Inaccurate activity while pushing stroller?

greyhounds4

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 11, 2014
61
16
I have been taking my Grandbaby on walks in her stroller. I have found that my Apple Watch is grossly under estimating both my distance and steps while on these walks. I assume it is because I have both hands on the handlebars of the stroller pushing. This happens even when I set the exercise as outdoor walk.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve this? Pushing the stroller one handed is not really an option with my stroller. Thanks!
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,759
15,219
Jacksonville, Florida
I have been taking my Grandbaby on walks in her stroller. I have found that my Apple Watch is grossly under estimating both my distance and steps while on these walks. I assume it is because I have both hands on the handlebars of the stroller pushing. This happens even when I set the exercise as outdoor walk.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve this? Pushing the stroller one handed is not really an option with my stroller. Thanks!
Both hands on the stroller should not negate the GPS on your phone. Is your phone with you? The GPS should very accurately show the distance traveled.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,266
4,213
Atlanta
Both hands on the stroller should not negate the GPS on your phone. Is your phone with you? The GPS should very accurately show the distance traveled.
The problem is Apple doesn't use GPS mapping for distance. It uses the iPhone's GPS data to calibrate the accelerometer of the :apple:Watch 'on the fly'. This means you still need arm swing to register accurate distance and steps.

For the OP you probably should just use the Other Workout. If you want to know distance carry your iPhone and use an App like Runkepper that has GPS mapping. Also if you want steps put the iPhone in your pocket.
 

za9ra22

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2003
522
83
It's not 'arm swing' the watch is counting, it's the complex set of movements the body makes when taking a step. The problem with the watch, and all other wrist-worn activity trackers I have tried, is that when the arm it is being worn on is attached to an object such as a stroller, shopping cart, or even a heavy weight being carried, those complex movements it needs to detect are in effect being damped out. The result is a significant undercount in steps, and underestimation of the activity.
 
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Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,074
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I wonder what will happen if you dangle the watch from the stroller bar with a string or something so that it swings. Maybe that might simulate arm swings?
 
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Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,074
5,173
It wouldn't pick up heart rate, though.
Right now, it doesn't measure HR unless you are completely still, or you are running a workout. So swinging it from the bar should be good for inclementing the Move circle and step count. If you want to move the Exercise circle, then you could use the Other workout, but that is problematic because it'll keep crediting you for exercise and calories even if you stop moving, as I discussed in this thread:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/other-workout-registers-excerise-while-sitting.1888709/
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,266
4,213
Atlanta
Right now, it doesn't measure HR unless you are completely still, or you are running a workout. So swinging it from the bar should be good for inclementing the Move circle and step count. If you want to move the Exercise circle, then you could use the Other workout, but that is problematic because it'll keep crediting you for exercise and calories even if you stop moving, as I discussed in this thread:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/other-workout-registers-excerise-while-sitting.1888709/
The :apple:Watch must be on your wrist to be activated. Take it off an it becomes inactive and swinging on a bar won't count.;)
 
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Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,074
5,173
The :apple:Watch must be on your wrist to be activated. Take it off an it becomes inactive and swinging on a bar won't count.;)
Mine stays active when I take it off -- but I forgot, I haven't set a password on it, because I'm not using Apple pay.
 
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Mr. Buzzcut

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2011
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487
Ohio
Wow, where are all the nuts who were on here trying to convince everyone the watch could track your location by accelerometer alone?
 

friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,282
1,021
I have found that with the phone in my pocket my step count and calorie count is very accurate, even with my arms on a basket/trolley/cart.

The phone has its own way of counting steps and I think that it can work together with the Watch to keep counting steps even when the watch isn't.

I'll try to do some more scientific tests of this soon.
 

cowfish

macrumors member
Jul 23, 2009
46
16
I have found that with the phone in my pocket my step count and calorie count is very accurate, even with my arms on a basket/trolley/cart.

The phone has its own way of counting steps and I think that it can work together with the Watch to keep counting steps even when the watch isn't.

I'll try to do some more scientific tests of this soon.

Yep, in the health app it shows that it pulls data from both the apple watch and iPhone. I used the iPhone to count steps long before the watch came out. If you have your phone in your pocket it will work much better. Having your arms stationary on the handle does not allow the watch to sense the combination of arm movement and up and down impact while walking.
 

conifer

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2014
139
34
So I'm not credited for exercise while using stationary indoor bike even though selected indoor bike in workout and my heart rate is up. Is this why--because my hands are on the handlebars? Should I be putting phone in pants pocket so it sense the legs moving?
But it has a category for indoor cycling so you would think it figured this out.
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,266
4,213
Atlanta
So I'm not credited for exercise while using stationary indoor bike even though selected indoor bike in workout and my heart rate is up. Is this why--because my hands are on the handlebars? Should I be putting phone in pants pocket so it sense the legs moving?
But it has a category for indoor cycling so you would think it figured this out.
Of course not but are you elevating your HR enough and keeping it there? You say you have your HR 'up but what is your average HR on your Indoor Bike Workout?

I'm primarily a running but on off days do very easy effort cardio machines a couple of times a week. I also get really board and switch them up (Stair Climber, Elliptical, Treadmill, Stair Stepper,...) every few minutes, so I never can put more than 20 minutes on one. Here is an Indoor Bike ride from Thursday (iPhone never in my pocket for Indoor Biking) and as with every single time (probably could post 10 Indoor Bike rides) I get full credit.

 
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cowfish

macrumors member
Jul 23, 2009
46
16
Indoor cycling should be fine, as said above. It looks like that uses total time and heart rate to determine calorie burn vs. the accelerometers and gps used for walking/running.
 

conifer

macrumors regular
Oct 30, 2014
139
34
Well the 38 on watchOS 1.0 does not register exercise with indoor cycling, tried a bunch of times, unpairing and resetting and no exercise and very few calories.

I had another watch in the house, a 42 on 1.01 and using the exact same cycling workout, it gave me credit for all of it.

Interesting that on the 38, choosing "other" while cycling did register more calories and gave me credit for the exercise, similar to the 42. So I wonder if this is a software issue. I have not calibrated on either watch, did not seem to matter for the 42.

I would like to stay on 1.0 as I am interested in heart rate while moving although not considered "exercise"--disappointing.
 
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dhlizard

macrumors G4
Mar 16, 2009
10,214
119
The Jailbreak Community
I have been taking my Grandbaby on walks in her stroller. I have found that my Apple Watch is grossly under estimating both my distance and steps while on these walks. I assume it is because I have both hands on the handlebars of the stroller pushing. This happens even when I set the exercise as outdoor walk.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to improve this? Pushing the stroller one handed is not really an option with my stroller. Thanks!
My wife has experienced this while shopping/pushing a shopping cart.
 
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