“ Brand: Vivago / Watch for: Unisex „
While browsing through one of my favourite health and fitness magazines one day, an advertisement caught my attention. The advert was for a new fandangled watch that promised far more than simply telling the time. This was a multifunctional watch that could also tell me how many calories I had burned at any particular time AND how much sleep I had obtained the previous night.
This sounded too good to be true. I'd never heard of such a thing but it was offering to solve two of the biggest bugbears in my life - calorie and sleep calculations. I'm always watching my weight so in turn I'm always counting calories. Difficulties can arise when it comes to working out how many calories I've burned off. Although it's easy enough counting calories, it's more difficult working out how much energy I'm expending during the day.
My other long-term problem is sleep. Since I've been working an evening shift, lack of sleep became a huge problem for me which resulted on my dependence on sleeping tablets. And even on non-work nights, it's rare for me to wake up in the morning without having had at least 2 awakenings during the night. Each morning I'd try to work out how many hours sleep I'd managed to clock up in total.
This watch promised the solutions. After reading through the advert again, I logged on to the given website and ordered one. I didn't even let the enormous (for me!) price put me off. It was straightforward to order and pay and a few days later it duly arrived on my doorstep.
It arrived well packaged in a little cardboard box complete with a battery charger and a CD. Although the watch is ready charged when it arrives, it must be re-charged every 6 months. This is done by slotting the watch into the charger and plugging it in to a regular power point and leaving it for one hour.
The CD cover contains quick reference instructions explaining how the different functions work and how to set the watch up. It's all rather mind boggling at first, but if you're used to working digital watches then it's easy enough to get to grips with. The CD contains a 16-page detailed user guide in PDF format in four languages.
* Watch display 12/24 h
* Wake-up alarm
* "Automatic snooze"
* Sleep histogram and sleep time of previous night
* Average sleep time during previous 30 day period
* Average, minimum and maximum sleep time during previous 7 days
* Amount of activity/exercise today
* Activity graph and value of previous day
* Average activity of previous 30 days´ period
* Increase/decrease in amount of physical activity/exercise compared to monthly average
* Today´s cumulative calorie expenditure
* Yesterday´s overall calorie expenditure
* The trend indicator arrow shows the change in yesterday's calorie expenditure compared to previous 7 days´ average
* Activity/movement sensor;
* Fully waterproof (IPX7, 100 m) ;
* Rechargeable battery, charging interval 6 months, charge time 1 hour ;
USING THE WATCH
The watch itself is large (for a woman) measuring just over 4.5cm and 5cm with a grey, blue plastic strap and has enough slots to fit even the slenderest of wrists.
In order for the watch to work correctly, it has to be fastened to your wrist, tight enough so that it doesn't slip or spin around but not enough to constrict your wrist movement. This is to ensure the sensor on the back of the watch maintains contact with your skin so it can pick up your movements. As soon as you take the watch off, all measurements cease but the time and clock functions continue.
Before you put the watch on you need to set the date and time correctly. Next you must enter your personal data including your weight, height, year of birth and sex.
The instructions are easy to follow but it does take some practice getting used to and understanding the different results that are displayed.
The watch will gather information continuously and update on an hourly, daily and weekly basis.
HOW IT WORKS
I've had this watch for over 8 months now and after the initial frenzy of statistical checking throughout the day, I generally only check the various values no more than once or twice a day now.
On waking, I check to see how many hours sleep I have had the previous night. After pressing the relevant buttons, the watch displays a little graph showing activity levels over the past 24 hours. An empty space in the graph indicates where you were supposedly asleep. Underneath the graph the display shows the total amount of hours and minutes of sleep you've had.
Although this is a clever function, it is possible to deceive it and receive false information. For instance, if you're sitting very still in the evening, watching TV say, and don't move, the watch may think you've gone to bed and hence, it starts counting your sleep time. One of my problems is waking in the night. I'll wake up and look at my watch to see the time. Then I can lay there for anything up to an hour or more trying to go back to sleep. However, since I'm not moving, the watch thinks I'm asleep. Hence, the graph will show an uninterrupted night's sleep and a higher amount of hours sleep than I know I've had.
So, overall, the sleep function is great for people who sleep though the night and want to keep track of how many hours kip they're receiving.
This function shows your activity levels at any given time of the day. However, it picks up your activity levels gauging how much you move your arm. I am a bit sceptical about this as if I sit down and wave my arm around a lot, it thinks I'm being very energetic and can provide false readings.
You need to give this about a week to establish your regular activity levels. If you're being particularly energetic the activity level will show a little arrow which points up, down or straight depending on whether you're doing more activity than normal.
I find this useful for when I'm playing tennis to see just how much effort I'm exerting. However, when I first wore the watch, my activity levels were quite high overall, every day. Then I loosened the watch and used the next notch on the strap as it was slightly too tight before. My activity level readings have become much lower since although I still undertake the same level of activity.
CALORIE EXPENDITURE FUNCTION
This calculates your calorie expenditure over a 24 hours period from midnight. When I wake up it usually displays something like 450 and updates itself hourly throughout the day. If I've had a busy day, rushing around or playing sport, then the activity level and calorie levels will be higher.
Again, I found that once I'd adjusted the watch strap to a looser notch, my calorie expenditure dropped alarmingly. Ie it went from around 2300 a day down to around 1600 on average. Now, I always suspected that my calorie expenditure was never as high as 2300 but I'm also hoping it's not as low as 1600. Therefore, I'm not really sure which figure is closest to the correct value. I suspect it's somewhere in between as my weight remains fairly stable and I know roughly how much I'm eating.
Overall, I think the idea of this watch is extremely good but it's not infallible and I don't feel you can take the readings as gospel. It's a great buy for someone who likes gadgets and/or monitoring personal statistics, which I do.
Would I have purchased this in hindsight? Probably not, although I certainly would have liked the chance to try one out for a few weeks on test. I think the novelty wears off after a couple of months as I mainly use the clock and light functions now.
I haven't had any problems with the functionality of the watch despite dropping it and submerging in it water, accidentally. I've had to recharge it once in 8 months and it does show a little battery sign on the display so you know when it's time to recharge and doesn't lose any stored values.
~~Availability and Price~~~
This watch is available online from http://www.gaiam.co.uk/products_full.asp?cID=46&pCode=PWMMONT or
http://www.gaiam.co.uk/buy.asp . You can purchase online from
However, if you'd like to read more about the Finnish company that manufacture these watches, take a look at this site: http://www.vivago.fi/
I purchased my watch for around £150.
A fashionable watch with health monitoring functions that monitor sleep, calories and activity.