Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Self surveillance

Last week I posted a few words on Nathan's self surveillance project, your.flowingdata and promised to post some results as soon as I had enough data to make it interesting. Well, this is not it - yet!
Although, Nathan published some words on the matter today citing a new project from Fitness First currently going on in the Netherlands. The health club has created an ad concept wiring up the seats with a scale which displays the user weight on a big LED. Not only it faces you and throws it your face, it's up there for any and everyone to see. I guess the concept is to shame you into getting fit.
My first reaction is that this is a great idea - everyone gets in shape, heart attack rates go down, health spreads, the whole shebang! Now let's look at this with some perspective. Suppose you don't really have the money, the will or even the patience to enroll yourself in a gym or health club. What are you probably going to do to get skinnier? Run your legs off, stop eating, etc... Not only that, how about people with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia or EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified)? Now these guys already have a problem that causes weakness, not they won't even be able to sit and wait for their bus to come.
I don't mean to raise any issues and whatnot. Personally, I think this would actually help me get to my weight goal a lot faster and I wish we had those here in Porto Alegre, but I really don't think this campaign was thoroughly thought through (man, that phrase seemed iffy) and I really don't think these scales will be out there for too long.
Let me know how you feel about it!

[via FlowingData]


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