Tracking steps wrong — TomTom Community

Tracking steps wrong

MordzyMordzy Posts: 12 [Master Explorer]
edited January 2019 in TomTom Adventurer
Hi, I purchased my watch yesterday, I boxed, updated to recent firmware and then put it on my wrist.

I then sat on the floor and played toy cars with my son for an hour. Checking my watch afterwards I'd done 1246 steps and burned over 200 calories. I was a little supprised it had counted so much and it made me wonder how accurate it is.

I'd not been waving my arms round in a crazy fashion. I'd literally been sat. I'd not chosen an activity on the watch either.

Have I done anything wrong or can anyone give me some advice to icreace accuracy.

Thanks

Comments

  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,169
    Superusers
    Mordzy wrote:
    Hi, I purchased my watch yesterday, I boxed, updated to recent firmware and then put it on my wrist.

    I then sat on the floor and played toy cars with my son for an hour. Checking my watch afterwards I'd done 1246 steps and burned over 200 calories. I was a little supprised it had counted so much and it made me wonder how accurate it is.

    I'd not been waving my arms round in a crazy fashion. I'd literally been sat. I'd not chosen an activity on the watch either.

    Have I done anything wrong or can anyone give me some advice to icreace accuracy.

    Thanks

    The calories is expected, if not that many. If you were alive and breathing, digesting, etc. then you were burning calories and that is what a 24/7 activity tracker is supposed to be tracking. It computes a BMR based on your gender, height, weight, etc. and takes this along with steps and sports activities to come up with calories burned. So during that hour you did burn calories. Did you set all of your personal settings in MySports and sync the watch to update everything so it is basing calories off the proper height, weight, gender, etc. This is exactly what it and all other activity trackers are designed to do. In my experience it is generally pretty accurate (or as accurate as BMR based calculations can be as they are based on averages).

    For the steps, it is detecting steps based on movement and incidental movement of your arm will be enough to trigger steps. It is not an exact science, it is meant to be directional guidance. For every extra step it picks up from brushing your teeth, or moving your arms while talking or driving, it is missing steps when you are walking pushing a cart or walking with your hands in your pockets. Again, it is meant to give you a directional view if you are active enough, not an exact count. I personally find it directionally accurate, in that during a day I am fairly active it is picking up more steps that on sedentary days. If it is off by a few hundred or a thousand steps I am not concerned, if I am several thousand short it means I need to get up and move around more. However, 1,246 does seem like a lot from just sitting for an hour. Did you check the progress tab on MySports and see if all those steps were in that hour? There may have been data on the watch already that was adding to the totals.

    As far as accuracy, wear the watch on your non-dominant hand so it picks up less extraneous movement and understand that it is meant to be directionally accurate, it is not going to count every single step exactly. It is meant to give you trends over time to see if your activity level is increasing, decreasing or staying the same so you can react accordingly.

    I hope this helped answer your question. If so, please mark it as a solution so others can look for it if they have the same question.
  • MordzyMordzy Posts: 12 [Master Explorer]
    Thanks for the very detailed reply. The calorie burn makes sense. Today is my second day and I've done 18,000 steps, 2,823 calories and 8.61 miles. I've been at Center Parcs with my son who is 4. I've walked about a mile. And swimming for 2 hours though the swimming is more like splashing and messing around since he's young so I didn't select the swimming program. That and my usual burn for my age, weight and height as you mention. I'm no expert but it just seems quite a way out... does the distance come from gps? If so does it know when you're driving... ie doing 70mph :)

    It's also on my left hand. I'm right handed

    Either way thanks for the swift reply! Great support. Hopefully I'll be able to understand it a bit more after a few days and some support. Love the watch though, hardly know it's on my wrist
  • tfarabaughtfarabaugh Posts: 16,169
    Superusers
    Mordzy wrote:
    Thanks for the very detailed reply. The calorie burn makes sense. Today is my second day and I've done 18,000 steps, 2,823 calories and 8.61 miles. I've been at Center Parcs with my son who is 4. I've walked about a mile. And swimming for 2 hours though the swimming is more like splashing and messing around since he's young so I didn't select the swimming program. That and my usual burn for my age, weight and height as you mention. I'm no expert but it just seems quite a way out... does the distance come from gps? If so does it know when you're driving... ie doing 70mph :)

