When Will Technology Beat Willpower?

Woman using cellphone at the gym.

With the development of wearable biometric technology like step trackers and heart monitors, individuals can now – albeit clunkily in most cases – analyze every aspect of their body composition, hydration levels and athletic performance with a glance or a push notification from an Apple Watch. Couple this with groundbreaking work in genetics and nutrition and we should be perfectly functioning individuals. The truth is far from this. Individuals have never had more help and data at our fingers, but people are still getting bigger and lazier thanks to companies like Uber and Postmates. What needs to change? We do.

Our psychology or willpower to be exact. While science and behavioural economics are improving all the time, willpower seems to be diminishing thanks to over-notification and placement of easy food and drink stops. Limitless Performance Founder, Jas Mathur, believes the future of fitness is as much about willpower training as it is technology; “While we will be introducing AI, and VR in our interaction with clients, technology isn’t the be all and end all. The need to work with them when technology isn’t present is even more important in some ways. You can’t fake biology. We use biometrics as one of the non-negotiable components of our ‘Healthy Living’ initiatives. It gives us some of the most important perspectives on our clients’ specific needs, so we offer customized solutions. When it comes to fitness, there is no substitution for hard work, and there’s no device or gadget that will give you better results than you setting your mind to becoming the absolute best version of yourself and committing to that.”

Motion Nutrition, recently selected as ‘Smartest Nootropic’ in Men’s Health, is an example of a growing area of science that is helping people regain focus and calm when they need it most. Using naturally-occurring, and human-made elements, the focus of the field that Dr Corneliu E. Giurgea categorized is interesting everyone from executives to athletes offering cognitive benefits to the human brain. The difference is the direct effect, and the contribution to willpower technologies like nootropics offer according to Motion Nutrition CEO, Joe Welstead; “Nootropics help people stay focused despite the bombardment of distractions that surround them enabling individuals to focus more intensely and acutely and be more be efficient with the task at hand so fewer nudges should be needed.”

Willpower still isn’t well understood but technology is – currently – no replacement for willpower. How long this stays the case is up for debate as science and developers compete to create the easy win. A desirable but perhaps not the perfect solution.

[“source=forbes”]