My husband recently gave me a blue Jawbone UP wristband to monitor my progress toward walking 10,000 steps everyday.  I was skeptical at first about how this fitness tracking device would help me to achieve a healthy lifestyle.  After all, it's just a device tracking my daily activities.  However, having used it for awhile, I realize the amazing benefits of simply being aware of my physical activity during the day.


There have been studies on the health benefits of walking 10,000 steps per day. A University of Wisconsin study, showed significant improvement in the health of people who previously lived a sedentary lifestyle. It is important to note that at the beginning of the study, all participants were deemed to have a high risk of diabetes. After just eight weeks of walking for health, participants showed significant drops in blood pressure and improvements in glucose tolerance.

Overcoming Office Idleness

I had become very comfortable spending eight straight hours a day in front of the computer.  As the Health and Wellness Director at the North Suburban YMCA, I was hoping to improve the health of the Woburn community, by working hard at my desk throughout the day.  Yet putting my own at expense to resolve this, I eagerly plugged my new band into my phone and set a goal of walking 10,000 steps a day and sleeping eight hours a night.

After several months of wearing the little blue band, I now like it a lot!  Not only does it track how many steps I take a day, but it also monitors sleeping patterns and idleness.  Every time I've been inactive for 45 minutes, the band gives me a little alert which motivates me to take a little walk rather than stay glued to my computer screen.  I never realized how little I move around when I work, but now that I have this device to remind me, I get my blood pumping with a little stroll around the office.  Getting my blood pumping not only helps my health, but is improving my work and energy level!

Motivation: Friendly Competition

My favorite feature of the device is that it allows me to compete with my friends.  After seeing my band, a friend of mine purchased one himself and invited me to join his team.  We then began a friendly competition on who had healthier and more active lifestyle habits.  

I can actually view his sleep and activity levels on my iPhone. I’m happy to report that by his chiding that his activity is better than mine, I am motivated to get the recommended activity levels each day of 10,000 steps.

At present, my little blue band on my wrist acts as a gentle reminder about the health benefits provided by walking. My husband sure knew what he was doing when he purchased it for me.  I guess I'll keep them both.  :)  


Author: Michelle Dengler, Health & Wellness Director, North Suburban YMCA

Related Links

Rebuild Yourself in 3 Simple Steps this Fall

5 Questions to Ask Yourself for Healthy Success

The Top 5 Fitness Myths Busted