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Courtesy of Jawbone
Courtesy of Jawbone
An intuitive fitness-geared bracelet nags users healthy

By C. Harold Pierce

I’m anxious, and I blame the Jawbone UP24.

Marketed as an intuitive bracelet that helps you understand how you sleep, move and eat, the device tracks your activity throughout the day and provides hints and tips on how to live better.

If you are idle for more than 15 minutes, it buzzes. It’s noon, and I’ve been buzzed seven times, including twice on my drive to campus. I’ve been awake four hours.

If I needed a reminder for how little I move, I’d step on a scale. Or look in the mirror when I’m naked.

The $150 orange rubber bracelet feels more like a shackle than a device meant to drive healthy choices. I’m 25 years old and I feel my hypertension acting up. Last time I checked, insanity wasn’t healthy.

As a Millennial, I lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle between going to work where I sit at a desk all day typing and making my way back home where I do pretty much the same thing. I spend most of my day sitting around. That’s my confession. I spent $150 for a personal drill sergeant, but it’s actually a good thing.

The device is built with goal-setting in mind, including increasing the number of steps walked in a day and squeezing in more sleep.

Paired with an app, UP24 tracks sleeping patterns, informing users of how soundly they slept and for how many hours.

Although I only walked 2,000 steps on the first day, about 8,000 shy of my target, I did hit my goal by sleeping eight hours. In fact, I exceeded it. The UP24 woke me up 24 minutes later, ruining my morning.

And despite not leaving my bed for an hour after waking, UP24 tracked 600 steps. Apparently, it measures vigorous movements as well.

Until strapping the wristband on, I didn’t realize how inactive I was. A week of having the Jawbone cuffed around my wrist has me setting goals and breaking them.

And the anxiety? It’s gone, except for the separation anxiety I feel when it’s plugged into the charger every few days.

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