How do you define quality of life? Most will mention someone to love, something meaningful to do, a circle of friends, economical stability, no major worries or losses. Almost certainly they will mention health and wellbeing.
Proper nutrition, sleep and exercise form the basis of our wellbeing: no matter what difficulties life brings, they are easier to overcome when you sleep well, are physically active and have a healthy appetite. Social and emotional aspects of wellbeing are well understood today, and also taken into account in care. As we get older, also things such as biomechanics, i.e. proper physical functioning and hydration start to play a more significant role to our perceived wellbeing.
Actigraphy alone cannot measure all aspects of wellbeing, but it is surprising how well it covers many of the crucial ones. It measures activity and sleep directly. It also mirrors the effects of medications that affect activity, sleep or circadian rhythm. Surprisingly many types of medications do. Even a person’s emotions may show in actigraphy: worries or anxiety may keep you awake during the night. But so will joyful dancing on the tables. Actigraphy alone is only half of the story. The other half comes from interpretation: the medical examination of the patient, and their own recall of the events that took place during the measurement period.
Wellbeing is a balancing act. Changes in physical activity and sleep are often a signal that something is changing, either slowly or suddenly. Sleep and recovery keep us in balance. When we are young and healthy, we can easily lead a few days of irregular life, and one good night’s sleep will correct it all. As we grow older or suffer from health issues, the ability to maintain a good circadian rhythm becomes more important to our health and wellbeing. The importance of stable circadian rhythm in many illnesses and conditions has been demonstrated in ample clinical research. Not only is irregular rhythm a symptom of many conditions but it also seems that consciously keeping the rhythm in balance will be beneficial in treating many illnesses.
The perception of health and wellbeing is personal and subjective. We are all unique. So should the care be. Vivago MOVETM is one of the first steps towards personalized healthcare that is one step ahead.