Welcome to the second article in the series exploring the biomarkers that can be contributed to the Longevity App in order for the underlying AI to calculate an accurate biological age and personalized health insights relating to the Hallmarks of Aging.
In the previous article we looked at the biometrics biomarkers and in this article we will be exploring the Wearables Signals that can also be contributed to the Longevity App.
Connect your smart device to the Longevity App!
The Longevity App can be connected to your favorite wearable devices and health apps to increase the speed and accuracy of Biological Age calculations and Health Insights generated by the app, while allowing you to earn RJV tokens!
Relevant health metrics selected by the user will be automatically suggested as answers to the corresponding questions in the Daily Health Diary once synced with a wearable device. Devices and health apps to be supported include Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, Oura, Apple Health and Google Fit (to be supported via update shortly after launch).
Although it will improve the overall experience, connecting a smart device is not required to unlock the basic functionality of the Longevity App.
Let’s explore the wearables signals that can be contributed to the Longevity App. Please note, not all smart devices and health apps will contribute all listed parameters. The wearables signals can be split into four main groups:
· Activity and mobility related · Physiological vital parameters · Sleep related · Mindfulness and Breathwork
Each will be considered in their general relation to longevity.
Activity and Mobility related Biomarkers - Daily Step Count and Step Count Variability
The simple act of walking — belies the complexity of the health benefits it confers: Improved cardiovascular health, strengthened muscles, enhanced mood, and even improved cognition. High daily step count variability, characterized by significant fluctuations in daily physical activity, may negatively impact longevity as it could indicate inconsistency in exercise routines, potentially leading to overall reduced physical fitness and related health risks over time.
The relationship between the daily step count and longevity is a fascinating exploration into the intersection of simple habits and profound health outcomes. So, every time you glance at that step counter on your wrist or smartphone, remember that you are not only seeing a number — It’s a personal daily tally in the long-term endeavour for improved health and longevity, underlining the truth in the adage — ‘Every step counts!’.
Step Length and Step Length Variability
Step length and its variability serve as a fascinating duo in the dance of human locomotion and longevity. Step length variability in particular, the measure of inconsistency in the distance covered per stride, unfolds as an intriguing marker of health that ties into longevity.
While the concept might seem esoteric, it’s grounded in the primal mechanics of human mobility. Higher step length variability often correlates with aging and various neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. This fluctuation indicates an imbalance in the harmony of our strides, thereby reflecting potential problems in motor control and balance — fundamental components of our mobility and independence.
What’s more, increased variability can signal a heightened risk of falls, which are a leading cause of injury and mortality in older adults. Therefore, the rhythm of our steps, encapsulated in step length variability, serves as a subtle dance of survival. The constancy in our stride, once perceived, transforms into a unique biometric symphony of health and longevity.
Walking speed and Walking Speed Variability
Walking speed, the pace at which an individual moves, represents more than just a numeric measure; it serves as a gauge of vitality and overall health.
Slow walking speeds often correlate with decreased functional abilities, cognitive decline, and an increased risk of mortality. Its counterpart, walking speed variability — the fluctuation in the tempo of our strides — paints another layer in the longevity picture.
Greater variability has been linked to balance disorders, falls, and neurological conditions, all of which can impact the span of our lives.
Like the rhythm of a captivating piece of music, the tempo and consistency of our walks play their own symphony of survival. Each step we take, its speed and consistency, can narrate a unique tale of our health, drawing a fascinating link between the simplicity of a stride and the complexity of longevity.
Double Support Time Double support time is a fundamental aspect of human locomotion, referring to the phase in our walking or running cycle when both feet simultaneously touch the ground. It serves as a key indicator of our balance, coordination, and overall physical health. Efficiently managing and tracking our double support time can lead to improved stability and reduced risk of injuries, notably falls, which become more critical as we age.
By focusing on enhancing this element of our gait, we can promote joint health, maintain muscle strength, and bolster our mobility and independence, all of which are crucial contributors to our well-being and longevity.
An essential parameter in the pursuit of a healthier, more active, and longer life — smart wearable devices in combination with health apps such as Apple Health enable assessment and tracking of an individual’s double support time. This can help detect early signs of potential health concerns, such as neurological or musculoskeletal conditions, enabling proactive steps towards their management.
