Objective Movement Metrics - Not Only for Athletes
Updated: Jun 8
Human beings are made to move. Wired deep in our biology as a means for survival is an immense capacity for physical performances of varying purposes. Our unique physiology and biology create a unique advantage for adaptability, and mobility.
I was born an athlete, innately inquisitive about my own capacity for physical performance. At the age of 10, I developed a passion for athletics, and the running track was my playground. Every Saturday morning after each race, I received a ticket with a handwritten time. I religiously stuck them in a book when I returned home to track my performance. Little did I know it, but I was forming the foundations of my athletic career.
Monitoring metrics, tracking improvement and measuring performance outcomes has emerged pivotal to my athletic career. This is indeed an advantageous skill set, as longevity of an athlete requires a delicate mix of both art and science. Fast track to today. Now, I measure the power of every pedal stroke, speed and altitude as well as the temperature of every kilometer, heart rate variability, body angles, sleep quality, blood glucose and blood lactate levels just to name a few.
Movement Metrics Beyond Performance
I believe we all have an athlete inside of us, we just vary in our desired or required level of performance. Whether we like it or not, data metrics can play a role for us all, for musculoskeletal rehabilitation or our own performance domain. Humans have been measuring physical metrics in some form since civilization began recording their stories. In the technology age, never before have we had the means to so easily and deeply analyze those metrics to understand how we can improve physical dysfunction or any other movement pattern.
Over time, particularly as technology plays a bigger role in our lifestyle, our lives are simply more sedentary. Technology advancements support our lifestyles, including how we move, how much we move and the quality of our movements throughout the day. When it comes to our healthcare system and technology to help our recovery, movement health metrics are an important part of our understanding. We simply can't improve what we don't understand about our anatomy, physiology or biology as it changes, declines or becomes dysfunctional. We rely on the data and metrics to propel ourselves forward. Forget Olympic-sized performances, everyday movement health should be empowered by numbers, too!
Quality metrics as a mainstream mode of musculoskeletal health optimization create a simple, logical and objective tool for rehabilitation, longevity and performance settings. Emulating the high-performance athlete and embracing a data-driven mode to correcting injury and maintaining movement health is the crucial next step in helping us own our bodies.
Let's not mistake movement metrics as another health industry trend but rather think of them as a necessity to execute the lives we want to live, free from recoverable limitations.
Rachel Neylan, linedanceAI's Advisor and Ambassador
Rachel Neylan is a professional road cyclist and Olympian currently competing on the Women’s World Tour racing circuit. In just five years, Rachel forged her own pathway from a practicing Sydney-based physiotherapist to becoming a World Championship silver medalist road cyclist. Twelve years later, Rachel continues to represent Australia racing on a world-class cycling team in Europe.
After earning a B.App.Sc in Physiotherapy from the University of Sydney, Rachel worked as a practicing physiotherapist with some of Australia’s top athletes. Completing the Oxford University Women’s Leadership Development Programme has strengthened her ability to share insights and experiences, and lead by positively influencing others. While still racing professionally on the world stage, Rachel is also an advisor to health and sports focused companies. We are super excited and honored to have Rachel on our team at linedanceAI guiding us with the lens of both a practitioner and athlete. She is also sharing her insights about movement and movement quality metrics as a contributor to the linedanceAI Movality blog.