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benchmarkman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2015
29
14
So today I go outside and cut my grass for 40 minutes and my steps increased by 80 steps. Somehow it knows I did a bunch of movement and exercise because those numbers increased fairly close to accurate. I'm sure at a minimum I took at least 1,000 steps in 40 minutes of grass cutting with a human powered push lawn mower (Not a gas mower a pure push mower). That's less than 10 % accurate. Please also do say calibrate it with the outdoor walk suggestion, I've done multiple calibrations and it has not gotten any better. I've also tried the unpair/re-pair and the recalibrate and the step count is still way too low.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,254
Jacksonville, Florida
It is not the "swinging of the arms" that tells the watch you are walking, it is the actual steps it sense but mowing your lawn is really insulating your watch from this by holding on the handl of the mower.

Like it of not these devices, and I have had many of them, they can be fooled. I get well over 400 steps mowing my lawn and I am on a riding mower! They can be fooled. Try just taking a walk with your phone and you will find it to be darn accurate. The watch is not smart enough to make allowances for your holding onto the mower.
 

benchmarkman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2015
29
14
How do you think it counts your steps? It's not attached to your feet/legs. So, without arm swing it would be wrong

I'm not telling you that you are "walking wrong", I am telling you how all wrist mounted pedometers work.

Maybe the same way a pedometer does... Moto360 didn't seem to have that problem. This was just an extreme example. I can walk 20 minutes to work and I get 800 steps.
 

doboy

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,768
2,940
when riding a bike, it doesn't count my legs movement either. that's because my hand is stationary like yours on the damn lawn mower.
you're doing it wrong. :rolleyes:
Do you have your iPhone with you when you ride your bike? It may be the iPhone that's counting it.
 

benchmarkman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2015
29
14

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,835
5,432
Atlanta
I don't think walking for 40 minutes mow lawn and getting 80 steps is a "subjective" opinion. I also don't think walking 1.05 miles to work and getting 800 steps is subjective either. Those results are fact based and show the accuracy of the Apple Watch is very poor.
Again, arm swing is how the accelerometer measures steps. 1 complete arm swing equals 2 steps. This is physics and ALL pedometers work off movement. If you are not swinging (moving) your arm how do you expect the :apple:Watch to measure your steps?

If you want the :apple:watch (or more precisely the Activity/Health apps) to accurately count steps when using a lawn mower then you would need to carry your iPhone in your pocket to measure steps.
 

Bigdog9586

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2015
338
112
Again, arm swing is how the accelerometer measures steps. 1 complete arm swing equals 2 steps. This is physics and ALL pedometers work off movement. If you are not swinging (moving) your arm how do you expect the :apple:Watch to measure your steps?

If you want the :apple:watch (or more precisely the Activity/Health apps) to accurately count steps when using a lawn mower then you would need to carry your iPhone in your pocket to measure steps.
So how does the cycling work with no arm motion?
 

benchmarkman

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2015
29
14
Again, arm swing is how the accelerometer measures steps. 1 complete arm swing equals 2 steps. This is physics and ALL pedometers work off movement. If you are not swinging (moving) your arm how do you expect the :apple:Watch to measure your steps?

If you want the :apple:watch (or more precisely the Activity/Health apps) to accurately count steps when using a lawn mower then you would need to carry your iPhone in your pocket to measure steps.

I disagree with the arm swing. Another piece of evidence of why o say the step counter is horrible is because every morning I ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes and the Apple watch credits me with between 2900 - 3000 steps. There is no arm movement as I have my hands stationary on the handle bars during the whole working. The arm/hand usage is very similar to holding a lawn mower. It's crazy that in the case where I'm taking no steps I get around 3000 steps and in the case where I'm continually walking I get almost zero credit.
 
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matrix07

macrumors G3
Jun 24, 2010
8,226
4,893
That sounds like how Steve Jobs would answer. The watch isn't inaccurate you're just walking wrong.

He's right though. If your arms not swing and you know you'll walking you should use Outdoor Walking in Workout app. It will use the GPS on your iPhone to check your movement, and it will also measure your heartbeat more frequently.

