***Competition now closed – Thank you for entering*** It’s time to fess up… since I finished my marathon training a few weeks ago I have been a very lazy lady. I’ve eaten all of the things I know I shouldn’t, consumed many beers and barely moved from the sofa. When I was asked to test the Jawbone UP24 activity tracker I figured it might be a good way to jolt me out of my rut, while also giving me an insight into my lifestyle choices.
For anyone not in the know, the Jawbone UP24 is a smart wristband that tracks your activity and sleep. It wirelessly connects to your smartphone (iOS or Android) to give you regular updates that help you understand more about how you sleep, move and eat – all in real time through the UP app. It also gives you recommendations based on your age, sex, height and current weight. Slightly daunting! I put it to the test for four days and here’s what I found.
They’ve clearly gone down the sporty route here, with a textured rubber band and a retro orange finish. The rubber design means it’s easy to slip on and my average-sized-wrist and I found it extremely comfortable to wear. It’s also rain and splash resistant, so when I eventually dragged myself outside for a run I didn’t have to stress about the changeable British weather.
It actually matched very well with my current arsenal of bracelets too, although I’m not sure it works so well with a little black dress for a sophisticated evening out. This aside, it’s onto the important stuff…
The real appeal for me was the activity tracker that lets you track how many steps you’ve taken in a day, along with the miles covered. You can also set goals and get fun little messages when you reach your milestones, which I thought might be a bit cheesy but turned out to be pretty motivating. I also thought I would be able to fool the tracker by just shaking my wrist about but that’s not the case, everyone just thought I was a nutter (nb. Probably shouldn’t have tested this theory in the middle of a busy restaurant). I was pretty surprised just how much I walk in a day – clocking up an impressive five miles within 12 hours, although that’s mainly because I got lost in York train station.
Another big part of the app is the sleep tracker. You can touch the button on the band when it’s time for bed and then check your sleep patterns over breakfast. It showed me that I need more sleep, no surprises there, but also that I spend two thirds of my night in light sleep, which possibly explains my mild caffeine addiction. A huge plus point for me was that you can set the band to vibrate and wake you up when you’re at your lightest sleep in a 20 minute window. It meant I wasn’t jolted awake with a screeching alarm every morning and I’m sure my nervous system will thank me for it.
One of the things that isn’t mentioned as much in the advertising material is the food side of the tracker. In many ways it’s like your standard food tracker app – you input what you’ve eaten and it gives you a calorie count. So far so average. However the really handy bit is the breakdown page. Tap on your food chart and it brings up your intake of salt, sugar, carbs and much more with clear indications of where you’ve gone a bit overboard. You can also scan barcodes and it saves meals you have regularly to ensure you can add items with just one tap.
Here in the Very office, we’re all guilty of spending too long at our desks. The Jawbone is not a fan of that though, so you can set it to vibrate if you’re ever inactive for longer than 45 minutes. It sounds like a minor thing, but as someone who can easily sit for four hours typing away it really made me get up and move about.
You can also upload your progress to Facebook and Twitter, or create a team with other users for motivation. I didn’t do this, mostly because I’m really competitive and I would have ended up storming around the office trying to increase my step count, but I can see why it would be a great way to keep you on track.
So did it work?
In short, yes! My main aim of wearing it for four days was to try and stop myself from free falling into an unhealthy lifestyle, and it has certainly done that. Yes I could have just cheated and just not put in the burger and chips I inhaled on Thursday night, but by sticking to it I started to make healthier choices again – especially when I clocked how much sugar I was consuming over the course of the day. I’m not a calorie counter, but it was good to get a breakdown of what’s in my food and demystify the complicated packaging. It also really got me moving about the office and made me aware of how long I sit at my desk. Having all of the information available lets you identify patterns too and see where you can start making minor changes that will have a big impact in the long run. I’m also going to try some of the Jawbone tips to help me get a better night’s sleep and maybe kick my caffeine habit once and for all… It’s a big maybe though!
So for the chance to win yourself this fab little device – simply answer the following question in the comments section below:
How many sizes does the UP by Jawbone come in?
b. 1 size fits all
Good Luck! x
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. Entry into the draw will be deemed as acceptance of these rules and any separate instructions for entry will form part of the rules.
2. This prize draw is open to any UK resident, aged 18 or over, who is invited to participate by Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited and who leaves a comment answering the question.
3. Employees of Shop Direct Group companies and anyone else involved in the operation of the draw are excluded from entering. Closing date is midnight 2nd July 2014.
4. Responsibility cannot be accepted for entries lost, damaged, delayed or spammed.
5. Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited reserves the right to offer an alternative prize in the event of the original prize being unavailable. Prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
6. The draw will be made by random selection from all valid entries before midnight on 30.07.14. Prize: 1x Jawbone UP24 (4HGGH). There is no cash alternative. Prizes are stock dependant. If we do not receive a response within 7 days we will choose another winner. If you have a Shop Direct Group home shopping account that is in arrears at the time of the draw, you will not be eligible to win.
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