Too Cold to Exercise? Quantified-self data & the weather

Too Cold to Exercise? Quantified-self data & the weather

If cold weather is your excuse for skipping the gym and suffering from a guilty conscious as you glance down at the Fitbit, UP or other wearable technology tracking every step you take, each stair you climb and every heartbeat, join the club.

Chances are you’re not living under the eight feet of snow dumped on parts of Buffalo, and your wearable technology knows that’s the case. In fact, Jawbone, the company behind UP, put the data to work to prove something we somewhat already knew: colder weather puts a big freeze on fitness.

If you’re in the burn more calories club, you’ll want the temperature to be in the 60s to upper 70s during the weekend. If you’re in the bum on the couch club, the 40s will do. The chart below, from Jawbone, shows the difference in activity level as measured by UP data.

Jawbone Wearable Weather Chart


The fascinating part of this data is how companies could use it to customize advertising to consumers in a highly responsive way. What if companies determined, based upon your GPS, that you’re in an area of the country with highs in the 60s and they used that information on paid advertising for outdoor products or fitness gear.

As for the question about penetration of wearable technology. Will it warm up your holidays and help make 2015 a year of caloric calculations? Chances are no, says the Washington Post this week, likely because consumers are waiting for the new Apple Watch.