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Better visualizing of fitness app data helps discover trends, reach goals

phonemockupUW News describes research by CSE’s James Fogarty and his collaborators Daniel Epstein, Felicia Cordeiro, Elizabeth Bales, and Sean Munson:

“Smartphone apps can track where we eat our meals, when we commute to and from work and how many minutes we exercise each day. Ten thousand steps today? Check.

“More people are opting to use their phones as “life-logging” devices, but is the data they collect actually useful? Massive amounts of information showing your life patterns over a week, month or year are going untapped because these applications don’t have a way to interpret the data over the long term.

“University of Washington researchers have developed visual tools to help self-trackers understand their daily activity patterns over a longer period and in more detail than current life-logging programs can offer. Their study found that people generally had an easier time meeting personal fitness and activity goals when they could see their data presented in a broader, more visual way.”

Read the article here.  Read the research paper here.