New wearable body monitor continuously measures calorific output
By Mike Hanlon
June 2, 2005
June 3 Weight loss is a fairly logical thing – if calorific intake is less than calorific output, you lose weight. Measuring calorific intake and output is the difficulty though – if that was all automated, losing weight and understanding the process would be infinitely easier. Well now it is, thanks to the release of bodybugg. The bodybugg is a bodybugg, a sleek, wearable body monitor that continuously measures the calories burned by the wearer. When uploaded to the bodybugg website, this data creates a "dashboard" of the wearer's progress that can be used to modify eating and exercise habits. Its ability to precisely monitor total energy expenditure, combined with the website's ability to automatically estimate calories consumed based on body mass changes, removes the need for individuals to log their caloric intake or exercise.
With so many people today deskbound, today’s lifestyles are more sedentary than ever, yet the body is hard-wired to eat and store food to support the movement that is no longer part of a daily routine. Many people eat more calories than they burn, and even those that count calories tend to consume more than they think.
Bodybugg’s creator Body media claims it is the only system on the market today that enables a user to measure both total calories burned and consumed, and it’s certainly the only one we’ve been able to find.
Having both sets of data available gives the user the knowledge to adjust food intake and/or activity levels to meet his or her fitness goals.
The core component is the bodybugg armband, a clinically validated technology developed by BodyMedia, which accurately monitors total energy expenditure. While bodybugg is designed as a complete, standalone program, it also complements any diet or exercise program. More importantly, bodybugg can work without any specific program at all; a user simply lives life normally and bodybugg indicates if he or she needs to move more or eat less to meet weight loss goals.
The bodybugg system includes:
• The bodybugg device, a small, sleek armband, which is worn comfortably on the upper arm and measures calorie expenditure
• The bodybugg web interface, which provides an informational dashboard view of calorie burn and calorie balance, as well as resources such as a food database, food log, and exercise and calorie calculators
• The bodybugg wireless communicator, which plugs into a computer via its USB port and relays data between the armband and the web-based software
The bodybugg system features:
• Automatic Tracking – calorie usage is downloaded at the push of a button and activity, including number of steps, calories burned, and calories consumed, is charted in a variety of formats
• Food Calculator and Log – user-customizable database of 18,000 everyday foods helps users better understand (and optionally track) food intake
• Motivational Support – the web-based inspirational Quick Coach has specific tips to keep users on track and speed results
• Exercise and Movement Calculators – easy, intuitive, interactive tools
• Personalized Support – customized food menus, supplementation recommendations, and fitness programs, based on the user’s likes, dislikes and goals, enable lifelong solutions
• User Friendly Interface – simple to use and simple to understand
Bodybugg is available at Apex-licensed health clubs across America and sells for US$350, though the Bodymedia system has been used to create a number of health management solutions such as Healthwearand BodyMedia’s Sensewear Body Monitoring system that is designed for clinical research.
The Sensewear suite might offer a clue for the next upgrade to Bodybugg – the Sensewear system includes an optional wireless SenseWear Wireless Communicator that uses Radio Frequency (RF) to allow the Armband to wirelessly communicate with a computer. The data can even be transmitted through clothing for added convenience.