Have you heard of the Jawbone UP bracelet?
My totally hot Fed Ex guy dropped off a shiny new Jawbone UP at my house the other day (that has nothing to do with the story, but seriously, this guy is smokin’). When I took it out of the box my husband freaked out. It might be the first time that he’s EVER been impressed by my job. Not the cover of Greenwich Magazine, not spots on CBS, but a free UP bracelet for review.
He knew all about it, apparently it’s been in the Wall Street Journal and he has been quietly coveting one and immediately tried to steal mine. He tried to make the case that “he works out more than me” and he “understands this stuff”. He also doesn’t “have a blog” or any “influence”. So I snagged the bracelet and ran.
I am SO obsessed with this thing that I actually ordered him one for Father’s Day. Ok, I actually ordered one in a cuter color for myself and I’m giving him the used one. He’s welcome.
What it does and why I suddenly can’t live without it:
You launch the UP app on your phone for free. When you connect your bracelet (super easy, you literally plug the it in to the headphone jack) it has you set up a profile. I’m telling you, I didn’t even read the instructions, it’s totally intuitive.
You wear it 24/7 and it tracks your steps and your sleep, after a few days it will give you trends. When you set up your profile it will tell you how many steps a normal person your age and sex generally takes daily. For me it’s 10,000 steps. On the days that I’m below that number I will take the dog for a long walk or go for a run. I am competing with imaginary middle aged women and I’m determined not to let them beat me, in my mind.
It tracks your sleep. It tells you how long it takes you to fall asleep, if you stay asleep, and somehow it even tells you how much light vs. deep sleep you get. This has been life changing for me. I often take a sleep aid because I wake up in the night. After looking at the data I realized I get much less deep sleep on those nights. If I let myself fall asleep naturally my sleep is higher quality. Also, it doesn’t take me as long to fall asleep as I think it does.
You can have a virtual team. When you set up the app you can link it to Facebook and it will tell you which of your FB friends have UP and give you the option to add them as team mates. So far it seems to be a lot of techie early adopter types. My friend Monica who’s site The Online Mom is something every parent should follow, works out a LOT. My friend Kier, from Europe Express, doesn’t sleep much. He lives in Seattle, I think it’s the coffee.
The teammate function could be really powerful for a group of people trying to encourage each other to exercise, or sleep really. I should start a sleep support group.
In my opinion the Jawbone UP does more than just track your activity, it changes your actions. The Hawthorne effect is how people behave when they know they are being observed. I find I am more likely to take the stairs or increase my run because I know my numbers will be recorded. You can do a lot more with the UP than I’m currently doing. I’m pretty sure you can track your food and lots of other stuff to make it even more useful.
The UP costs $129 and I’ve had several people ask me if it’s worth it. It’s worth it at twice the price, seriously. One piece of advice, buy an extra pack of caps when you buy your bracelet. When you plug it in to your phone to upload your data or in to your computer to charge it you take the cap off, they are small and easy to lose. I know this because I lost mine. Also, make sure you measure your wrist to ensure it fits properly, instructions are on the website.
I was not compensated for this post and the purchase of the second bracelet was a full priced purchase at my expense. I just really freaking love this thing.