Friday, June 06, 2014

Jawbone UP24 Thoughts

Last week I got my grubby little paws on a Jawbone UP24 (link for info only, I'm not trying to get you to buy this) fitness/sleep tracker. I borrowed it because I have been curious about fitness trackers and I wanted to try one out. I thoroughly enjoyed my time tracking my every little step. Literally. Every step.

First impressions: 

* I LOVE the band. Like, seriously. Like, I want jewelry that looks just like the band. The color I was given was the "persimmon". It is stiff with a rubbery exterior, but has just enough give to wrap around your wrist.  It doesn't wiggle around and it didn't bother me at all, even while working out or sleeping. 

 The small silver end in the photo is a button. When you press it it triggers different things, like putting it in to sleep mode. The larger silver piece that says Jawbone can be removed and underneath it is a plug where you can attach it to a charging cord. Note: the band is not waterproof. 

*The app (in my case it was the Android version) is beautiful and easy to use. The "24" version of UP (version the plain ol' UP) has bluetooth connectivity and it updates your smartphone at regular intervals. I found myself obsessively checking my app every day to see how I was doing.

What the UP24 tracker can do:

*It tracks your steps.  
*It tracks your sleep. 
*It tracks calories burned. 
*You can input extra exercise, such as biking or yoga or swimming.
*You can input your food and drink for the day (I never used this feature).
*You can track your mood (manually. It isn't THAT awesome).
*Gives you tips on health, like how to get enough sleep.
*Encourages you to engage in healthy activities, like drink more water, go to bed earlier, or take more steps.
*Has cool modes like a napping mode (I didn't get around to trying this feature).
*Maybe does other things, this is all I discovered, and was enough for me.

This is an example of my activity in a day. 

*Not exactly sure how it tracks active time/longest active/longest idle. There was one day that it said I had zero idle time and on my yoga day it counted my whole yoga practice as idle time. 

*I easily hit 10,000 steps every day. According to my UP24, 10,000 steps is 5 miles. I can even hit that without specifically going on a walk or doing any extra exercise. By the third day it recommended I set my goal to 12,000 steps. I was able to hit 12,000 steps with a little extra effort. Apparently the average person only takes about 5,500 steps a day. This blows my mind. I think a person would literally have to try to not move anywhere to get that few steps. In seven days I averaged 13, 057 steps.

*The sleep tracker was ehhh. It was cool to see when I was in light or sound sleep, but I know there was nights I woke up repeatedly and it didn't track it. In the example below, I did wake up in the night but it didn't register on my tracker. And if you have it on sleep mode but are in bed watching, say, your Kindle Fire, it will say you were asleep. It recommends 8 hours of sleep, which it begins counting from the time you press the sleep button on the band at night until the time you press it again in the morning. So, in the example below, I was in bed for 8h48m, but not actually asleep for that long. It thought I was in a sound sleep while watching The Mindy Project. Hmmmm.

This is an example of what it tracked for my sleep for a night. 
The dark tall lines are deep sleep, the light blue lines are light sleep. The orange is awake. 

*I found it difficult to find info on how to use the band. It comes with a very simple guide to getting started and when I searched online for other info I couldn't always find what I was looking for. Specifically, I never did figure out why my band would randomly vibrate. I didn't have it on any alert modes, but that was as far as I could figure out. 

*It tells you the amount of calories it thinks you burned both being active and while resting. I loved to see that, but am not sure how accurate it was. Most days mine was about 2,200. 

My overall impression?

I absolutely loved the UP24. I love stats and it was so much fun to check them multiple times a day.. 

That said, it mostly didn't change how active I was, and I didn't think it would. There may have been a couple of times where I walked to dog a bit farther than I planned, or taken the dog out on an extra little walk, just to reach my sort of arbitrary steps goal, however. I would venture to say that if you are already committed to living an active lifestyle, the UP24, or any fitness tracker, isn't going to change that. 

I was glad I was able to try the band and return it (instead of purchasing it), as the novelty of tracking my fitness and sleep likely would have worn off pretty quickly on it's own. 

One thing of note: it's a wonderful conversation starter! Everyone asked me about it! 

Final verdict? 

I highly recommend the Jawbone UP24 for people who need a little extra push to be active and for people who enjoy stats and tracking them on their smartphone. 

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