Why I returned my UP Band after two weeks
In a fit of healthiness craze and in an effort to keep myself motivated, I decided to buy myself a fitness band tracker last month. I have seen so many people talk about them, wear them and sing their praises, so I figured I couldn’t loose. I spent about a week researching the different brands, reaching out to my friends for their opinion and even posting on social media to get others’ ides. I finally settled on the Jawbone UP band, ordered it off Amazon and waited impatiently for it to come.
The Jawbone UP band is an “activity tracker” with sensors built in to help track activity and sleeping patterns. It syncs through bluetooth and an app on your phone and it allows you to set alarms on your band so that it will vibrate you at predetermined times. It tracks your steps, integrates a calorie tracking program and even vibrates if it senses you’ve been sitting around for too long. It’s biggest feature is that it counts your steps and motivates you to get 10,000 steps in a day! Sounds like a great little guy, huh?
Two weeks later, I found myself carefully putting it back in its packaging and sending it back to Amazon for a refund. Here were my problems with the UP band:
1. It was uncomfortable to wear. I couldn’t type with it on. And it hurt to sleep in. It would get stuck to my skin when my wrist got warm or it would twist over my wrist bone awkwardly at night and I would wake up super sore.
2. There is no point to a sleep tracker. Every morning, the band would upload information to my phone and show me how well I slept based on my movements. Here is the thing-I knew if I slept well or not when I woke up in the morning. I either was tossing or turning or I was out like a light. Why did I need the band to tell me what I already knew?
3. I was already tracking my meals with a program I loved. I already used MyFitnessPal to track calories, which had all of my favorite snacks and meals programed in after months of using it. Supposedly I could integrate that information into the UP app, but it never worked for me.
4. Vibrating Alarms. Enough Said. They scared the crap out of me. My wrist would start vibrating and it would scare me, especially if I was at work and it was quiet and I was engrossed in doing something. Also, they only went off half the time they were programmed to. Maybe it was user error, but it was so inconsistent.
5. Bluetooth is a battery killer. Having to keep bluetooth on my phone so the band could sync drained my battery like nobody’s business. I guess I could have turned my bluetooth off when I didn’t need to sync it, but I felt like not having it sync consistently defeated the purpose of having the app/band in the first place.
So, after figuring out that all of the extra features that the UP band offered weren’t working for me, I realized that the only thing that was useful to me was seeing how many steps I was taking. And while the app was nice, I couldn’t justify spending 75 dollars on what was essentially a glorified pedometer!
After this experience, I honestly cannot recommend to anyone an UP band. Maybe a pedometer. Or maybe you could turn on your fitness tracker on your iPhone? Regardless, I was not a fan.
Maybe I’m completely missing the point of these fitness bands, though? Do you have one? Why do you like it? If you don’t have one, how do you stay motivated to be active? I really need some motivation lately.