This is in Apple support manual.
"Make sure you earn Exercise credit during walks by allowing the arm with your Apple Watch to swing naturally. For example, while walking your pet, let the arm with your watch swing freely while the other holds the leash.
If you need both hands while walking, for example to push a stroller, you can still earn Exercise credit by using the Workout app. The Activity app relies on arm motion and an accelerometer to track movement, whereas the Workout app uses a heart rate sensor and GPS.
"
 
Last edited:
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clemsonryan

macrumors newbie
Apr 14, 2015
24
2
Chelsea, AL
I disagree with the arm swing. Another piece of evidence of why o say the step counter is horrible is because every morning I ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes and the Apple watch credits me with between 2900 - 3000 steps. There is no arm movement as I have my hands stationary on the handle bars during the whole working. The arm/hand usage is very similar to holding a lawn mower. It's crazy that in the case where I'm taking no steps I get around 3000 steps and in the case where I'm continually walking I get almost zero credit.

My Apple Watch is very accurate when walking with my arms moving I have tested it against my old Fitbit Charge and both very close but when mountain biking I get over 20k steps when riding around 12 miles due to the vibration I'm guessing. When I mow I'm lucky to get any steps unless I have my phone in my pocket as well.
 

friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,415
1,265
Outdoor uses GPS. I have no idea what it does for indoor. I haven't tried it yet.

Indoor simply uses your heart rate. It's pretty accurate for me too... usually reading within 20 calories of what my stationary bike says (which also measures my heart rate through the handles).
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
14,628
7,809
I disagree with the arm swing. Another piece of evidence of why o say the step counter is horrible is because every morning I ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes and the Apple watch credits me with between 2900 - 3000 steps. There is no arm movement as I have my hands stationary on the handle bars during the whole working. The arm/hand usage is very similar to holding a lawn mower. It's crazy that in the case where I'm taking no steps I get around 3000 steps and in the case where I'm continually walking I get almost zero credit.

Are you using the cycling workout while riding your exercise bike? If so, ride without starting any workout and see if it still counts steps.
 
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Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,254
Jacksonville, Florida
Again, arm swing is how the accelerometer measures steps. 1 complete arm swing equals 2 steps. This is physics and ALL pedometers work off movement. If you are not swinging (moving) your arm how do you expect the :apple:Watch to measure your steps?

If you want the :apple:watch (or more precisely the Activity/Health apps) to accurately count steps when using a lawn mower then you would need to carry your iPhone in your pocket to measure steps.

Arm swing in not how the watch measures steps. It is the actua step, itself, that is measured by the watch. Try holding you arms against your body of putting your hands in your pocket and the watch will still count steps. The accelerometer actually feels each step.
 

exxxviii

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2015
1,423
555
I ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes and the Apple watch credits me with between 2900 - 3000 steps. There is no arm movement as I have my hands stationary on the handle bars during the whole working. The arm/hand usage is very similar to holding a lawn mower. It's crazy that in the case where I'm taking no steps I get around 3000 steps and in the case where I'm continually walking I get almost zero credit.
Maybe you have a defective watch.
 

maflynn

macrumors Haswell
May 3, 2009
73,682
43,706
I found my AW's pedometer to be decent, compared to a fitbit and MS band, its pretty close, that is all three seem to record nearly the same amount of steps.
 
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LIOC

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2011
95
30
Arm swing in not how the watch measures steps. It is the actua step, itself, that is measured by the watch. Try holding you arms against your body of putting your hands in your pocket and the watch will still count steps. The accelerometer actually feels each step.

This is in Apple support manual.
"Make sure you earn Exercise credit during walks by allowing the arm with your Apple Watch to swing naturally. For example, while walking your pet, let the arm with your watch swing freely while the other holds the leash.
If you need both hands while walking, for example to push a stroller, you can still earn Exercise credit by using the Workout app. The Activity app relies on arm motion and an accelerometer to track movement, whereas the Workout app uses a heart rate sensor and GPS.
"
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,254
Jacksonville, Florida
This is in Apple support manual.
"Make sure you earn Exercise credit during walks by allowing the arm with your Apple Watch to swing naturally. For example, while walking your pet, let the arm with your watch swing freely while the other holds the leash.
If you need both hands while walking, for example to push a stroller, you can still earn Exercise credit by using the Workout app. The Activity app relies on arm motion and an accelerometer to track movement, whereas the Workout app uses a heart rate sensor and GPS.
"

Like I said before stick your hands in your pocket while you walk and you watch will not miss a step.
 
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