We are inundated with consumer health and wearable technology that tracks our every move. Some say such devices are the missing link for improved health. Naturally, companies are cashing in as millions of devices are flying off the shelves with an estimated 100 Million wrist worn devices worldwide by 2019.
As a health professional, I have interacted with thousands of patients and clients interested in being healthier. I am sure you would agree that everyone would choose to be optimally healthy if they could. Unfortunately, the issue is not the desire to be healthy, but rather the issue is the “how” and “what” to do for permanent change that leads to lifelong optimal health.
The truth is that health-related technology can play an important role in behavior change for most people if a well-trained and well-equipped health coach is part of the equation. You see, all of the data in the world will not help a person solidify long-term change unless the information is meaningful on an individual basis.
Consider this… The widely accepted rule of walking 10,000 steps per day may be a good population based goal, but unfortunately it can be very discouraging to those who find it impossible in their everyday life. The answer to this problem involves combining the valuable real-world behavior data from technology with the expertise of a one-on-one health coach. This combination produces individually matched and actionable feedback that builds a realistic and appropriate motivational environment, leading to a higher probability of lasting change and optimal health.
So it’s time to get real comfortable with technology and health-related data because as a health professional you play the pivotal role in behavior change.
Published with permission from Dr. Steve Feyrer-Melk.
Steve Feyrer-Melk, MEd, PhD, is a powerful, passionate, and trusted authority in Lifestyle Medicine who is bringing an innovative, refreshing, and successful approach to proactive health care. Dr. Steve co-founded the Optimal Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center where he crafts and hones real-world programs for immediate impact. Dr. Steve also serves as the Chief Science Officer of Nudge, LLC, a lifestyle medical technology company.