Jawbone just announced the Up, a wearable bracelet that tracks sleep and movement. Just like the FitBit, the Up has a companion app that allows you to track your meals and other data. The idea is to give you feedback on your lifestyle, and what areas you can improve in. The Up app would even go so far as to provide you suggestions based on certain criteria. (The example they use in the press release is a suggestion to eat a high-protein meal and drink some water if the previous night's sleep was bad.)
My first reaction was that the health advice would likely be based on conventional wisdom, and therefore relatively useless to those in the paleo community. But then I noticed that FitBit offers an API for third-party developers to analyze a user's data, which means that someone could write a FitBit paleo app that would provide paleo-specific guidance, instead of the guidance that FitBit gives out-of-box.
Anyone else see this as promising? What recommendations could you suggest a third-party app of this nature provide, and what other values should it track? (Remember, we're not talking about modifying the hardware of these devices, merely using that data in conjunction with a mobile app or web page.)
Or do you tend to see these kinds of devices as having little merit, since movement tracking in itself (i.e. chronic cardio) isn't very beneficial in the context of natural workouts and health.
Edit (11/03/2011): More info. on the Up is now available. I particularly like the N=1 log of how certain foods make you feel.
asked byWyldKard (1906)
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on October 21, 2011
at 05:47 AM
I get why there is something cool about this, but in the absense of a debilitating problem that needs to be hacked, shouldn't we just like, um, live?
What happened to intuition? What about learning to listen to your body's signals? And yes, if your body has been battered by SAD and bad lifestyle choices, sometimes it is misleading to listen to your body which is telling you it needs a donut. But then isn't the answer to enough to eat highly nutritious food, do everything you need to do in order to optimise sleep etc. in order to bring the body back to a state in which it can self-regulate and we can listen to it?
Tracking everything and basing decisions on the output rests upon an assumption that we have the knowledge to properly interpret the data and draw the right conclusions. I'm not sure any of us can. In fact, I'm pretty sure we can't. There are many things yet undiscovered about how the body functions. And the complexity and interplay of factors is such, in my opinion, that you can't simply input date and draw the right conclusion that this particular morning you need more protein.
Isn't the assumption that we know it all what ran the food industry into the ditch in the first place?
on January 31, 2012
at 08:16 PM
I actually have a Fitbit that our company handed out to us as part of a Get Fit, Lose It program.
I typically eat Paleo 90% of the time. Over the past 1.5 years I have lost 67lbs without exercise, counting calories/carbs/fat, etc. I just learned to eat whole foods: grass-fed beef, coconut oil, fresh vegetables, fruit, no refined sugar or grains. I feel better than I ever have.
Since starting this program, it is a pain having to log everything I eat and the amount of calories. But it has been eye-opening in showing me how much I was "cheating" and how awful those foods are.
That being said the premise behind the program is 3,500 calories = 1 pound. If you burn 3,500 calories more than you consume, you will lose 1 pound.
Based on what I have eaten the past week, I should have gained 1 pound. However, I have actually lost 2.5 lbs. I think I'm going to work on trying to eat the highest calorie Paleo meals that I can to see how many calories I can eat without gaining weight. Just to prove their theory wrong.
Also, the sleep tracking.. you don't have to press start and stop. You can just log the time you went to bed and the time you got out of bed the next morning. However, it is only going by your movements. If it detects a certain level of movement, it assumes you are awake. I tend to move very little so there have been times that I have awakened but not moved and it didn't recognize it.
on July 14, 2011
at 03:16 PM
I think that actually measuring sleep is awesome, and there are devices that do that, measuring REM time etc, like Zeo. I don't have the money or inclination to track and/or optimize that yet - I'm focusing on diet and exercise right now - but all power to those that to. The problem with the FitBit is that it purports to track sleep, but apparently it just has a button that you press when you go to sleep and then press again when you wake up...
Does anyone have the wherewithal or consciousness to remember to press a button as conk lights out? I certainly don't. I guess I often actually fall asleep 1/2 hour or so after getting into bed and starting to try, but the actual transition is incredibly hazy.
So yeah, that's one part of FitBit that seems useless. As for pedometer and "activity tracking" - I can't imagine that increased accuracy of measurement is either the result, or even useful. I have a cheap pedometer watch that I bought at Walmart - that's good enough for me in tracking my distance running. This device isn't attached to extremities nor does it have any load measuring capabilities - how can it possibly measure activity better than an estimation, such as on FitDay or Cronometer? I'll stick with estimation and UM listening to my own body instead of obsessively measuring.
on July 14, 2011
at 03:16 PM
I think the real killer app with this would be someone to design a user defined interface to go with it. Sort of taking your idea a step further. Being on here really shows how many different versions of paleo there are. Therefore, the user could go in, set papremeters that they want to hit, be it certain amounts, or percentages, of certain things. Then use the device to track how close they are getting on a regular basis, and chart it out to see if things like weight, mood, or performance are tracking similarly.
on July 14, 2011
at 03:00 PM
Sounds like a pretty neat idea, I like the looks of it too. But would only be worth it to me if you could set the diet programming for Paleo. I've tried other meal tracking software such as "Calorie Counter" & "My Fitness Pal" and I haven't seen a single one out there yet that has this option.