Wellocracy: What kind of tracker(s) (device/app) are you using and when did you start wearing it?

Sandy_OTW_1Sandy: I bought a Misfit Flash in early December, 2014. In early March, 2015 I upgraded to a Misfit Shine and gave the Flash to my husband who had gotten motivated by watching me.

Wellocracy: Why did you start using a tracker? Do you have specific health/wellness goals?

Sandy: I am in my early 70’s and was looking for a way to get motivated after I had a hip replacement in April 2014—and subsequently a fractured vertebra due to a bike accident in October 2015. I wanted to walk a minimum of 5000 steps almost every day and believed that a device that told me my daily activity level was a good vehicle for achieving my goal.

Wellocracy: What did you learn about yourself by using a tracker?

Sandy: Seeing my progress toward my goals got me motivated to be very consistent about walking and also swimming and exercising in my pool. I was surprised by how interesting I found the information on my sleep patterns. First thing each morning I sync my tracker and phone to find out how long and deeply I slept and how many times I got up. If I felt more refreshed in the morning it usually showed deeper sleep. If I dragged out of bed, my sleep picture usually told me why. This view of my sleep patterns became a compelling reason to wear the tracker 24×7.

Sandy_OTW_3Wellocracy: What do you like best about your tracker? What do you like least about it?

Sandy: What I like best about my tracker is its appearance. It looks sleek and modern, not like something a guy wears only to the gym. Second is the ability to leave it on all the time, including in the pool and in the shower. Third, I like that it runs with a battery that keeps it going for months. I wanted my tracker to be decent looking enough that I did not feel I had to take it off if I was going out for an evening to some event. The Misfit, especially the Shine which I bought second, is quite attractive. When I attended this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) I was really impressed by Misfit’s partnership with Swarovski and the versions they showed—which are gorgeous.

In terms of what I like least, the Misfit Flash has a very cheaply made wrist band which I had to replace 2 times. I then moved up to the Shine which has a sturdier band. But my biggest problem has been that they really don’t seem to keep working—maybe because I do wear them in the pool. I recently returned my Shine to Amazon, since it stopped working and the Misfit support people decided my troubles were with a defective item. At the moment I am without a tracker, since my husband is still using the Flash, although not all the lights on it are currently working. I also learned that I really wanted to be able to easily tell the time from the tracker. With the Misfit I sometimes wore both the tracker and a watch because getting the time on the Misfit was awkward and I don’t like to have to keep pulling out my cellphone.

Sandy_OTW_2Wellocracy: Do you share your data with family or friends?

Sandy: Although I am a Facebook user and do some kinds of information sharing with friends and family, I never have felt motivated to share my tracking information.

Wellocracy: What advice would you give someone thinking about tracking or, do you have other thoughts you would like to share?

Sandy: I am a big believer in the value of the information and reviews shared by users about their trackers. I believe that the first thing a potential buyer needs to do is to write down clearly what criteria they have for a device—which ones are paramount and which ones are nice to have. My desire for an attractive tracker has proved to be the most difficult requirement—perhaps along with my desire to wear it in the pool, which ruled out a number of options. I continue to look at new devices as they come to market and am waiting to see if the Withings Activite Pop turns out to be as good as it appeared to be when I saw an early model at the CES. I await its release and reading the user reviews that follow.