Apple Watch faces

Does Apple Watch Count Steps If Arms Aren’t Moving?

Apple Watch Series features some of the best and most accurate smartwatches in the world. Apple Watch also comes with a lot of sensors that help it to accurately track your activities, but the question is: Does Apple Watch count steps if arms aren’t moving? Let’s find out.

Apple Watch steps

Apple Watch comes with a lot of sensors, but the two sensors which help the device with tracking your position and step counts are Accelerometer & GPS Tracker.

Another post that will interest you is about the Does Fitbit Count Steps if Arms Aren’t Moving?

The watch uses the data from both sensors to determine your steps & distance.

If your arms aren’t moving, the watch will be able to track your step counts, but it won’t be very accurate.

Does Apple Watch Count Steps If Arms Aren’t Moving?

Apple watch on wrist

Just like other smartwatches out there, Apple Watch also comes with a lot of sensors that help the device with tracking your activities. It comes with Accelerometer & GPS tracker, which help the watch with tracking your workouts & other activities.

Accelerometer basically tracks your movements, and when you wear your watch on your wrist and start swinging back & forth, it starts detecting movement and track your steps. GPS Tracker connects with the GPS system to track your movement and provides the data to the Apple Watch. Then, the Apple Watch uses this data to determine your steps, distance, and other metrics.

walking apple watch

When you are walking, but your arms aren’t moving, it will be difficult for the Accelerometer to track your steps accurately. The sensor might track some steps, but the step count won’t be as accurate as of the normal step count when you swing your arms.

So, if you are going for a walk or run, try to swing your arm naturally so that the tracker could track your steps. Also, make sure that your GPS tracking is enabled so that Apple could use the GPS to track your activity.

Why Does My Apple Watch Count Steps When I’m Not Moving?

apple steps

It is a common problem with every smartwatch, and Apple Watch is no exception.

Apple Smartwatch comes with the Accelerometer, which can detect the movement in any direction, and when it detects any movement even when you are not moving, it may add the step to the step count.

However, the Apple watch comes with the Algorithm, which is designed to discard the false steps, and few false steps don’t affect the total step count.

Here is a related, common question that I have recently answered – Will Apple Watch count steps if in a pocket?

Can I Shake My Apple Watch For Steps?

As the Apple Watch uses the data from Accelerometer & GPS Tracker to track your movement and step counts, it’s possible that Apple may record some steps if you swing the arm in a way when you naturally walk.

In most cases, it won’t record the steps because, according to GPS, you will not be moving.

How To Improve The Accuracy Of My Apple Watch?

Along with the data from sensors, Apple watch also uses your personal data to accurately track your activities. So, if you want to ensure that the Apple Watch accurately tracks your activities, it is important that you entered the correct information such as your weight, height, age, and gender.

Also, if you have Apple Watch Series 1 or earlier, you will need to calibrate your watch to make sure that it accurately track you. You can calibrate by walking & running at your normal pace as it will provide the reference data set to the watch, and it will improve the accuracy.

The Apple Watch Series 2 and later don’t need calibration, and can accurately track your activities using your personal data and data from the sensors.

Does Moving Your Arms Count As Steps?

Yes, when you wear your Apple Watch on your wrist, and you go for a walk, the Accelerometer uses the movement of your arm to determine your pace, steps, and other data.

Apple Watch also uses the data from the GPS tracker to accurately track your movement. Normally, when you move your arms back and forth, the watch counts it as 2 steps.


That’s all, folks. I hope this guide helped you find answers to common questions. If you have any further questions, please let me know in the comment section below.

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