Being sat at a desk for 12+ hours a day, 5 days a week has made me increasingly conscious of the amount of time I spend sat on my tush, so I recently decided to invest in a fitness tracker. Fitness trackers have become huge in the last couple of years. Jawbone, Nike, Fitbit and Garmin are just a few of the brands out there who are trying to create the most technically advanced, discrete devices for measuring calories, sleep and so much more.
Due to the huge variety on offer, choosing a fitness tracker can be difficult and it really depends on personal preferences as to which one is right for you! Personally, I was after a tracker that monitored daily movement, was linkable to my iPhone and was discrete. After hours of research, I decided on the Jawbone Up24, which claims to track activity, sleep and food whilst providing motivation and personalised goals.
All trackers will log the amount of “steps” taken each day, but unlike the Fitbit Charge HR or the new Jawbone Up3, the Jawbone Up24 does not monitor your heart rate. I was not particularly bothered about my exact calorie burn-age, so I settled with the average burn calculated on the Up24 (and it saved me a fair few £££). Not only does the Jawbone Up24 calculate your resting and active burn, it also allows the user to enter specific workouts based upon exercise type, intensity and duration.
In addition to calories burnt, the interface also shows your longest active and longest idle periods. It was this feature that made me realise actually how long I spend sitting down on a daily basis. The first day I used the Jawbone Up24, I had sat down for 3 hours without moving; and this is where the Idle Alert comes in. I am now able to programme the tracker to vibrate when I have been sitting still for more than one hour. This ensures that I have that all-important leg stretch every so often, which stops my metabolism from slumping midway through the day.
The Jawbone Up24 has a sleep tracker that monitors how long it takes you to fall asleep and your sleep pattern. This feature is based only upon movement, so I’m not entirely convinced with its accuracy. However, it is really interesting to see how much I move in the night! Another great feature of the Up24’s sleep tracker is the Smart Alarm. The user sets a time period in which they are happy to wake up in (e.g. between 06:00 and 06:30), and the tracker will vibrate to wake you up at a point when you are in your lightest sleep, ensuring a (potentially) smooth, pain-free wake-up call.
The thing that really stands out about the Jawbone Up24 is the compatibility with other mobile phone apps. These apps include (but are certainly not limited to) RunKeeper, Strava and MyFtinessPal. As one of MyFitnessPal’s biggest fans, I was so excited to see my meal entries automatically feed into the Jawbone app. Guidelines programmed into the app allow nutritional feedback on the user’s food intake and provide advice on possible dietary improvements. Together with the calorie burn calculator, it is a great way to see the days when you really deserve that dessert, and the days where you need to step it up a gear. FYI Jawbone also has its own food tracker, which works in a similar way to MyFitnessPal, where you scan barcodes etc..
Weighing in at just 19g, I can honestly say I don’t notice the tracker on my wrist. The sleek and simple design makes it one of the most discrete but stylish options out there.
A couple of very slight negatives: The Jawbone Up24 is only water-resistant not waterproof meaning that swimming is a no-go, but it can be worn in the shower (I still take mine off!). Secondly, I have had a couple of issues with the wrap-around design when getting dressed as it frequently gets caught in clothing and flies off! However, on a day-to-day basis, the bracelet is extremely secure and I love the overall design.
All-in-all, I love the Jawbone Up24. It is simple yet sophisticated (without being too tech-y), the mobile phone app is at the top of its game and it is the perfect way to kickstart that new healthy lifestyle you have all promised yourself time and time again. Although it may not be the most accurate tracker out there, it is great value for money (I bought mine in Argos for £79.99). If you are looking for something similar but slightly more advanced, take a look at the new Jawbone Up3 (£149.99, but is not actually available for sale just yet) or the Fitbit Charge HR (£119.99 from Currys) which both include heart rate monitors.