Attention 10,000-step-a-day UP wristband users: Is your band reliable enough?

September 4, 2013 | By | Comments (11)

The Social Diet gang has been using MyFitnessPal software and the UP wristband to track calories in and calories out, and the UP band has been an invaluable tool for reaching the 10,000-steps-per-day goal. (Some members are doing 20,000, even 30,000 steps, and it’s been a bit competitive; we can all see what each member is doing every day.) But two of eight users have seen malfunctions requiring replacement (sometimes the band just needs a soft reset or hard reset, described on the website). I was one of them: My band just petered out, its light softly winking, and nothing could get it to talk to my iPhone. Since the last version of the band had some real reliability problems, I wondered if those were continuing. But folks repping Jawbone, the manufacturer, assured me that isn’t the case. However, in discussion, I also realized that these bands need to be treated a bit more gently than you might think.

First, though the company says you can take them in the shower, there can be problems from extended exposure to steam. So, if you let your shower double as a sauna after a long run, don’t take the band in there. In fact, I don’t take it in the shower at all, and I take it off when I’m washing dishes, etc. The problem is not immediate damage, apparently, but long-term problems from moisture that seeps in. In the case of my band’s total failure, I realized I had jumped into a pool with it eight weeks before the shutdown.

The second issue has to do with handling the band: It’s a complicated little computer, basically, and if you have a toddler who yanks at it violently, or if you tend to toss it onto the counter, that’s a recipe for long-term trouble.

I’m told the company is being pretty generous about supplying replacement bands right now to people who may have accidentally immersed it or manhandled it.

Let me know if you’ve been having any issues, or how your problems were dealt with: E-mail me at, or comment below.


  1. » Elegy for a Dead UP Band—My 10,000-Step Buddy Who Has Tragically Abandoned MeBeautiful Life

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    […] I’m waiting for a new one. The company is good about replacing faulty bands, and they’re doing that for me. But I have some reservations. Do I want to keep putting myself […]

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  3. Jane

    My UP band quit after four weeks, and it took 3 weeks to get the replacement. Reading the forums, this doesn’t seem so unusual. Now the new one is acting up so I figure it will have to be replaced soon, too. Given that I’m trying to lose 100 pounds, I can’t tolerate this gap time between bands, so I’m thinking of buying a second one so I’ll always have one on hand. Yep, the technology (even of the new ones!) is highly flawed, but counting steps and sleep seems to really, really work for me.

    I also use My Fitness Pal, although I gave up syncing the two apps as I didn’t think they interfaced very well.

    I started off following the 10,000 steps a day goal, but it recently came to my attention that 12,000 is better for those trying to lose a large number of pounds (and keep it off!), so I’ve upped my goal.

    September 7, 2013 at 9:03 am
  4. cathie smith

    I love my Fitbit Zip – it “talks” to my iPhone as well and you don’t have to clip it to your waistband like the older ones – just leave it in your pocket!

    September 5, 2013 at 5:10 am
  5. Nancy

    I have a FitBit Zip and love it!

    September 4, 2013 at 9:02 pm
  6. Susan W. Cox

    I have had the Fitbit Flex now for about a month and it works great. The Flex, paired with MyFitness Pal keeps me on track. My device seems very reliable. I can’t speak to the Jawbone version.

    September 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm
  7. Amy Vieth

    Bought my hubby a band on June 1 for his birthday, died yesterday Sept 3.

    September 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm
  8. Karen

    I am on my 4th Up Band, 3 times replaced by Jawbone due to failures, they are a nice idea but hoping that they last a bit longer. I don’t wear mine in the shower and am careful however I am often out in the field and bumping it around.
    Its easy to track exercise however tracking food where we live is not easy as there is not a good registry of products from the Southern Hemisphere.

    September 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm
  9. Shawna Dunn

    About two weeks ago my band wouldn’t sync with my phone when I connected it after my morning run. It was charged and my phone was working fine with everything else. So I took it to Verizon and they had to do a hard reset and also have me log out of my app and reinstall the up app. It worked after that. But they couldn’t tell if the app needed the reset or the band.

    September 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm
  10. Stacy

    I got my UP band in mid-July and this past weekend it died. Nothing doing. No lights, no syncing with my iPhone, nothing. But the company has already approved my replacement and it should be on the way later today.

    I had been wearing mine in the shower, taking it off to do dishes when I remember, and taking it off for the pool or beach. I don’t think I’ll wear it in the shower anymore. Good to know they’re a little more sensitive than advertised and I just need to be more diligent.

    September 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm
  11. Attention 10,000-step-a-day UP wristband users: Is your band reliable enough? | Womens Health Trend Watch

    […] Simmer and Boil […]

    September 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

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