Counting steps whilst indoor cycling?

iMacDragon

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Oct 18, 2008
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Does watch appear to be counting steps for anyone else whilst doing indoor cycling on exercise bike? Seems logical to me this should just be disabled whilst doing activity programme other than running.
 

gsmornot

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Sep 29, 2014
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I don't ride indoors but do ride outside. I wear my watch riding and my phone is in my center jersey pocket. Outdoors it will count flights of steps on my rides. I will come home with 15-20 flights or more most days so I just removed that from my dashboard. You can do a manual edit in Health to remove the entries to keep everything clean but I just don't.

Should have said too, my phone prior to the watch counted flights of steps. I don't think the watch has the ability since it does not have a barometric pressure sensor. Are you wearing your phone somewhere on your body as you ride? If so, since you're indoors, try setting it off like on the bike if you can. Maybe the watch will count flights climbed but not sure how it would by itself know.
 

Julien

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Jun 30, 2007
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...Maybe the watch will count flights climbed but not sure how it would by itself know.
The :apple:Watch doesn't have a barometer. Flights are from your iPhone 6 (iPhone 5 doesn't either so you MUST have a 6). You are getting 'Fights' counted because of changing elevation while you ride. The OP (or anyone) would not have this happen on a stationary bike (unless it is on an elevator).:eek:
 

PilotC150

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Apr 24, 2015
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I don't have any issues with steps during bike rides, even my mountain bike rides don't seem to give too many extra steps. I do end up with 100+ flights of stairs, though with all the elevation changes, which I think is a bit inflated since I certainly don't climb 1000 feet.
 

gsmornot

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Sep 29, 2014
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The :apple:Watch doesn't have a barometer. Flights are from your iPhone 6 (iHone 5 doesn't either). You are getting 'Fights' counted because of changing elevation. The OP would not have this on a stationary bike (unless it is on an elevator).:eek:
Right I explained that but really didn't read the question correctly. They asked about counting steps and somehow I went into a tangent about counting flights which was on my mind because it bugs me the phone does that as I ride. Anyhow, steps, yes it is most likely counting steps on the watch if the arm is moving as they pedal. Not the same issue I have since my hands stay somewhere on my bars. Sorry for the tangent. :)
 

Julien

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Jun 30, 2007
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...it is most likely counting steps on the watch if the arm is moving as they pedal. No the same issue I have since my hands stay somewhere on my bars. Sorry for the tangent. :)
See my first post (2ed post in thread).;)
 

maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Like most fitness devices it uses motion of the arm to track steps, that being said, you can't really count steps riding a bike. I noticed with my fitbit surge that when I'm driving my car and moving my arm, it counts it as steps, so the AW may be similar and mistaking arm movement for steps.

With that said, when I ride my bike with the Surge, the bike app, uses the GPS and does not count any steps.
 

iMacDragon

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Oct 18, 2008
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I'll keep an eye on it today to make sure that's what it's doing, but I'm pretty sure. and I'd call it a bug, as it's the watch doing the activity tracking too it should know to ignore steps when actively doing something pedalling related..
 

Julien

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Jun 30, 2007
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I'll keep an eye on it today to make sure that's what it's doing, but I'm pretty sure. and I'd call it a bug, as it's the watch doing the activity tracking too it should know to ignore steps when actively doing something pedalling related..
Not sure what the 'problem' is unless you are just being obsessive about the data points (and a I can relate to that;)). Even if doing a lot of arm swinging I doubt the number of steps would be significant. Also they would not likely add or subtract to or from any Move, Exercise or Stand metrics. If anything I see it as a plus so you can see a higher step count which is more closely reflects your daily activity (I like to see *10,000 steps).

I'm going to do indoor cardio today and will give the stationary bike about 20 minutes. Indoor cardio machines bore me to death and I must change every 15 to 20 minutes. I'll note the before and after steps I get and post back.

* As a side note: As a runner I always feel 'cheated' for not getting credit for enough steps when running since your stride length is longer.o_O
 

iMacDragon

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Well, yesterday I was credited with 10000+ steps, in reality I probably did maybe 3000-5000 I think. I just don't like data count being that far off. I'm sure if hands are kept stationary on handlebars this probably won't be a problem, but I prefer a more relaxed comfortable style most of time.
 

