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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Getting Started with the Jawbone UP



By Robyn Wright

For a while now I have been hearing about the Jawbone UP activity tracker. I had an idea that it kept track of your steps – and I even knew it could track your sleep in some way – but other than that I was not quite sure what the UP did. Finally, I have my own UP and have been using it for about 10 days now and I want to share my initial thoughts for those of you considering getting one of your own.

The setup of the UP is pretty simple. You download the app for your smartphone, answer a couple of basic questions, sync your UP, and you’re ready to go. Most devices sync via Bluetooth but the Jawbone UP is different. You actually plug it in to the headphone jack on your smartphone. (I tried the Jawbone UP and not the newer UP24, which does allow you to sync wirelessly.) It also comes with an adapter, which allows you to charge it via any USB hub.

If you are not used to wearing bracelets and watches on your wrist, it can take some getting used to. Jawbone UPs come in several sizes, so make sure you get one that comfortably fits your wrist. Ideally you wear the UP 24/7, since it measures both activity and rest. I was hesitant about wearing it in the shower but it survived just fine, although you are not supposed to wear it while swimming.

The Jawbone UP app also allows you to add in when you eat and when you work out. When you sync your UP, you can see your activity in line chart form to show you the length and intensity of your movement, which is really quite interesting. The same thing happens with your sleep time; it will show you on a line chart how long you slept, how often you woke up, and even when you had deep sleep. My UP confirmed that I do not sleep for extended periods of time.

Another big part of the UP experience is that you can add friends to share your information with and be part of a team. In the app settings, you can control what information is shared or not. Sharing helps keep you motivated and helps you motivate your friends too.

There are pedometers out there that will track just your steps, but the Jawbone UP is far more than a pedometer. If you are serious about improving your overall health, then you need to be able to see what you are actually doing and not doing for activity and rest. The UP is the tool that can help you do this and show you the results of any improvements. I would happily give this as a gift to myself or my friends and family without a moment’s hesitation.

What do you think you would like most about the Jawbone UP if you had one?

Robyn Wright is a social media specialist and blogs on her own blog, RobynsOnlineWorld.com, as well as several other sites. Robyn has a love for family, technology, food and lots of apps!



Comments:
Comment by Donna Sweikow, posted 2/7/2014, 1:25 PM:

Just having something keeping track would make me more aware and maybe get me moving more.
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