Health Gear Review: BodyMedia CORE & Display
SEARCHING FOR THE RIGHT GEAR
I’m a bit of a tech geek and wanted to firm up and lose some weight. My first stop was BodyMedia. I had seen a BodyBugg (now managed by BodyMedia) on one of my Zumba instructors and thought it was pretty cool. It showed her how many calories she was burning, and I thought it would be great to know exactly what my body was doing as well. When I started looking into health tech online, it was early 2012. Most of the devices at the time were pretty big and usually rode on an armband to be worn somewhere between your elbow and underarm. I didn’t want to spend a ton but wanted certain features such as calories burned and way to track eating habits. I had used the LoseIt app, which I had found helpful, and wanted to be able to continue to track my calorie intake. Features like a heart-rate monitor were not something I was worried about at the time.
SLEEP IS A KEY ELEMENT FOR HEALTH
I was walking through Costco and saw the BodyMedia CORE for a great price. I bought it and took it home to see if it was all that Jillian Michaels (think Biggest Loser) had cracked it up to be. I put the band on and went to bed. The next morning, I plugged the device into my computer. The interface was very friendly and easy to figure out…but, what’s this? A sleep graph? I’m one of those people who remember my dreams and am a very light sleeper, so I happened to remember the times I had woken up in the middle of the night before. What was surprising was that the graph mapped it perfectly. Since sleep is a critical element of good health, I was sold.
OVER A YEAR LATER: PROS/CONS
For the pros, I’ve found that the BodyMedia system is great if you are committed to wearing the device as much as possible and to entering your intake–all of it–into the computer. It’s very easy to use and is accurate (like it or not) in tracking calories burned. In August 2013, Fixya gave BodyMedia the “Most Comprehensive Data” award in its review of fitness bands–I think it was well deserved. For the cons, the display is a bit awkward and doesn’t affix easily onto women’s exercise clothing. Some armbands do not stay tight without being too tight. The foods listed on the website do not reflect some of the most common things that healthy people eat, e.g., Sabra Hummus, so you have to enter whatever is not on their list yourself (only once). You will need also to pay monthly for access to the website and tracking. And, your skin may get a bit “annoyed” if you wear the device too long so taking a break is a good idea.
In the future, I hope they consider having the display on the armband device instead of in two pieces. But, rumor has it that since Jawbone acquired BodyMedia in April 2013, some of the cons from both companies’ devices may be alleviated in future.
EASE OF USE: 4.0