Gizmos Topic of the Week

Using data to exercise better – the Biogym by Biostrap

Brought to you by the Fantastrial Team.

A different kind of gym opened recently. Trainers monitor gym goers at the Biogym via wearables; this way they can provide tailor-made exercise programs with striking precision. At least, that’s the original concept.

Guiding exercise through biohacking

Biohacking is the practice of optimizing health through science and experimentation. Science requires data, and bio-hackers utilize extensive self-tracking (via smartbands, shoe clips and even non-wearable related services) to monitor countless parameters. Coaches at the Biogym use biohacking so that gym goers get the most out of each exercise.

Using the Biostrap’s capabilities

The Biostrap is capable of measuring steps, sleep duration and quality, heart rate, heart rate variability and the respiratory rate. In addition to these, it is also capable of detecting and reporting data about any type of exercise! Its measurement of the respiratory rate is also revolutionary, achieved by tracking the phenomenon of respiratory sinus arrhythmia.

Biohacking – is the evidence sound?

The goal of the Biogym takes advantage of all the Biostrap measurements to ensure that all gym goers peform at 100%. And while the site contains several evidence-based tips, pseudo-science is also easy to spot. The Biostrap makers suggest eating plenty of chlorofyl-containing meals, a recommendation with no science or rationale behind it. They even go so far to link to a website containing liquid oxygen supplements, otherwise known as absolute quackery, according to real scientists.

It’s not the size of the data – it’s how you use it

Data from wearables can revolutionize healthcare. Self-experimenting can go a long way, but bio-hackers usually turn to services that can make better sense of their data. Unfortunately, it’s a jungle out there. There is no way to know if their approaches are evidence-based, except for word of mouth. And the word of mouth in the era of social media disinformation can be a fickle advisor. It is likely that input from recognised scientific organisations and/or healthcare professionals is necessary to take full advantage of the life-changing technologies that lie ahead.

Take home messages

  • The BioGym in Herning, Denmark is utilizing the full range of Biostrap’s capabilities to train its members.
  • Aiming to improve health by bio-hacking is a worthy goal, but it takes expert input to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff – pseudo-science could lead bio-hackers astray just as easily as science can make them better.

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