Whiteboard Data Viz: Tracking a Healthy Lifestyle

Whiteboard Data Viz: Tracking a Healthy Lifestyle

A few weeks ago, we posted a data viz on how much water we consume daily.  This data was part of our larger Back on Track Healthy Decision Tracker. For 14 days, Lynsey and I made every effort to record our good and bad lifestyle decisions. We focused on choices in the realm of food, physical activity, mental health and routine building. Of course we only recorded a fraction of the 35,000 decisions we make each day.

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For the overall visualization, I looked at the number of decisions (good vs bad) that Lynsey and I made throughout each day. The lines above the x-axis represent good health choices and below are the poor health choices. In case you’re wondering, we tracked these via a Google Doc accessible on our mobile devices. This made it much easier to create a tracking habit and record accurately.  The green lines represent my decisions and the purple lines represent Lynsey’s. We coded the various choices as Eats, Exercise, and Routine Building. Parallel to each line is a distinct line that shows the proportion of decisions in each of those categories as they made up the day.

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It appears that since Thanksgiving, Lynsey makes more good decisions than I do. However, we both overall made an impactful effort to make more good choices than bad each day. Here are the choices we logged daily:

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These are the hard decisions we make throughout our days. To have that glass of wine or to skip it for a tall glass of water? To hit the snooze or rise up in time for a quiet yoga practice? What choices impact your health? How do you stay on track during the holiday season? Tracking this information seems to be working for us. Data enthusiasts rejoice!

One last thing I’d love to geek out with you about is the concept of Quantified Self. Our latest data viz is just a glimpse at this larger concept that is taking the data lifestyle community by storm. Here’s what Wikipedia says about Quantified Self:

The Quantified Self,[1] also known as lifelogging, is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (mood, arousal, blood oxygen levels), and performance, whether mental or physical. In short, quantified self is self-knowledge through self-tracking with technology.

We may return to this dataset/data collection method in the future with more Quantified Self projects.

Update:

Nola’s Wisdom Wednesday about good choices.

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