The LEAF Activity Trackers


The Good, The Bad, but the not so Ugly

Well ... that was an interesting month.

I've been testing the latest in activity trackers, health trackers, smart jewellery. The LEAF.

Advertised as a health tracker for your body and mind, it tracks your daily activity, sleep, mindfulness and menstrual cycles.

And it claims to 'help you discover your hidden potential'.

Intrigued?

Well I certainly was.

Good looking, focused on females and an all-encompassing health tracker. That sounds right up my street.

So, is it going to revolutionise your life?

Should you run out and get one?

Well, let me tell you how I got on ...

The LEAF activity tracker - the good and the not so good

As with any new gadget the LEAF has its good points, and its bad.

The good points

The Look

The LEAF is beautiful.

If I'm honest with myself, it is the reason I was so interested in getting one. Yes, I used my hard earned money to buy it.

And when it turned up, I wasn't disappointed.

It does look as good in reality. I've had quite a few 'I love your necklace' and 'wow, gorgeous bracelet' comments.

And it is really good quality.

I've worn it all month. Sleeping, working, exercising it's been attached to me. Either around my neck, wrist or clipped onto my clothing.

I've even worn it crawling across a field in my weekly bootcamp session.

It didn't break. It didn't even fall off.

It is gorgeous.

The activity tracker

I started getting a bit obsessed with activity tracking when I realised my phone (iPhone 6) tracks steps and distance travelled.

But the problem with using my phone was that I couldn't take it everywhere with me.

It's a bit cumbersome. And you just look a bit weird when you take your phone to the loo with you in work.

So using the LEAF has been really good.

I've been able to keep it on for all of the activity I've done over the past month. Walking, pole dancing, bootcamp, playing badminton.

It's been a bit of an eye opener.

Both to how much I move around, and at the same time, how little I move around.

What I mean by that is ...

I exercise/workout/train quite regularly. I tend to do something every day. And when I do, I give it my all. Well, at least as much as I can give that day.

But that's about it.

After my workouts I tend to be very sedentary.

Sitting in front of a computer writing blog posts, or when I'm at my day job, tracking budgets, spreadsheets and e-mailing people.

I don't move a lot during the day. Which is also where the LEAF comes in handy.

The inactivity alert

I can easily lose track of time. Especially when I get engrossed in what I'm doing.

So having a little vibrating reminder that I've been sitting too long has been really useful. It's helped me to focus on spreading my activity throughout the day, rather than focusing it just in my workout sessions.

And I do feel better for that. You can set the alert to whatever suits you.

I had mine set to the highest level, so it went off every hour if I didn't move.

Only in the day though. There is also a do not disturb function, when you can set the times you don't want the LEAF to disturb you.

So it won't keep you up all the night.

The not so good points

The inactivity alert

Believe it or not, the most annoying thing about the LEAF was the inactivity alert.

What? But you just said ...

I know, I know a little contradictory.

But, I found myself yelling 'how much more do you want me to do?' and 'oh f**k off'.

Yes, the inactivity alert is helpful and is a good feature, but when it goes off while you are walking, or just after sitting down when you've been moving around cleaning for hours, it does get a tad annoying.

It did get me questioning the accuracy.

I mean, if it thought I'd been inactive for a hour, then it must have missed quite a bit of my activity.

So I tested it.

I tested it against my phone, which I know is accurate. And I tested it as a necklace, bracelet and clip.

It's really not that far off.

There were a few discrepancies throughout the day, but on the whole both the LEAF and my phone came out the same, or close enough.

So I was left shouting at it.

The period tracker

Let me just clarify.

It's not that I didn't like the period tracker, or that it wasn't useful. I suppose it was quite handy to see when I was due on.

It's more that I thought it was going to be more intuitive than it was.

You put in the date of your last period, how many days you are on, and how long your cycle is. It then works out when you are ovulating, when you are fertile and when you're due on next.

Really, it's nothing more than a calendar. And you could quite easily do it with a calendar.

To make such a big deal about it in the advertising, I did expect more. And so did a few of my friends who were also thinking about getting one.

They assumed it measured body temperature to tell when you're ovulating. It doesn't.

The sleep tracker

I didn't find the sleep tracker very accurate at all.

There hasn't been a day over the last month where I haven't had to change the wake up time, sleep time or both.

In some cases, it has been over two hours out.

You also can't record if you woke up during the night. It might detect that you woke up, but it doesn't do that much.

I woke up at 2 o'clock this morning and was awake for a couple of hours. But according to the LEAF I had a amazing 8 hrs + of calm sleep.

So I should be feeling well rested and ready to take on the day.

I don't.

LEAF activity trackers - overall feeling

To be honest, mostly I was left feeling a little flat about the LEAF.

I wanted to love it. But I didn't.

It felt a bit like there was information for information sake. There's no way of interpreting that information.

Let me explain ...

Last night the LEAF informs me I got 8 hrs + calm sleep. But I woke up really groggy and I didn't want to get ot of bed.

I know there have been previous night's where I've had less sleep but I've felt better. Ready to take on the world.

So what differed?

Did I get more deep sleep. less deep sleep? I have no idea.

Why do I have no idea?

Because I can't remember the date I woke up feeling great so I can't compare. There's nothing in the LEAF to record how you are feeling.

If we're honest, most of us make healthy lifestyle changes to improve the way we feel or the way we look.

So to have activity trackers that don't record how you feel is a bit lacking, imho.

So I'm left a little flat.

No more in control of my health and how I'm feeling. No more confident. No more beautiful than I did before purchasing the LEAF.


So would I recommend it?

Not at the moment.

It is really pricey and there are a ton of activity trackers on the market that are no where near the price of the LEAF.

You might like it as a piece of jewellery. And that would be fair enough, it is gorgeous. But I'd think of it as just a piece of jewellery and any information you get is a bonus.

It is quite a new product and there might be some development in the pipeline. But at the moment, I'd put my money elsewhere.

If you are interested in getting one check out Bellabeat.

So do you already have the LEAF, or any of the other activity trackers?

What are your thoughts? Do you love it? Could you live without it?

Let us know by commenting below.

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