The Skinny On Activity Trackers

up4-lifestyle-image-2-1429172514-beJl-column-width-inlineI love the idea of biometric stats for myself and everyone. When I got the Up2 by Jawbone, I was however skeptical that I would want to wear a bracelet on my arm all the time, but after wearing this and seeing all the interesting stats it generates by doing so, I think I’m hooked. It hasn’t been a day yet and I’ve tracked everything from my activity to sleep to the food I’ve eaten. It’s pretty amazing.

Activity Monitor:
This is the bread and butter of the device. It’s really just a glorified pedometer and while it seems pretty accurate on a macro level, I wouldn’t bet my life on its readings on the micro-level (when I first put it on, I was logging “steps” while I was just sitting at my desk). It’s not perfect and I could see them using a more ambiguous “activity unit” than steps, but you get the picture.

Sleep Monitor:
This was a little wonky. I didn’t officially tell the app that I went to sleep because the coach said I didn’t have to. I just went to sleep and it tracked everything. The readout differentiates between light sleep, heavy sleep, and awake and I think it was pretty accurate. I had tried a similar app on just the phone and it was pretty comparable but I like the measurement coming from right on my body as opposed to under my pillow. I definitely felt it though when I laid my head on my arm and that wasn’t comfortable. In the morning, the app had tracked my sleep twice so it thought that I slept 16 hours. I corrected it by deleting one of the sleep sessions.

The one thing I’m not sure of is whether the Bluetooth feature is always going while I’m sleeping. I wouldn’t want that extra radiation and it’s not clear what’s going on with that.

Other apps:
I’m still discovering, but it seems like there are a lot of other features built in. I particularly like the food consumption tracker. It has a handy scanner that you can scan packaged foods you eat and it has a good database to find non-processed foods you consume and then it tracks all the nutritional information based on your posts. Supposedly, the “coach” will give you tips based on your diet and sleep routines to improve your life.

This is a great life tracker and it being stylish, comfortable, and water-proof, you’ll want to get the most out of it and wear it all the time.

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