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What we’re running from when we count our steps

In a culture bent on targets, we create the illusion of an objective test telling us whether we are living life well enough. It is a bit like being in an exam the whole time

By Susie Orbach   March 2019

A yoga practitioner wears a fitness tracker in Times Square in New York as she practices yoga on the first day of summer. Photo: PA

One can see the temptation of quantifying all sorts of aspects of life with apps and wearable gadgets—it speaks to order and self-improvement. Yet we psychoanalysts wonder: what do these new measurements tell us about what we fear? What could we be protecting ourselves from?

Measuring might feel like a way into addressing difficult behaviours such as being too sedentary or drinking too much.…

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