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Spire – the device that reads between the lines

Worn next to your stomach or on your bra, the Spire tracks breathing patterns to figure out your stress levels. The thinking being that as your breathing changes, your state of tension changes. Shorter, quicker breathes mean tension, while the slower, steadier one’s indicate calm. From a month of testint, I estimate that this works most of the time. 
A few days after getting the Spire I had a flight to Dallas. I tell myself that flying doesn’t make me tense, but the Spire felt otherwise. If on average I’m tense for about 45 minutes a day, on flight day the number shot up to 152 minutes. 

Tension triggers cortisol releases, it affects sleep and longevity, and generally makes life kinda fun. Wearing the Spire has the benefit of focusing on your tension levels, which is probably the most important step in cutting them down. Quantifying tension is a great twist on wearable trackers. 
But there’s a hidden gem in the Spire that might be more valuable. 

This is the only tracker I’ve tested that puts your sedentary numbers front and center. 152 minutes of tension is bad, but 497 sedentary (much of that being flight and commute time) scared me more. Sitting all day leads to a growing snowball of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal issues. Darwin pointing his cross hairs on the kale-eating, Kombucha-drinking office worker, myself included. 

This tracker reminded me to take bathroom stretch breaks throughout the day. It forced me to take longer lunch walks before running back to stuff my face by my computer. To get off one stop earlier and walk the few extra blocks after work. It’s not just walking more, but sitting less. 

The Spire reminds us that healthy living is more complicated than hitting 10,000 steps. If you jog three miles after work it’s great, but if you spend 80% of your waking hours sitting, standing, and laying, it’s probably not enough. Life is about nuanced proportion and balance, and Spire is a unique wearable reminding us of that depth. 

P.S. – This wasn’t relevant to the review, but all wearables that transmit with Bluetooth make me nervous. We don’t know the invisible impact those waves might be having on our bodies. In the case of Spire, keeping a Bluetooth Transmitter around the breasts or genetalia might not be a good idea, especially with the rates of Breast and Prostate cancer as they are. For that reason I don’t use it as a daily wearable, instead wearing it intermittently. This allows me to minimize potential Bluetooth exposure, and keep the data flow from growing stale and ignored. 

P.P.S. – It would be so cool if Spyro was their mascot. 

Published inBiohacking

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