Walking asymmetry refers to the imbalances in our gait, often manifesting as a discrepancy in step length, stride time, or weight distribution between our left and right sides. Recognizing and addressing walking asymmetry is a vital aspect of maintaining our physical well-being. By tracking this parameter utilizing smart wearable device (sensors) / health apps as inputs to the Longevity App, we can identify potential health issues and seek timely intervention.
Early detection and appropriate management of walking asymmetry can not only enhance mobility and independence but also reduce the risk of falls and injuries, promoting overall health and longevity.
Contributing this data to the Longevity App will yield more accurate Health Insights and advice around activity, rehabilitation exercises, and targeted interventions to help foster a healthier and longer life.
Exercise Activity Sessions
Taking part in regular vigorous activities or exercise may have a profound impact on promoting health and longevity. Regular vigorous exercise provides a myriad of health benefits that directly influence well-being and longevity and protect against the effects of aging. These activities improve cardiovascular health, boost metabolic efficiency, enhance muscle strength, and promote bone density.
In addition to its physical benefits, it can enhance cognitive performance, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve sleep quality, thereby contributing to overall well-being. When tracked and maintained consistently, these benefits can lead to increased resilience, better stress management, and improved mood stability.
Tracking regular vigorous exercise (in minutes/day) in the Longevity App allows us to monitor our progress, maintain consistency, and stay motivated, all of which are crucial for reaping long-term benefits.
Contribute your exercise activity data to help quantify the relationship between physical activity and improved longevity, providing valuable insights that could lead to more effective, personalized health strategies and interventions for individuals worldwide.
Physiological / Vital Parameter Biomarkers -
Resting Heart Rate Resting heart rate, the number of times your heart beats per minute while you’re at rest, is a simple yet profound measure with interesting ties to longevity. It is much more than a numerical constant; it is a quiet symphony of life, beating in sync with the rhythm of our existence.
Traditional research suggests that a lower resting heart rate often indicates better cardiovascular fitness and a healthier heart — the key components of longevity. Conversely, a high resting heart rate could be a sign of stress on the body, whether due to lifestyle factors, illness, or even emotional turbulence. This silent stress can manifest as potential cardiovascular problems, which can influence our longevity.
Changes in resting heart rate over time can serve as a meaningful barometer of an individual’s health and lifestyle. A gradual decrease often signals improved cardiovascular fitness, thanks to consistent physical exercise and healthy habits. Conversely, a rising trend might indicate developing health issues, such as heart disease or chronic stress. In athletes, an unusual increase might hint at overtraining, signifying a need for rest and recovery. Age, too, subtly influences this metric, with the resting heart rate tending to rise slightly over the years.
Importantly, lifestyle changes and certain medications can significantly impact heart rate, encapsulating the complexity of factors that modulate this vital rhythm.
Ultimately, these shifts in our heart’s resting cadence weave a fascinating tale of our health journey, serving as a crucial checkpoint on the path to well-being.
Heart Rate Variability
Heart rate variability (HRV), the slight fluctuation in the timing of your heartbeats, is a captivating metric that dances on the edge of perception but resonates deeply with the science of longevity.
Contrary to what one might assume, a higher HRV is generally desirable. It suggests a healthy, responsive heart that can deftly adjust to changing physical and emotional states.
A high HRV often correlates with cardiovascular fitness, resilience to stress, and even cognitive function, all of which contribute to a longer and healthier life. Conversely, a low HRV might indicate stress, poor physical fitness, or underlying health issues, which may ultimately impact longevity.
Monitoring heart rate variability provides valuable insights into an individual’s cardiovascular fitness, stress resilience, and overall health status, thus offering predictive clues about their potential longevity.
Respiratory rate, the number of breaths taken per minute, is a fundamental yet profound measure of human life, intricately tied to the concept of longevity.
On the surface, it’s a measure of our body’s most basic function: the rhythm of inhaling and exhaling. However, its ties to longevity run much deeper.
In healthy adults, a respiratory rate outside the normal range of 12–20 breaths per minute can indicate underlying health issues, such as respiratory diseases, heart conditions, or systemic illnesses.
Persistent deviations, particularly when coupled with other symptoms, can suggest chronic health problems that may impact lifespan.