    It's also on my left hand. I'm right handed

    Either way thanks for the swift reply! Great support. Hopefully I'll be able to understand it a bit more after a few days and some support. Love the watch though, hardly know it's on my wrist

    Distance in the activity tracker is based on steps times your presumed stride rate. GPS is only used in sports activities. I also find that it seems quite high.

    Glad I could help. When you get a chance please mark my response as a solution so others with the same question can look for it.
  • BucephaluzBucephaluz Posts: 7 [Apprentice Seeker]
    Hey! I do experience the same issue as mordzy...

    I found it that it is not accurate at all too...

    Maybe pedometer is too sensitive that detects car vibrations as steps? Because it says I did 4km and that is exactly the distance between my house and my son school (round trip) but we do not walk that distance... I drive. So I am confused as well.

    If calories and distance are based in steps... Then it is all wrong :(
  • M.WillM.Will Posts: 4 [Apprentice Traveler]
    Hi

    I'm researching this issue after just having just bought the TomTom Spark3 Cardio+music...

    Reading the reply here it seems the 'Step Count' isn't actually a 'Step Count'. Well - it is sometimes right? And sometimes it isn't? What nonsense is that??

    Why would I want to know the 'General Direction' of my basic activity?? I can tell that myself. The entire point of buying these things is to know the precise detail of what your body is doing - heart rate, number of STEPS!!! and distance travelled so can react accordingly.

    If just moving your arm a bit - which you do all the time - counts as a 'step' - which it clearly is not - makes a joke of the whole thing.

    I guess this explains why my watch is telling me I've walked nearly 4 miles today when its actually nearer 1.5 miles (MAXIMUM) and I've take 1,500 steps in the last few hours sitting in my front room.....not to mention telling me last night that I had covered over 4 miles playing a game of squash LOL.

    Misleading. Totally and utterly misleading.

    I'll be taking this back to the shop and getting a refund. You should also stop calling it a step count. Call it an inaccurate motion sensor as that would seem more appropriate.
  • M.WillM.Will Posts: 4 [Apprentice Traveler]
    One more comment to add to the above - on day 2 of owning this watch it has stopped auto-syncing with the phone app.

    Just stopped working. No details, just nothing. The watch menu is useless as you cant action anything, you just have to sit there and wait for it to do something. Unless you happen to have your laptop with you of course. Which defeats the whole point.

    I've read all the replys about doing a hard reset and wiping data and reinstalling app yada yada... cant be bothered as I have a life to get on with. This is clearly a particular issue as if you Google it there are many, many people with the same problem.

    Such a shame.
  • Bluebell654Bluebell654 Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    I see the last reply was 8 months ago...but hey, in case anyone still looks at this.

    This is not the watches 'fault', it is a simple fact that something you wear on your wrist is not going to be super accurate for step counting. A watch on your wrist doesn't know whether you're just standing there swinging your arm around or whether you are actually walking...arm movement with a counter on your wrist = walking...it's really simple.

    The only way you will get a true step count (as true as can be anyway) is to wear a pedometer on your ankle.

    What it does tell me though is how active I've been in the day and it encourages me to move around...I love the sports modes which I use and are very accurate with my TomTom Spark.

    Love my product!
  • PK_TOMTOMPK_TOMTOM Posts: 2 [Apprentice Traveler]
    edited February 3
    SOLUTION FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE HAVING AN ISSUE WITH INACCURACY

    Simply add 20 cm for height under profile That will adjust the stride length. Play with this number up or down as you test it out by taking steps and viewing the step increase.
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