Can technology make you healthier? - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Can technology make you healthier?

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Someone is always watching Nic Bell.

Something, actually.

The gadget he wears on his right wrist is designed to make Bell watch himself.

Bell uses one of several new activity-tracking devices,  a sort of after-market biological clock for the human body.

His, an Up Band by Jawbone, monitors how he eats, sleeps and moves and then stores the information on an app to help him make better decisions.

"It helps me kind of visualize what I'm supposed to be doing during the day,'' said Bell. "Everyone has this idealized version of, oh, I'm active, I do all this stuff during the day, I don't really need anything telling me what to do. But it showed me how active I wasn't being.''

Bell decided to use an Up Band because he felt sleep deprived during graduate school.

"I was busy all the time,'' he says, "I wasn't sleeping enough. I was always in a bad mood.''

The information he gathered  helped him increase his sleep from four to seven hours a night, but another feature that is equally irritating and effective reminds the user to get up and move around.

"You can set an alarm if you're not moving enough, it'll buzz on your arm,'' said Bell. "It's really annoying. You can do it every 15 minutes, every half hour, every hour.''

In his job as a web content producer for WTOC, Bell spends a lot of time sitting in front of a computer. But because of what his Up band tells him, not as much time as he used to.

"Probably the biggest thing is I'm not sitting in the same place, I'm not staying sedentary,'' says Bell. "I'm getting up, I'm going to the water fountain. I'm going to take a walk every now and then. I'm just becoming more active.''

Combined with tracking calories consumed and burned, Bell says he has noticed a difference from employing his personal Big Brother system.

"I'm in a better mood all the time,'' he says. "I feel healthier and I guess, regardless of whether or not it's actually working, that to me is probably one of the biggest benefits, it's made me feel better.''

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