How can I improve steps accuracy?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Rugburn, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Rugburn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    #1
    Ive had my watch for a couple of days, and today was the first day I took it to work. I always like to track my daily steps. In the past I have been using my iPhone in my pocket. Now with this on my wrist, I'm not sure if I can fix its accuracy. Maybe if I understood how it tracks steps.

    Day 1 at home the watch seemed to be pretty accurate to what my iPhone used to read. (Normal housework, running errands, 45 min morning walk)

    Day 2 at work... there are 2 parts of my morning that differ in activity and motion. I think having this watch on my arm might be throwing off the count.

    For Part 1... 2 hours I unload boxes of clothes and hang them on racks. So my arms are using lots of motion. Mostly standing in place, but working at a brisk pace. And then 20-30 minutes of very brisk walking while we take racks to the back of a large store. I logged 4500 steps , which is on par with what my iPhone in pocket used to show. So the arm movement didn't seem to affect its accuracy.

    Part 2 of my day, is 3 hours mostly sitting at a desk counting money and doing computer work. It's a fairly quick pace with my hands, but I am sitting down. And no large arm movements like the first part of my day. Normally I'm lucky if I log 100 steps during this part on the day. Today I had the watch on my wrist and it logged an additional 2700 steps!

    So what's going on? I was pleasantly surprised that the watch was accurate in part 1 of my day, even though I had a lot of arm movements. I was worried it wouldn't be accurate, but it was very closed to what an iPhone in the pocket would record. But the sitting for 3 hours and logging 2700 steps??

    Is there a way to recalibrate or fix the watch? Any other tips?
     
  2. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    Recording steps is straight forward. You swing your arm forward and backwards once and it counts as 2 steps. There is nothing to calibrate, modify or change about this.
     
  3. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Location:
    near Boston, MA
    #3
    How hard are you counting that money?
     
  4. Rugburn thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    #4
    Lol... pretty hard I guess. I'm up against a time constraint, so...

    I can't imagine I'm swinging arms that much. I'd liken it to playing cards. I'm still surprised that action collected so many steps.
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    If you really want to count steps, nothing beats a pedometer strapped to your belt. I think the only location better than your hip would be on your foot.

    The problem with wrist based pedometers is that steps are based on arm movement. You get extra steps credited for moving your hands a lot. But then you get penalized if you're pushing a cart, stroller, or lawn mower.

    I think Apple doesn't focus on steps as a fitness metric precisely because it's very difficult to accurately count steps using a wrist device.
     
  6. Newtons Apple, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017

    Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #6
    Try to not expect it to be accurate and just use the number to compare from day to day. I get over 2000 steps mowing a couple of acres on the riding mower, my arms are not swinging and just holding onto one of the two control levers, so it is not just swinging arms that counts.

    Just grocery shopping and if you keep your hand on the grocery cart, or not, makes a huge difference.
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #7
    I suspect that your riding mower's steering wheel vibrates enough to register as steps. With my push mower, I proabably register half the steps that I actually take.
     
  8. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #8
    That is my point. Getting the steps accurate is near impossible unless the device was located on the bottom of your foot.

    Everyone needs to take the number they get with a grain of salt and just use them for comparison purposes, day to day.
     

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