Fitness Trackers

Apple Watch Treadmill Accuracy

When it comes to tracking runs on a Treadmill, accuracy is key. Smartwatches, including the Apple Watch, have become increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts as they provide users with real-time data on their performance. However, accuracy can be an issue when it comes to tracking runs on a Treadmill.

The Apple Watch is known for its accuracy in tracking various activities, but it can struggle to track runs on a Treadmill. The reason for this is that when running indoors, GPS cannot be used to track the run. Instead, the Apple Watch and other running watches use accelerometers to record distance and pace.

While accelerometers work by recording movement, they can easily be inaccurate. For example, if you move your arm while sitting on the couch, the Apple Watch might record it as exercise. Similarly, if you swing your arms while walking, the watch might record more distance than you covered.

Apple Watch Treadmill AccuracyApple Watch Treadmill Accuracy

To ensure accurate readings on a Treadmill, there are some tips that you can follow. One of the most important steps is to calibrate your Apple Watch before you start running. Calibrating your watch involves manually measuring your running pace and adjusting the watch accordingly. This is a technical process, but it can significantly improve the accuracy of your readings.

Whether you’re training for a race or just trying to up your mileage in 2023, tracking your runs accurately is important. While the Treadmill itself can provide you with the best indicator of your overall distance and pace, calibrating your Apple Watch can make it more accurate. So, make sure to follow these tips and measure your running pace manually to get the most accurate stats possible.

How Accurate Is Apple Watch On Treadmill?

As people become more health-conscious, many turn to smartwatches and fitness trackers to monitor their exercise activities. However, if you are a runner who likes to use a treadmill, you may wonder how accurate these devices are in tracking distance.

To investigate this issue, a group of researchers experimented in 2023, where they asked more than 118 runners to wear fitness trackers and smartwatches from different brands and run on treadmills. The goal was to determine how accurate these devices are in tracking distance on a treadmill.

The experiment’s results showed that almost every smartwatch and fitness tracker had some deviation from the original distance, making them inaccurate. While the Apple smartwatch performed relatively better than others, it still had an inaccuracy of 1%. The Apple Watch Series 3 was the most inaccurate, showing that the runner ran a marathon distance of 42.2 kilometers, while in reality, the distance was only 36.7 kilometers.

The researchers’ findings suggest that while smartwatches and fitness trackers may be useful tools for monitoring exercise activities, they are not entirely reliable when it comes to tracking distance on a treadmill.

If you are an Apple Watch user who runs on a treadmill, you may want to take note of the experiment’s results. While the Apple Watch performed relatively better than other smartwatches, it still had some inaccuracy in tracking distance. It is recommended to consider alternative devices such as foot pods that can provide more precise distance tracking.

Overall, if you are a runner who wants to track your progress accurately on a treadmill, it may be worth exploring alternative devices to ensure that you are getting the most accurate results. Our “Best Fitness Trackers & Foot Pods for Running on a Treadmill” guide provides recommendations for the most reliable devices to use for treadmill running.

How Accurate is the Apple Watch Distance?

The Apple Watch has become a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts due to its advanced health metrics and tracking features. One of the primary metrics that the watch tracks are distance accuracy, which is crucial for those who rely on it to track their running or walking distances. The watch uses a combination of sensors, including GPS data and accelerometers, to calculate the distance data.

While the distance accuracy of the Apple Watch is generally good, there are some cases where it may not be entirely accurate. For instance, when running on a treadmill, the distance data may be slightly off due to the watch’s reliance on accelerometers rather than GPS data. However, Apple has introduced a software update that improves the accuracy of indoor workouts, including running on a treadmill.

The build quality of the watch also plays a significant role in its distance accuracy. If the watch is not snugly fitted to the wrist, it may cause inaccuracy in the distance data. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the watch fits correctly and does not move around during workouts.

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When it comes to outdoor running, the Apple Watch’s distance accuracy is generally good, thanks to its use of GPS data. However, the accuracy may vary depending on factors such as the terrain, weather conditions, and signal strength.

In summary, the Apple Watch’s distance accuracy is generally reliable, thanks to its combination of sensors and tracking features. While there may be some instances of inaccuracy, Apple continues to improve its software and hardware to ensure accurate distance tracking for both indoor and outdoor workouts. Therefore, the watch remains a top choice among fitness enthusiasts who want to keep track of their progress and achieve their fitness goals.

How Can I Make My Apple Watch More Accurate On Treadmill?

When it comes to treadmill training, the accuracy of your smartwatch’s readings can make a significant difference in the quality of your workouts. One way to ensure greater accuracy is to calibrate your Apple Watch, which will allow it to use the treadmill as a reference point for measuring distance and pace. To do this, simply start a run on your watch, then select the option to calibrate and walk or run for a few minutes until the watch registers that you’ve gone one mile.

By calibrating your watch, you’ll be able to trust the accuracy of your runs and workouts. However, even with calibration, you may notice discrepancies between the data on your watch and the readings on the treadmill. This is because the treadmill calculates distance and pace differently than a GPS-enabled device like the Apple Watch.

To correct this issue, it’s essential to pay attention to the data provided by both the treadmill and your watch. If you notice a significant discrepancy between the two, you may need to adjust your pace accordingly. Additionally, make sure that you’re wearing your watch correctly, as an improperly placed or loose watch can affect the accuracy of your heart rate readings and calorie burn calculations.