Julien

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Jun 30, 2007
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Well, yesterday I was credited with 10000+ steps, in reality I probably did maybe 3000-5000 I think. I just don't like data count being that far off. I'm sure if hands are kept stationary on handlebars this probably won't be a problem, but I prefer a more relaxed comfortable style most of time.
That sound excessive (how long are you biking?) but let's get some exact hard data today to determine just how much. I will do a good bit of arm moment to askew to the high end.

Best to take a screen shot before and after.
 

iMacDragon

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Oct 18, 2008
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I can confirm that watch is still definitely counting steps despite doing indoor cycling activity.

30 mins before and after:

IMG_1932.PNG IMG_1933.PNG

And thinking about it, yesterday probably was under 1000 actual steps, I only really went around shop as other activity to cycling.
 
Last edited:

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
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I just did 22 minutes on a LifeFitness upright and did what I consider a good bit of arm swing and I got:

Steps: 448
Distance: 0.21 miles (0.34K)
Active Kcal: 175

You must be swinging your arms rapidly for the entire time, because your arm swing is equal to about 3.5mph walking for 30 minutes.:eek:




 

iMacDragon

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They're not so much swinging as bouncing slightly with each revolution I guess. Enough to register as a footstep.
 

friedmud

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Jul 11, 2008
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I've never seen this... and I sometimes cycle with my hands by my side.

Are you starting and Indoor Cycling Workout in the Workouts App? That should keep it from counting steps...
 

iMacDragon

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Original poster
Oct 18, 2008
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I've never seen this... and I sometimes cycle with my hands by my side.

Are you starting and Indoor Cycling Workout in the Workouts App? That should keep it from counting steps...
Yes, I am. That was my whole complaint that when doing so it should automatically discount steps.
 

Night Spring

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Jul 17, 2008
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I've been wondering, when you ride a bike, you pedal, right? So wouldn't the pedaling be analogous to taking steps? And ideally, wouldn't you want a fitness tracker to track how many revolutions you made? Of course, tracking the numbers of times you pedaled isn't really possible with a tracker worn on your arm, but if the number of steps the watch added while cycling was somewhat consistent (the longer you cycle, the more steps you get), why wouldn't you want it to count steps, as you ARE doing some movement with your legs, after all?
 

iMacDragon

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 18, 2008
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UK
I've been wondering, when you ride a bike, you pedal, right? So wouldn't the pedaling be analogous to taking steps? And ideally, wouldn't you want a fitness tracker to track how many revolutions you made? Of course, tracking the numbers of times you pedaled isn't really possible with a tracker worn on your arm, but if the number of steps the watch added while cycling was somewhat consistent (the longer you cycle, the more steps you get), why wouldn't you want it to count steps, as you ARE doing some movement with your legs, after all?
Not counted as steps, certainly, as it throws off the count of how far walked in a day rather a lot.. It could be a useful separate stat if it could be accurately tracked, perhaps. But, it can't, so either way it's a bug.
 

friedmud

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Jul 11, 2008
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I've been wondering, when you ride a bike, you pedal, right? So wouldn't the pedaling be analogous to taking steps? And ideally, wouldn't you want a fitness tracker to track how many revolutions you made? Of course, tracking the numbers of times you pedaled isn't really possible with a tracker worn on your arm, but if the number of steps the watch added while cycling was somewhat consistent (the longer you cycle, the more steps you get), why wouldn't you want it to count steps, as you ARE doing some movement with your legs, after all?
I agree, in principle, that tracking number of revolutions on a bike would be interesting... but I wouldn't want it affecting my step count.

Number of revolutions isn't really a great metric either (although, more data is always better!)... because what you really want to know is how much _power_ you're creating (usually in Watts). Most indoor bikes will report that and there are trackers you can get added to your real bikes that get it too.
 

brilin88

macrumors newbie
Mar 27, 2017
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0
Does watch appear to be counting steps for anyone else whilst doing indoor cycling on exercise bike? Seems logical to me this should just be disabled whilst doing activity programme other than running.
[doublepost=1490641676][/doublepost]The best way to get steps out of a bike ride, strap it to your leg if you can, it will track each rotation as a step or 2...used to do that with my fitbit and will today with my apple watch....gives you more of an accurate assessment for the motion since your mostly using your legs not your arms, cept your heart rate monitor won't be accurate.
 
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