I have a collection of running watches that have served me well in past couple years. Jawbone is my favourite one among all of these GPS devices. For me, it has been a really useful tool for pacing and for monitoring distance or the sleep detection. At first, I thought GPS devices are brilliant tools, as long as they are used wisely. However, you never know these GPS devices still have drawbacks before they eventually do damages to your body. For Jawbone, the user needs to download an App which is a social network platform, people who use Jawbone all have their own data saved into this platform. Once you log into this APP, you will be asked to add your friends who are also using this device on your page, then here we start the competition with our friends.

Comparing our progress against our friends or others is not bad at all, it definitely gives us more motivations. However, the obsession of GPS figures and stats can easily mislead people. For example, I plan to have a long, slow distance recovery run, but I am feeling good (not tired at all) while my watch is telling me my pace is good, what I will do next is pushing myself and increasing the score(distance). At the end of the workout, the figures are admirable; I upload them and let my friends admire. But I missed the point of run, which was to recover.

Another drawback of using GPS fitness devices is being obsessive with GPS tracking, especially with making data public. People keep training to keep their log looking good, especially on public social platform such as Jawbone APP where their friends are watching what they are doing. However, Sydney physiotherapist Mark Green and his colleagues at the Body Mechanic have found a correlation between the amount of data people record and their likelihood of getting injured.


“It’s anecdotal in the clinic, but you can almost put money on the people who come in with overuse injuries having trained with two or three different devices recording their sessions,” Green says.

So, while we are frequently using GPS fitness devices such as Jawbone or fitbit, we still have to listen to our body, try to avoid any overuse. Also, stop pushing yourself if your knee is sore, you should probably have a day off and try to work out what’s wrong with it.