapore found that those who wore the watches were able to keep up exercise routines, more than those who didn't.
Writing in The Lancet, experts said that despite the increase in popularity in the trackers, there is 'little evidence' that they can improve health.
Other studies have found that wearing a device could make you stagnant.
Medics have also warned the popular watches could lead to "adverse psychological effects" in users.
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It comes as a young man ended up in hospital while experiencing a panic attack after misinterpreting his Apple watch heart monitor reading.
Despite this, there have been reported cases in which people have claimed their smart watches have saved their lives.
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