I’d always envisioned bracelets that monitored your health to be an element still stuck in the sci-fi genre, rather than a real life product you could actually have in 2015. So, when I was offered the opportunity by L&G to review UP’s Jawbone activity tracker I was both intrigued and delighted.
Essentially, the Jawbone comes in two parts – the tracker, in bracelet form which is worn on the wrist of your least active hand (I’m right handed, so I wear it on my left) and the app, which is free and can be downloaded very quickly. The two connect together through the headphone socket on your iPhone, you simply pull off the cap on the bracelet and sync it to your app. This ensures that you are constantly aware of your movements, sleep patterns and goals – whatever time of the day or night.
When you first set up the Jawbone, it asks you for your health information (height, weight etc) before allowing you to set goals – which are monitored by the tracker and the app simultaneously. This means that whether your New Year’s resolution is to sleep 7 hours a night, or walk 10,000 steps a day – you can ensure you’re monitoring it accurately using your tracker. It’s really rather nifty.
In the two weeks I’ve been trialling the Jawbone, I’ve been blown away by not only how accurate it is (I woke up in the night to go to the loo and checked the time – so I could see whether it picked up my movements – and it did, to the minute) but how it can fit in with even the most hectic of lifestyles. I’ve had exams the last couple of weeks, so ensuring my concentration levels were on peak was a real priority for me and this was a real help in making sure that I’d had enough sleep – and wasn’t sitting procrastinating too much (you can set it to vibrate if you’re idle for too long).
Oddly, I actually really look forward to checking in every day and making note of how much ‘sound sleep’ I’ve had (where you don’t move about too much) and how much of my night consisted of light sleep (where you’re tossing and turning). The results can often be the deciding factor in how you’re feeling that day – especially if you, like me, often find you sleep lots but you’re always exhausted – maybe the key is getting more restful sleep rather than more sleep in total.
Steps wise, I originally set my daily goal to 10,000 steps thinking that would be a minimum – however it shocked me to realise that in one day (a heavy revision day, I will admit) I took a mere 595 steps. Oops. I set it down to 5,000 and started walking to Uni and back – even if I didn’t necessarily need to be in, which really bumped up the total and made me feel quite proud of myself – strangely. The calories that you burn in a day (which takes into account the amount of sleep you’ve had and how much exercise you’ve done) are displayed on the app also, so if you are looking to lose weight, it simply advises you to eat 345 calories less than the number it displays you’ll burn.
Essentially, the tracker and app are super simple to use and really beneficial in maintaining and motivating your sleep, your health and your fitness. It might be all well and good just having an app on your phone, but when you’ve got a little bracelet (and quite a wearable one too) on your wrist 24/7, it’s a constant but welcome reminder of your goals. I absolutely love mine and will continue wearing it for months – hey, even years to come. I seriously (and perhaps naively) thought we weren’t yet this technologically advanced (and for something so affordable too), so if you’re looking for a gift, treat or fitness motivation – I’d recommend this in a (healthy) heartbeat!
Have you ever tried a sleep tracker – or worn an activity bracelet? I’d love to hear your thoughts on them too!