At the half-year mark at my new job, I began to wonder how work was impacting my physical fitness. Although I run (wickedly satisfying) mental marathons on the weekdays, my desk job is no different from looking at sitting hours logged. So I bit the bullet to try out several fitness monitoring devices on the market.
At the heart of wearable devices like the FitBit One, Nike+ Fuelband, and Jawbone Up are accelerometers and algorithms that track how much you flail around daily (e.g. steps taken, calories burned). You set goals and monitor progress on the device / app.
I tried the Fuelband and the Up for a week each, since they were wristbands with solid reviews. The Jawbone Up scores higher on design, battery life, and functionality; the Nike Fuelband shines in its simplicity and one-button ease of use. Overall, I like the Up better, since the the bonus sleep monitoring feature gives way to answering interesting questions, e.g. how much sleep can I get on a redeye flight?
A few personal findings:
- I sleep like a baby.
- I have surprising average activity levels.
- I compensate for weekday sitting by dancing through the weekends. See screencaps comparing steps taken at work vs. a concert.
Continue reading for device details on design & fit, app features, and battery life.