Furthermore, changes in the respiratory rate over time can signal shifts in health status. For example, a gradual increase might reflect declining lung function or the development of cardiovascular disease.
Thus, by closely monitoring the ebb and flow of our breath — this simple yet vital act — we can gain valuable insights into our health, helping to guide our journey toward longevity with each life-sustaining breath we take.
Blood pressure (systolic and diastolic)
Blood pressure, the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the arteries, forms a vital cornerstone in the architecture of human health and longevity.
Normal blood pressure, typically defined as a reading around 120/80 mmHg, indicates a balanced cardiovascular system and is often associated with a healthier, longer life. Conversely, consistently high blood pressure, or hypertension, places extra strain on the heart and blood vessels. Over time, this can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease, potentially impacting longevity.
Monitoring blood pressure can also identify hypotension, or consistently low blood pressure, which can lead to inadequate blood flow to the organs, enabling greater situational health awareness and opportunity for taking corrective actions and preventing end-organ damage. This simple numerical measure, in effect, offers a window into the dynamism of our cardiovascular health, asserting its fundamental role in the pursuit of longevity.
Wearable devices are not currently at the stage of measuring blood pressure accurately, however this data can be abstracted via Apple Health or Google Fit via syncing with a device that can accurately measure blood pressure.
Blood Oxygen Saturation (SpO2)
Blood oxygen saturation, commonly referred to as SpO2, represents the percentage of oxygen-saturated hemoglobin relative to total hemoglobin in the blood.
This vital metric reflects how efficiently our respiratory system is transferring oxygen from the lungs into the blood, a process critical to our survival.
In healthy individuals, SpO2 levels generally range from 95% to 100%. Sustained levels below this range may indicate respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, heart disease, or even sleep apnea. These conditions, if left unmanaged, can impact overall health and potentially reduce longevity.
Regular monitoring of SpO2 provides a window into the effectiveness of our body’s oxygen delivery system. By offering early detection of potential issues, it allows for prompt medical intervention, thereby safeguarding health and enhancing prospects for longevity. In essence, tracking SpO2 is akin to monitoring the life-sustaining process of oxygenation, revealing crucial insights into our journey towards health and longevity.
Sleep related Biomarkers
The time spent in bed reflects our commitment to rest, while the asleep state, which ideally constitutes the bulk of our time in bed, denotes the quality of this rest. Periods of wakefulness during the sleep cycle, on the other hand, can be indicative of sleep disturbances. Together, these biomarkers paint a picture of our sleep health.
The Longevity App measures time asleep directly using wearables, other specific sleep states are currently only available on some devices and health apps. Qualitative sleep related measurements can be input by users into the Longevity App Daily Health Diary.
Persistent short sleep duration, poor sleep quality, or frequent sleep disturbances have been associated with a range of health issues including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cognitive decline, all of which can impact longevity.
Monitoring these sleep biomarkers can provide insightful data about our rest patterns, revealing potential health concerns and highlighting areas for improvement.
By understanding and optimizing our sleep health, we open a path to improved overall health and potentially increased longevity, underscoring the truth in the old adage that good sleep is the cornerstone of good health.
Mindfulness and Breathwork
Mindfulness and breathwork are key pillars of holistic health and longevity. By practicing mindfulness, we anchor our attention to the present moment, reducing stress, improving mental clarity, and fostering emotional balance. Breathwork complements this by managing our physiological responses, enhancing oxygen intake, and boosting overall energy.
Utilizing the Longevity App to track these practices allows us to monitor progress and maintain consistency, which are key to reaping long-term benefits. Consistent practice and tracking would allow us to fine-tune our approach, maximizing the benefits of reduced stress, improved cardiovascular health, and enhanced cognitive function.
Those who choose to can record the time spent participating in mindfulness and breathing exercises on a daily basis, which can be analyzed in the holistic context enabling research into the effect of these activities on improving health, well-being and longevity.
Consequently, this consistent application could result in a healthier, longer life, showcasing how modern technology can work in harmony with age-old practices to enhance our well-being and longevity.
We hope you enjoyed this article on the Wearables Signals biomarkers compatible with the Longevity App and we hope this may motivate some of you to improve your scores! Join us in the next article in this series in which we will consider the Lab Report Biomarkers compatible with the Longevity App.