As I type this, I’m wearing my UP bracelet – so if you don’t feel like reading this entire post, you can just consider the UP experiment to be an ongoing success.
I learned the most about my ongoing relationship with the UP when my band failed. In fact, that’s when I found out it was a relationship in the first place! I spent more time than I’d like to admit unplugging, replugging, resetting, and recharging. I even gave my band a helpful pep talk! Needless to say, nothing worked. I called customer service, got a printable shipping label, sent my band back and had a replacement en route the same day.
After more than a week with the band, going without it was strange. Here’s what I noticed.
Wrist freedom. I’ve had trouble with RSI in the past, so I’m hyper-aware of wrist stress. While the band didn’t give me any problems, I never quite got used to it enough to stop noticing it. This is actually partly good; noticing the band reminds me of my commitment to healthy behavior. Still, I enjoyed the extra freedom, particularly while typing and knitting.
Knowledge is power. It was sad not to know how much I was walking every day, especially because during the three days I was bandless I ran around quite a bit. I didn’t realize how excited I was to have that data until, suddenly, I didn’t.
Consistency rules. I’ve been kind of annoyed by the band’s built-in alarm and its tendency to ignore my sleep goals when waking me up. However, I didn’t realize the system’s biggest benefit: it was just hard enough to reset the alarm that I was leaving it set for the same time every day. While I was bandless, I kept on waking up at that time – sometimes even before my alarm!
Now that I’ve got my band back, I’m once again syncing my data three or four times a day to see how far I’ve walked. I’m not using the built-in alarm anymore, but I’ve set my phone alarm to wake me at the same time every day. And I’m reconciled to the slight adjustments I’ve got to make while wearing it. For the moment, it’s clearly worthwhile.
I’m still waiting for Jawbone to give me better access to my data, but I believe they’ll eventually get this right. For the moment I’m fairly happy collecting a baseline set of activity, sleep and food data, and finding patterns on my own.
Previously: First Thoughts on UP