The ‘Health’ App and the Art of Having a Reference Point

One of the first thing to notice upon upgrading the OS on my mobile phone was the new ‘Health’ application. It basically records the user’s physical activities such as steps, distance covered, sleeping hours and so on. It can be used in collaboration with outernal healthcare devices or other apps installed on the phone.

Since I’m not in possession of any device that connects to this service, I mainly use it as a footstep counter – it is more or less precise as long as I carry my mobile phone with me. Average number of steps I take every day is a bit lower than 10,000 – yesterday topping with some 16k steps, although it must be closer to 20k actually! (My legs are inexplicably sore!)

Recently I came to realise that from the point  I’ve discovered this app and started utilising it, I am walking more! Several time throughout the day, I open the app to check the numbers. If it’s lower than expected, then I try to walk more. In case it’s higher than my anticipation, I’m satisfied and encouraged at the same time so that I walk more to try and break the record.

This is the beauty of knowing! Ignorance is not necessarily bliss in all situations. Knowing where you stand helps you set goals and adjust your pace. This applies perfectly to managing your health and condition. Because managing means enhancement in a lot of cases – for enhancement you need a point you can refer to to evaluate the present.

Whether it’s about staying fit, maintaining good relationship with another person or even being successful at work, there ought to be a reference point. And having one may not be such a complicated thing to do!

I know I was preaching the words you tell yourself over and over again. I’ve been telling myself the same thing as well – but the visualised, physical form of reference point such as the Health app truly struck me hard with its practical help. The only obstacle that we’d face in trying to establish a reference point is that we’re not machines and henceforth need to consciously examine and evaluate the present. Friends, family and colleagues around you can be great sources of data and information.

As soon as I’m ready, I will happily share my other reference points and the advantages they brought along. I’m curious about yours, too!

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2 thoughts on “The ‘Health’ App and the Art of Having a Reference Point

  1. That’s actually a pretty cool app! Unfortunately I’m using an Android and not thinking of changing to Apple. In fact, the only Apple product i have is my iPod which is five years old. For me, my reference point is mainly the highlight of my life at a particular moment. An example would be me topping my cohort for History when I graduated from junior college (high school) – that would be an educational reference point. So the next time I measure my success will be based on this. Did I do better? Or it doesn’t match up to it at all? Something like that, I guess.

    We all need reference points, like you said, simply because we cannot be starting out from ground zero every time. It just doesn’t work because your new success may not be an actual improvement from the previous one and if we lack that reference, we might just be lowering out own standards without even knowing it. Good post and hopefully you’ll get more interesting reference points than mine 🙂

    1. Hey thanks for your comment again! If you’re interested there are quite a few different apps for Android that work pretty much the same way as the Health app does!
      Like yours, I also do have some reference points that has to do with my previous achievements. Of course we feel euphoric at that point, but I thought it’s way too easy for us to turn that euphoria into this some kind of feeling that I climbed yet another step and tend to feel as happy the next time I achieve a similar task. Your last point sounds almost the same – glad you share the same thought! I’ll think some more about other examples of my reference points. Hopefully I’ll manage to scribble something soon 🙂

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