I have a Jawbone up which I wear on my wrist. As far as I know it calculates my step count by measuring the movements of my arm when I walk/run. So if I have my hands inside the hoodie pockets(when it's cold outside) which I think don't involve in any movement when I walk, how does the fitness tracker count steps? Or does it not count at all?


4 Answers 4


They use various accelerometers and detect motion on numerous algorithms to count at activity. It won't be 100% accurate but it's not "sorry, you didn't swing your arm buddy... NO REP" either.


Try it out? Go for a walk without swinging your arms and see if it counts a reasonable number of steps.

Technically speaking, the accelerometer will definitely be able to record your steps even if you don't swing your arms.


I wear my fitbit on my ankle and it does count every step. I do alot of walking holding items and wasn't getting credit for the steps I was doing. I suggest using it on the ankle.


I used my up today on a treadmill but I was holding on to the arm rest and it did not count my steps. I felt robbed. I wounded if I put it on my ankle that would be better. I'm usually pushing a stroller so my arms are not moving.

  • First you should get rid of the UP then. Second you shouldn't be holding onto a treadmill.
    – DMoore
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 5:05
  • @DMoore - Why not?
    – JohnP
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 13:33
  • 1
    The general feeling is that if you need to hold on for support, you're going faster than you can control. It also forces a bit of forward posture. Personally, I wind up doing it because I don't pack a heart rate monitor.
    – Sean Duggan
    Commented Oct 25, 2015 at 19:19
  • @JohnP - Because while holding onto a treadmill your body is out of position. I could give you 10 more succinct reasons but basically there is no reason you should ever be holding on unless you have some lower leg injury you are trying to stave off - but at that point not sure you should be on the treadmill.
    – DMoore
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 16:29
  • @DMoore, Okay? So what about people who are walking on a treadmill while using a standing desk? Commented Apr 29, 2022 at 18:09

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