QSI strives for co-creation of QS methods and techniques aimed at self-reliance (i.e. prevention, self-management and lifestyle interventions). In cooperation with the Center of Expertise Healthy Ageing, professorships and schools at Hanze UAS we seek out ways of using QS to foster healthy ageing. Since the establishment of QSI the scientific work of the institute has been focused on the ‘Big Five for a Healthy Life’, using four guiding research questions to structure the research. The body of knowledge that has been created based on this research path will be indispensable in the quest for finding ways in which QS can be of value for healthy ageing.
Big Five for a Healthy Life:
1. Physical activity & sports
2. Food & drinks
3. Sleep & rest
5. Social interaction
Guiding research questions:
- What hardware/software is available for self tracking?
- What kind of self tracking devices do people want and use?
- How valid and reliable is the technology?
- How effective is self tracking?
Big Five for Healthy Life
Health is a matter of balance. Order, rhythm and harmony. Just how do you find that kind of balance? Getting feedback on your behavior helps to become conscious of your behaviour. By creating healthy feedback loops, you can better substantiate the choices you make regarding your health. But, for what areas is biofeedback useful? When browsing through literature regarding lifestyle, wellness and health, you will continuously encounter the same (five) aspects. Let’s call that ‘the big for healthy life’. By taking proper care of yourself in these areas, you’ll probably live longer in a healthy way and meet up to the expectations of your genetic potential. Activity, sleep and stress can be measured relatively well with wearable technology.
Food & physical activity
A well-balanced diet, moderate alcohol consumption and enough water. This has basically become common knowledge. You could use, for instance, a smartphone app to gain more insight in your nutritional behavior.
For daily physical activity there are several guidelines with advice, e.g. 10.000 steps a day or 30 minutes a day moderate-intense physical activity or sport. Besides this, it is even more important to curb the time you spend seated. You could spend your whole day seated, and workout for an hour in the evening. It would be better and more effective to spread your activities during your day.
Stress & sleep
A bit of stress (eustress) is okay, it’s even healthy. Larger amounts of stress (distress) and especially larger amounts of stress during a prolonged time is very bad for your health. Using an app to check your heart rate variability could be one way of monitoring this.
Also, in recent years there has been increasing attention to the role of sleep. Sleep deprivation is very draining to your system. Researchers in Groningen showed with animal testing that sleep deprivation is directly linked to brain damage. By sleeping with a sleep tracker you can measure how much and how well you sleep.
Humans are very social and that shows in everything we do. When we eat and drink by ourselves, we consume differently from when we are in company. Working out by ourselves is different from working out together. For some, social interaction is the greatest form of stress there is. For most, social interaction is an effective way of relaxing or to relieve stress. In short, other people influence practically everything you do, including your health.