06.17.2014Personal Tech

UP by Jawbone Helps eatPGH Writer Balance It All & Still Fit in Her Pants

As a food writer, eating is obviously a huge requirement of the job. Pittsburgh food writer Laura Zorch of eatPGH likes to keep that aspect of her life balanced with exercise. “I need to fit into my pants,” she jokes.

Her “typical day” is anything but typical. Whether she’s attending the grand opening of one of Pittsburgh’s newest restaurants, up until 4 a.m. writing a blog post (she says she works well under pressure), or up early to tape a segment of “Pittsburgh Today Live” (the daytime talk show on KDKA-TV, the CBS affiliate that regularly features eatPGH), there is one thing that stays consistent in Laura’s life: food.

When Laura began using UP by Jawbone, a system that monitors sleep, movement and eating with the use of a wristband that links to an app on your smartphone, she wasn’t sure what to expect.

The results surprised her. The fitness device made her keenly aware of how she moved, slept and ate.

With a full-time job in the arts where she sits at a desk most days, and her second job of writing about food, which requires her to sit – while eating at the hottest restaurants around town – Laura was most interested in tracking movement.

“It’s weird to actually see how little you move,” she said as she recalled a time when the app recorded her being inactive for 3.5 hours while working at the computer. “That’s not good for anybody.” In fact, there have been numerous reports and recent studies on the health hazards of sitting.

Thanks to UP, Laura is more aware of her daily activity. For example, the UP app tracks how many daily steps you take and allows you to set goals for yourself. If Laura was significantly under her daily step goal, she would go on a run to get closer to 14,000 steps, or eight miles. This feature also enhanced her training for the Pittsburgh half-marathon this past May.


Another eye-opening feature was the sleep tracker, which showed her how little sleep she was getting each night. “I used to be a sound sleeper. I was so good at sleeping,” said Laura, who recognizes her busy schedule and fear of missing out on fun activities often interferes with her shut-eye. She was made even more aware of that fact after using the UP device.


One feature of the UP that Laura decided not to use was the option to log your food intake. “I don’t need to see that in print,” she said with a laugh.

Laura isn’t naïve to the aftermath of being a food writer. She stresses the importance of balancing a healthy lifestyle with the job. She parks further away from her office or takes a walk during lunch to squeeze in some extra steps. Smart accessories like the UP by Jawbone can tell us so much about our health, and for those who are interested in how they’re doing, UP by Jawbone can monitor just that.

Disclosure: We loaned the UP by Jawbone to Laura.

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