After seeing all of my friends with their fancy “wrist wellness” devices, I decided to jump on the band wagon a purchase one for myself. In case you’re unsure of what I’m talking about, several devices have recently taken over the health/wellness scene for young professionals and hipsters. The Nike Fuel Band, FitBit and of UP by Jawbone are just a few of the most popular. They range in price from $75 – $130 (the Jawbone is $129). Essentially, the devices are worn around the wrist and track daily activity. They sync with a mobile device and have apps that can be downloaded for free to store all of your personal data and activity trends, lifestyle patterns, etc. But what we consumers really want to know is, “Are these devices effective? Does simply having data bout our lifestyle actually promote healthy habits?”
Well, I’ve taken the personal challenge and bought myself an UP by Jawbone. My hope was that having knowledge about my sleep patterns, daily activity and calorie intake/burn would naturally encourage me make healthier decisions. In some cases this has been true and in others it hasn’t. But before I go there, let me tell you a little about the device itself.
I’ve been using the Jawbone UP for about a 2 weeks and overall I really like it! First I’ve been satisfied with the product quality. I bought mine at the Apple store and the customer service/return policy is great. So far it works perfectly. The battery life is really long (like 10 days) before I have to charge it. I also think it has a cool/chic design and, honestly, I hope that people see it around my wrist because it signals that I’m “health conscious.” 🙂
Here’s a quick list of my likes and dislikes of this specific product…
- It vibrates will I’ve been sitting for too long (kind of scared me the first time and literally made me jump out of my seat)
- It has an alarm clock vibration to wake me up in the morning, only when I’m in a “light sleep cycle”
- It tracks my sleep cycles (see the chart that get populated in the app – right) ! I didn’t think this would be that big of a deal but I’m more conscious about what I do during the day and what time I go to bed to ensure I get quality sleep
- It syncs directly with “My Fitness Pal” app so I like to log my food and exercise there
- It doesn’t track any activity other than my “steps” or so if I’m are doing yoga or riding a stationary bike I don’t get any “points.” At firs this annoyed me, but this makes me actually make me more conscious about remaining active throughout the day. For instance, I get up from my desk during the day and just walk around which is really important, even for those of us who exercise daily. Remember what we learned from our registered dietitian? “Sitting pretty” is unhealthy!
- I haven’t found the perfect fit. The small was too tight and the medium is too loose.
- I don’t like that I have to actually plug it into my iPhone for my app to update, I wish is had Bluetooth so it will update in real-time
- The design is really cool/chic, but sometimes the devices get hooked onto my sleeve because it doesn’t close all the way around (see pics below)
Overall, I think the Jawbone has a leg up over the Nike Fuel Band and the Fit Bit because it has the sleep tracking capability. I didn’t realize just how much my lack of “deep Sleep” was impacting my liveliness and personal vitality.
Has Jawbone Changed My Life?
I would say, definitely YES! First, I’m now knowledgeable of the specific daily habits that prevent me from getting deep sleep. For me it’s drinking wine before I got to bed, going to bed late (after 11pm) or eating dinner too late (after 8pm). If I avoid these things, I’ve found that I get much longer “deep sleep” cycles. Also, I’m more active throughout the day in addition to my morning gym workouts. For instance, I try to take the stairs instead of the elevator, I walk the long way back to my desk during coffee breaks and I park as far away from my building as possible. These small changes usually ensure that I meet my daily step goal of 10,000 steps. In terms of body weight, I haven’t really noticed a significant difference. But this is probably because I haven’t been tracking my calories very diligently. If I got more disciplined with that, I assume the Jawbone would also be really effective for weight management. All in all, at the end of the day, I give the Jawbone a big GRIT by Brit 2 thumbs up!
Do you guys have a Jawbone? Or a Nike Fuel Band? Or Fit Bit? Are they effective for you? Let us know!