Does the IPhone Track Steps on a Treadmill?

does the iphone track steps on a treadmill

The iPhone health app is a great way to monitor your step count - you can even use the app to monitor your step length and walking asymmetry! But if you’re working out in the gym, does an iPhone count steps on a treadmill?

In this quick guide, we’re going to go over everything you need to know about using your iOS Health app when working up a sweat in the gym, and how to turn on step tracking if it doesn’t appear to be working. Let’s get started!

Will my iPhone count my steps on a treadmill?

The simple answer to this is yes - your iOS health app will track steps you take anywhere - including on a treadmill - provided that your phone is in your pocket or in your hand.

Why does my iPhone not count my steps when I walk on my treadmill?

If your iPhone doesn’t appear to be tracking your steps while you’re on the treadmill, it might simply be because your privacy settings are enabled, preventing the app from tracking any of your health and fitness data. Here’s how you can fix it and begin tracking your steps:

  1. Go to settings on your iPhone.
  2. Click on the ‘Privacy’ tab.
  3. Scroll until you find the option ‘Motion and Fitness’, which as of 2022 is the final item in the list. Click through.
  4. Now, you should find two options, “Fitness Tracking” and “Health.” Enable them both, and now your iPhone will track all your steps automatically.

If you’ve enabled ‘Fitness Tracking’ and ‘Health, and your iPhone still doesn’t appear to track your steps on the treadmill, it might be because your phone isn’t in an optimal place for motion tracking. Make sure it’s in your pocket or in your hand - it won’t track your steps if you simply place it on the side of the treadmill.

Can I add steps to my iPhone tracker manually?

Yes! If you have a rough estimate of how many steps you walked, but didn’t have your phone on you, you can always add them manually. Do note that manual steps won’t be included when your phone analyses your step data, such as your step width and walking asymmetry.

Here’s how to add steps manually to your Health app:

  1. Go to your Health app, which should automatically be included on your iPhone home screen. It’s a plain white icon with a pink heart shape on the right hand side.
  2. Head to Browse > Activity
  3. Click on ‘Steps’. Here, you should be able to see your iPhone’s tracking data for the day, with your step count front and centre on the screen.

4.Go to the right hand corner and click on ‘Add data’, where you’ll be able to add any steps taken that day.

  1. Once you’ve finished, your step count should update with your manual additions.

Do note: manually tracking your step count can be unreliable, so if you’re tracking any fitness goals and need the most accurate data possible, always underestimate the number of steps you think you made.

Is the iPhone accurate when tracking steps on a treadmill?

In general, the motion sensor on any post-2015 iphone is pretty advanced, and the sensors are sensitive enough to pick up even the slightest movement. While your Health app might not be accurate to a T, it’s certainly not going to give you wild overestimations - so long as your phone is on your body or in your hand, it’ll count your steps.

The only downside to using your phone to track your steps on a treadmill is that you could end up damaging your phone if it falls and breaks. This is especially true if you’re running at a high speed on your machine.

If you’re looking for a highly accurate step counter when on a treadmill - and a more practical solution for tracking your fitness data - a fitness watch might be the better option. Alternatively, you can track your data using the interface included on most modern treadmills, and simply add this information manually to your Health app once you’re finished.

Why is my iPhone not tracking steps on a treadmill?

If your health app isn’t tracking your steps while using a treadmill, it may be because you’re holding onto the machine while walking or running. While this won’t always prevent the app from tracking your steps, holding onto your treadmill’s handles could end up giving you an inaccurate reading.


Hey, I'm Michael Jones and I support this blog with a group of authors consisting of Personal Trainers, Physiotherapist and sellers of fitness equipment.

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