Back at the end of January I picked up a Nike+ FuelBand to help motivate me with staying active. (You can read that initial post HERE). I figured it’s been a month and I should do a review, so how do I actually stack up in the world of Nike+ and their Fuel points? Better than average that’s for sure.
I wanted to get a real sense of just how active I was in the month of February for being sedentary “office worker”. I also have to admit I didn’t really hit the gym as much as I had liked. You’ll notice those gym days don’t actually show up here and I’ll describe that a little later.
Overall I think the device is average and would I spent $150 dollars again to pick one up? Probably not. While the device has been a bit of a conversation starter (I enjoy conversation with strangers) I don’t think it’s really motivated me in the way I thought it would. That may be due to the fact @wealthybigpenis returned his and figured he didn’t need it, however when you think you don’t need something that’s typically when you do need it . The big part of the Nike+ FuelBand is to compete with others via the site and compare and share your scores over social media. I was really looking forward to comparing my days with Scott’s however as I mentioned he dropped out and there were no others with this device that I knew of. I think it would have been a lot more interesting and engaging had there been others with the Fuel Band and having that competition between each other.
The device it’s self is small, non-intrusive and I’ve actually given up wearing a watch since it has a watch it’s self (much like a thicker Livestrong band). I do enjoy wearing watches however wearing both the band and a watch on the same hand is a bit much. You’d need to reconfigure the band for your other hand if you decide to switch (not sure what that does). To recap the band it’s self captures Fuel Units as measured by Nike, Steps, Calories and as mentioned Time. It can sync with your iPhone via Bluetooth however I don’t have an iPhone and when I did test it with my wife’s iPhone, I didn’t see much advantage or point. It really just displays what the watch tells you in a much more graphical view.
I got curious when playing with the Nike+ site to see just how much this device measured in my months time. See the image below:
- 2,714 was my average Nike Fuel units a day. My goal for a sedentary human was 2000.
- I took 168, 845 steps
- I burned 28,736 calories
- I walked/ran 131.37 kilometers
- and I was active for 273 hours
While those stats are quite basic and really don’t mean a whole lot, I think having this month as a baseline can really prove to be useful (much like baselines in IT). It’s probably the subsequent months that will really show if you a) improved your activity or b) you got even more lazy. I guess my only motivation this month was to stay above the 2,000 fuel units and if I wasn’t close I would go out for a walk, hit the gym or do some other cardio exercise.
One of the stats that I enjoyed was the “How You Compare”, it shows you against everyone else that has a Fuel Band. Obviously there are a lot of lazy people out there because I didn’t do much and still blew by everyone by 60-65%! Pretty sad indeed if this is an accurate measure of people’s activity.
One biggest pitfall for this device is if you cycle or do any other exercise where you do not have much in the way of hand/arm movements. The device really needs to measure your movement via your hand/arm and if you are riding the bike there is very little movement and thus your device misses that excellent opportunity for exercise. I hope Nike updates the device or provides some way of counting that, perhaps linking it up with a different Nike+ product. http://nikeplus.nike.com/plus/products/. I’d also like to see an integration with the MyFitnessPal app which can help track your exercises and would be a great compliment to the device.
I did some searching into a few forums and one of the other items that I found to be discouraging is the device will pick up vibrations and count that as Fuel Units a.k.a exercise. For example, if you are driving and are wearing the device, the vibrations from the steering wheel will count (in a small way mind you) towards your daily Fuel Units. So it’s not perfect by any means however in the end it is just a guide.
I think my next step for me is I’d like to pick up the Nike+ Kinect Training for the xBox360 to utilize it for some training at home. This way when I don’t actually go out to the gym I can spend 20-30 minutes down in the basement working out and at least getting in some form of cardio. Much better than watching TV any day!
Before I wrap up there are some fun items with the FuelBand that makes it more interesting. Once you download your data from the device and if you’ve reached milestones, broken goals, gained so many points, etc… it celebrates them with a cool animated character. For some this may be a motivating factor, for me it was more important to see myself beat the goals I had set out so the animated character didn’t really do it for me. Some screenshots are below of reaching 75K in Fuel Points and beating my daily goal by 50%.
If you are into gadgets and want to be motivated to loose weight or just be active, this may work for you. However it could quickly become just another useless gadget that sits on the shelf with all the other items you’ve purchased over the years. I think for those who are active already and have a routine this will be a waste of money, or would be a fancy LED clock on your wrist.
Wearable tech is only increasing as I mentioned on my previous post on the Project Glass by Google. For me I’ll continue wearing this device and see how my months compare. I think that will be my biggest motivation factor and will help me gage if I did better than the previous month. It’s all about consistency and if you can stay consistent with whatever routine you have, you’ll be successful in whatever goal you do set out. Good luck!