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Wearable biosensors can flag illness, Lyme disease, risk for diabetes; low airplane oxygen -- ScienceDaily

Snyder's team took advantage of the portability and ease of using wearable devices to collect a myriad of measurements from participants for up to two years to detect deviations from their normal baseline for measurements such as heart rate and skin temperature. Because the devices continuously follow these measures, they potentially provide rapid means to detect the onset of diseases that change your physiology. Many of these deviations coincided with times when people became ill. Heart rate and skin temperature tends to rise when people become ill, said Snyder. His team wrote a software program for data from a smart watch called 'Change of Heart' to detect these deviations and sense when people are becoming sick. The devices were able to detect common colds and in one case helped detect Lyme disease -- in Snyder, who participated in the study.

Science: Your new fitness tracker will not work miracles

People who are motivated to use today’s trackers can be reassured that “they really do a pretty effective job of letting people quantify their lifestyle habits,” says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise. “But there appears to be a gap between monitoring your habits and actually changing them.”

Physical activity, even in small amounts, benefits both physical and psychological well-being | University of Cambridge

For the new study, data on physical activity was passively gathered from smartphone accelerometers, and participants were also sent a short survey at two random intervals throughout the day which asked questions about their emotional state. Users reported their emotional state on a grid, based on how positive or negative, and how energetic or sleepy, they were feeling. Users were also asked a handful of questions about how their mood compared to normal. The activity data was then averaged over the course of the day, so while the researchers could not pinpoint what participants were doing at any given time, they found that participants who had higher levels of activity throughout the day reported a more positive emotional state. “Our data show that happy people are more active in general,” said the paper’s senior author Dr Jason Rentfrow, from Cambridge’s Department of Psychology and a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College. “However, our analyses also indicated that periods of physical activity led to increased positive mood, regardless of individuals’ baseline happiness. There have been many studies about the positive psychological effects of exercise, but what we’ve found is that in order to be happier, you don’t have to go out and run a marathon – all you’ve really got to do is periodically engage in slight physical activity throughout the day.” “Most of us don’t keep track of all of our movements during the day,” said study co-author Dr Gillian Sandstrom from the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex. “A person might track whether they went for a walk or went to the gym, but when asked, most of them probably wouldn’t remember walking from the desk to the photocopier, or from the car to the office door.”

Provocative New Insights From the Largest Consumer Sleep Study Ever Released | The Huffington Post

• Exercise is good for sleep: Any amount is helpful, but the optimal amount is 30 minutes, which correlates to 14 minutes of extra sleep per night. • Caffeine: Good news here! Three or fewer cups of coffee didn’t notably affect average sleep time much, but those who drank four cups or more slept 26 minutes less. • Alcohol: Surprisingly, those who had one or two drinks slept an average of 16 minutes more than people who had more than two drinks (or none at all).

Fitbit charts a wild heart and a calming mind

Humans rely on two feats of engineering, each astonishing in its own right. First, the body is endowed with an ability to constantly and instantly adjust to changing conditions. And, second, the body has an equally constant and instantaneous capacity to suppress awareness of those adjustments.

How we discovered the dark side of wearable fitness trackers

We also found that the Fitbit was an active participant in the construction of everyday life. It had a profound impact on the women’s decision-making in terms of their diet, exercise and how they travelled from one place to another. Almost every participant took a longer route to increase the number of steps they took (91%) and amount of weekly exercise (95%) they did. Most increased their walking speed to reach their Fitbit targets faster (56%). We also saw a change in eating habits to more healthy food, smaller portion sizes and fewer takeaways (76%).