Laura was previously the editorial assistant on Healthy Food Guide. She is now a freelance journalist specialising in health, wellbeing, food & travel.

Are you an activity-phobe, surrendering to a sit-down while trying to ignore that nagging voice (‘Get moving!’) in the back of your head? Then consider this: it may be time for an activity tracker, God’s gift to competitive procrastinators who know they should do more. Here’s how I got on with the Jawbone UP Move…

So here I am, a curious gal on the lookout to get active and do good for my health, trying the Jawbone UP Move, a nifty, non-intrusive tracker that’s worn on your waistband or wrist. I like to think of myself as fairly active, never one to take a lift to the first floor or shy away from a walk, but I was keen to know if I was underestimating my current efforts (bearing that 10,000-steps-a-day figure in mind).

How easy is it to set up?
Very – just pop in the battery and slip it into the waist clip. Sync the tracker with your phone by downloading the free app and setting your step and activity goals. Next, the ‘hard’ bit.

What are its main features?
The UP Move tracks your steps, logs your exercise, monitors sleep and scores your food intake – it’s up to you how in-depth you want to go. My motivation was to increase my steps and find out how well I was sleeping. I logged my food intake during the first week, totting up an average ‘food score’ of about 7.2, making it into the green (read: good) zone. I discovered I’m a good sleeper, getting a restful eight hours, evenly split between light and sound sleep and waking up about once a night. So after a week of moving more, hitting my 10,000 steps target and checking my progress every 10 minutes, the Smart Coach feature kicked in…

Smart personal training
The app gets to know you through your activities and logs, updating you daily with tips on nutrition, fitness and how sleep impacts your day (sleepless night? You’ll probably flunk on your steps that day, says Coach). The Smart Coach function takes your stats into consideration, giving progress nuggets like this one I got at week two: ‘Looking back on the past week, your 60,646 total steps propelled you 28.16mi. You averaged 8,663 per day, 86% of your goal. Saturday was your best day with 11,645 steps.’ I gave myself a pat on the back and felt thankful for my long daily walk to the train station.

Smart Coach reminding me a didn't meet my target – a particularly sad and sedentary day
Smart Coach reminding me I didn’t meet my target – a particularly sad and sedentary day


My verdict
Since wearing the UP Move, I’ve been borderline obsessed with walking more. Lunchtime is ideal for a 30-minute stroll and, weirdly, I’ve grown to love the sight of a staircase. I compete with myself, and every opportunity to move soon becomes a no-brainer to meeting my target. Having to turn around and go back to the shops because I forgot the milk had its silver lining – ‘I’ll have done another 1,000 steps!’ I think. I hate not knowing how many steps I’ve done on the occasions I’ve left the tracker at home. It really has become my activity comfort blanket.

The UP Move gives you every reason to move for your own good. It brings a great sense of achievement when you do, and nudges you in the right direction if you don’t. It’s a bit like the activity angel on your shoulder. Of course, it’s easier to be inactive, but who wants to be all puffed out and dancing with the devil?

The Jawbone UP Move is £39.99, and available from