Work, sleep or play - a wristband that monitors your entire life
Road-testing the Up wristband that monitors exercise, sleep and diet brings more awareness and surprising information
But this band is going to change my life (allegedly). I’ll sleep better, move more, eat better (maybe) and maybe even fit in a perfectly calculated nap or two.
Day one doesn’t go too badly. The alarm on the band wakes me up before my regular alarm goes off, evidently deciding that my sleep cycle is at the best point to do this.
There’s a minor hiccup later when I realise that it’s best to calibrate the distance settings on the band. Although it’s got an accelerometer built into it, and will calculate steps straight out of box, the distance will vary according to your stride length. And I’ve got a little less stride than the average person. It can also be a little generous; for example, I added 32 steps (allegedly) to my daily tally without ever leaving my desk.
The band will also prompt you to get up and move around if you have spent too long sitting at your desk. I’ve set it initially to 30 minutes, but that’s quickly changed or else I’d never get any work done.
No wireless syncing means I have to stop myself taking the band on and off several times a day just to see how I’m doing. It’s a little frustrating, as you can’t keep track during the day without taking it off, plugging it in and waiting.
After the first Up debacle, I’m a little nervous about keeping it on in the shower, but it makes it through unscathed.
By day three, I’m falling down on the food and drink logging, but the band has shown me one thing: I’m not sleeping nearly as much as I thought. And it’s tough to stick to the 10,000 steps goal when you have a desk job.
The idle-reminder prompts me to get up occasionally, but most of the time it’s ignored. Still, I get some extra activity logged at a kickboxing class, which pushes my stats a bit higher. And Up tells me I’m in the top 30 per cent of Up users for activity levels, which is reassuring.
A week later and the band is still going strong. It’s been through numerous showers, been pulled on and off several times a day and survived several workouts – things that rendered the previous bands useless after disturbingly short periods of time. So it’s safe to say that they’ve improved the design drastically.
While it hasn’t caused any major shift in my lifestyle, forcing myself to document what I eat, making me more aware of my movement and tracking my sleep has made me more conscious of it. A few small changes here and there add up.
Just don’t expect it to do all the work for you – no amount of advanced technology in a band will do that. Not yet, anyway.
The Jawbone Up is available for €129.99 from Three.ie