Review of the GoWearfit armband

I purchased my GoWearfit armband from Amazon.com at the end of February 09. I've setup this blog to track my thoughts on the device. Hope this helps others in making a decision to purchase this device or not.

FYI: This device is very very similar to the Body Bugg and it is made by the same company. The only noticeable difference is the color & software.

Questions? Contact me on Twitter @got80s
Mar 03
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7 Days with the GoWearFit

google gadget screenshot

The graph above is the Google spreadsheet gadget I’m using to display my calorie intake vs burned. After using the device for 7 days straight I can say the device isn’t shabby. It doesn’t really bother me on my arm anymore. Sometimes I do have to move it around because it’s a little warm. After a week of logging my food on The Daily Plate and using the GoWearFit to log my usual activities of driving to work, going to school I was amazed at how many calories I burned just doing my routine.

Calories burned while Driving calories burned driving

Calories burned in Art Class

calories burned in art class

Minor issues persist:

I’m having issues sometimes with it not recognizing that I’ve got the latest version of Java installed on my computer. I’ve even resorted to using Internet Explorer 7 to access the website/software and sometimes it still thinks it’s not installed. One other issue pertains to logining into the website. Each time I have to login it refreshes to the main page and ask for my login information for a second time. Only then will it actually show me the link for the Activity Manager. Their website offers no real help on this issue other than asking you to email them. It would be a benefit to them and their users to have a self help forum on the website.

Did it help me lose weight?

So the real question is, did I loose any weight with the device? Yes I did. In the past 7 days I’ve lost 1.5 pounds. This was just with logging my food that I normally eat and my normal activities. I think a key factor is the ability to see how many calories you are burning normally,something that is lacking from most diets. You normally need a calorie deficit of 3500 a week to drop just 1 pound. If you took the approach I did of not adding in exercise and managing a 3,500 calorie deficit you could manage to lose 52 lbs in a year!

I do plan to become more active to speed up the weight loss process. Not to mention I’d like to tone up a bit. My goal and methods will be different from many people. But my overall goal remains to get to 175 lbs or less with a BMI of 15% or less.

I plan to keep updating my spreadsheet as I continue to wear the device so you can see my weight loss over a much longer period.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me on Twitter or Friendfeed as Got80s.

Feb 27
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Wearing the Armband [side note]

So um yeah, being the typical guy, I didn’t read the instructions. For the first 3 days I’ve worn the device on my right arm. From the FAQ’s:

I haven’t really exercised yet so I’m hoping the results aren’t that skewed. I plan on posting my first 7 days results and then the 14 days. Averaging is a wonderful thing.

Can I wear the GoWear fit armband on my right arm? Or upside down?
Algorithms analyze the Armband data to estimate your calorie burn. Those algorithms have been written to give optimal performance when the Armband is worn on the left arm, the right way up. The “right way up” has the logo closer to your shoulder and the lights closer to your elbow. We do not recommend wearing it on the right arm or upside down. If the Armband is worn on the right arm or upside down we expect calorie burn values may show a difference of up to 8% for routine activities like resting, walking, running, household work, and road biking. The differences can be significant when using certain exercise equipment.

Feb 26
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Uploading Your Data

Each time you click the upload armband data you are prompted with this:

upload wifi or usb

I understand the reasoning behind asking you which way you are going to upload it the first time. What I don’t understand is why you couldn’t just set it in your preferences so it doesn’t ask each time.

Also, I feel like a two year old being told each and every time how to connect my device via usb. It should be intelligent enough to know I’ve done it before.

Instructions show to you every time

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Device Warmth [side note]

Suggestion while wearing the armband. If it gets a little warm on your arm, move it over a little bit. I move mine a few times a day.

Feb 25
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Usage of the GoWearFit [Day 1]

Screenshot from the Software

If you click on the image you can view more details, including steps taken and other graph information.

As you can see the spikes in the graph tell you the times where you burn the most calories. If you notice, 6:30am to 7:00am & 4:00-5:00pm I have peaks in calorie burning. Those where when I was driving to and from work. I obviously don’t like driving.

Immediate things that bother me about the device/software:

Subscription software instead of a desktop client

Paying for a subscription to access my data on a device I paid for.. It’s like DRM for the body. I want a desktop client and I will pay for it. I’d pay a years worth of subscription fees to get a desktop client for life.

Food Logging for only 3 days

A small thing that bugs me about the Bodymedia software is that it only asks you what you eat for 3 days to get a general idea of how you eat. For some, this might be a good thing. (lazy) However, I’m a data junkie and prefer to know exact details.

To overcome the food logging issue I’m using the free service offered by The Daily Plate to track my foods. This service allows you to track your foods in detail based off an already built database of brand name foods and user added foods. You can download Excel sheets of your food consumption that can be used for any purpose such as, emailing it to your trainer or keeping it for yourself.

I’m taking the calories consumed on TDP and combining them with GWF’s calories burned and putting them in a Google spreadsheet to track my progress & goals. I highly recommend The Daily Plate for it’s ease of use and the unbelievable amount of information you get for free.

UPDATE: Per @AlexanderHill “GWF client has daily tracking that must be enabled instead of 3 day avg. - not even close to the amt of foods in library as DP” via

tweet

That being said, we both agreed that The Daily Plate is much easier to use than GoWearFit’s food tracking.

Things that I like so far:

It’s small and generally I forget I’m wearing it. [see 1st post]

The website/software allows you to download an Excel file (details) or a PDF report (summary).

Here are both 1st day usage example files for download I’ve uploaded to Drop.io

http://drop.io/gowearfitexample

Excel file (on google docs if you don’t want to download files)

If you want to get in touch with me, grab me on twitter @got80s

Feb 24
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GoWearFit software says that it doesn’t support Firefox 3. It works just fine in Firefox 3.

GoWearFit software says that it doesn’t support Firefox 3. It works just fine in Firefox 3.

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Size comparison: Quarter vs. GoWearFit

Size comparison: Quarter vs. GoWearFit