Earlier this year I decided that I should try a fitness bracelet, you know, one of those things that measures how far you walk in a day and how many hours you sleep.
‘Can you imagine the world without time, clocks and watches?’
‘In the future we will think it is impossible to live without knowing all the basic things about your health and your daily activity.’
This conversation changed my mind.
To get to know the fitness bracelet market I searched online for different designs and I also checked out some bracelets in a shop. The bracelet that I thought looked the best was the Mi Band Fitness tracker, a Chinese brand, and it is also cheap compared to some other brands. I got mine for £20 online.
To set it up you connect it using Bluetooth. It was a bit tricky but suddenly, like a miracle, it worked. I started to wear it immediately. I set my daily activity goal at 10,000 steps. The first day I only did 9,000 steps, so I changed my goal to 9,000 steps and kept it there.
In the past I’ve had apps on my smartphone that measured how far I walked. The outcome was that the app was on all the time and used up my phone battery.
I have never been one of these people who sleep 8 hours straight at night. For a long time I had a tendency to sleep well for two weeks followed by a few days of poor sleep. It holds me back and I feel like crap. Then I sleep better again.
When using the bracelet it gives me proof of how much I sleep, and I sleep much more than I thought. Getting this information was a revolutionary experience for me. I sleep between 6.5 and 8 hours a night.
There is a function that tells you when you experience deep sleep and light sleep and the patterns of when they occur.
I’ve noticed that when I sleep in London I have less deep sleep and when I’m in a quieter place I experience more deep sleep. I’m not sure if this is 100% accurate but it at least gives an indication of what’s going on. After a night with 4 hours of deep sleep I’m more rested compared with nights with 2 hours of deep sleep.
The function that shows you if you are awake in the middle of the night is also great. It’s the yellow bars.
When it comes to measuring my movement the bracelet sometimes thinks that driving slowly is walking and if you are cooking and moving your arms it also counts that as steps.
It’s a big difference in my movement depending on where I am. If I’m in London it’s often enough to do two to three errands and I will walk 9,000 steps. When I travel or when I’m in Sweden I actively have to go out for a walk to reach my 9,000 steps.
In my research getting to know more about fitness bracelets I heard about Quantified Self Meet-up Groups and I checked out their website. I listened to some of the talks on the web from their events. It’s interesting to learn what people have found out about themselves using tracking technology. The Internet of Things is here to stay and we are going to measure things for pleasure and because we have to.
I would never share my goals or results with other people on social media platforms such as Facebook and WeChat. It is possible but no, thank you. The data is for me only.
Pros of using a Mi Band
- It gives you information about your activity and sleep.
- It vibrates when someone calls you. Great if you have your phone in your bag.
- The battery lasts for at least 30 days.
- It has a nice design.
- It is cheap.
- It can feel a big strange to sleep with it on your arm.
- If you are writing on a keyboard you may have to take it off. For me it feels uncomfortable.
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