Another way to improve the accuracy of your Apple Watch on the treadmill is to use an external heart rate monitor. This can help to ensure that your heart rate readings are consistent and accurate, which can in turn improve the accuracy of your calorie burn calculations.

Ultimately, the key to getting accurate results from your Apple Watch on the treadmill is to pay attention to the data, use calibration to establish a reliable reference point, and be mindful of any discrepancies or inaccuracies that may arise. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to train more effectively and get the most out of your treadmill workouts.

Can I Calibrate My Apple Watch On A Treadmill?

If you are wondering if it is possible to calibrate your Apple Watch on a treadmill, the answer is yes. Apple customer support confirms that it is indeed possible, but there are a few changes to be made in the settings. The first step in calibrating your Apple Watch is to ensure that the Motion Calibration & Distance feature is turned on. To do this, head to the settings of your iPhone, select System Services, and make sure that Motion Calibration & Distance is toggled On.

Once the Motion Calibration & Distance feature is turned on, you can calibrate your Apple Watch for running or walking on a treadmill. To do this, start by opening the workout app and selecting indoor run or indoor walk, depending on your activity. Don’t forget to tap the three horizontal dots icon before starting the workout. Then, keep doing the workout for at least 20 minutes, allowing the Apple Watch to collect enough data to use as a reference point for other workouts.

After 20 minutes, the Apple Watch will be calibrated for your treadmill run or walk, and you can start using it to accurately track your activity. It’s worth noting that the readings won’t be as accurate as those of a Foot Pod, but they will be much better than before. To ensure the best results, move your hands naturally as you normally would during the workout.

Calibrating your Apple Watch on a treadmill can also help improve the accuracy of calorie calculations in the Workout app. However, it’s important to remember that exercise shouldn’t just be about burning calories and losing weight. If you are exercising for weight loss, there are specific strategies to follow for losing weight by running or walking.

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If you are still not satisfied with the accuracy of your Apple Watch, you can reset the fitness calibration data. To do this, open the Watch app on your iPhone, select the My Watch tab, and then select Privacy. Scroll down to Reset Fitness Calibration Data, and all your past data will be removed from the watch. You will need to calibrate it again before heading out for an outdoor walk or run.

It’s also worth noting that all running watches struggle to record treadmill runs as accurately as outdoor runs due to limited GPS data. However, you can manually write down your stats from the treadmill itself and input them into the best running apps or consider buying a Foot Pod, which can make recording your indoor runs more accurate.

Best Apple Watch Running App:

If you are a runner who owns an Apple Watch, you must be looking for the best Apple Watch running app. However, most running apps and smartwatches are not specifically designed for treadmill workouts. For that reason, you should look for a treadmill app that is compatible with your smartwatch.

Among the best options for treadmill running and walking are Nike Run Club, Aaptiv, Runkeeper, and STUDIO. These apps have been carefully selected after extensive research, and each has its unique features that make it an excellent choice for treadmill workouts.

For instance, Nike Run Club is considered one of the best running apps for tracking your treadmill workout sessions. It comes with custom and global challenges, and it is easy to download on the Apple Watch. Additionally, it provides audio-guided runs and personalized coaching plans, which can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Similarly, Aaptiv is one of the best apps for treadmill workouts, with over 2500 music-driven, trainer-led workout sessions that can help you stay motivated. It also allows you to set the incline and peak speed of your workout, and you can customize your favorite music style for an enjoyable experience.

Runkeeper is another great running app that comes with your Apple Watch, eliminating the need to carry your phone while training. It is a great fitness tracker for treadmill running, and it easily tracks your runs. You can keep your iPhone in your bedroom and use the Runkeeper Apple Watch app to track your run or walk.

Finally, STUDIO is another popular treadmill workout app that comes with guided videos for your workout. It covers almost everything, such as stretches, HIIT, and treadmill runs. The app also offers an Apple Watch version that you can install directly on your watch and use from there.

Apple Watch Vs Treadmill Distance:

When it comes to tracking your workout progress, one of the biggest debates is between the accuracy of the Apple Watch versus the treadmill. The Apple Watch relies on its sensors and your private information to determine distance and other data, while the treadmill uses the number of rounds of the belt to calculate the distance.

In terms of accuracy, the Apple Watch takes the lead. It uses more sensors and your personal information to eliminate false data and provide more precise readings based on your calibrated data. However, a 2019 study revealed that smartwatches, including the Apple Watch, may not be that reliable when it comes to measuring distance covered on a treadmill.

The study, which involved 118 participants completing a marathon on a treadmill, found that one of the trackers used underestimated the distance covered by about 10.8 miles. Although most smartwatches are not that accurate when it comes to measuring treadmill runs, it is unclear whether the same applies to the Apple Watch, which is considered the most accurate smartwatch on the planet.

If you’re a frequent treadmill user and rely on your Apple Watch to track your progress, you may be wondering if you’re getting the wrong readings. The good news is that there are ways to improve the accuracy of your Apple Watch while training on the treadmill. By adjusting the settings and calibrating your watch, you can ensure that the readings are as accurate as possible.

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Why Is My Apple Watch GPS Not Accurate in Tracking Treadmill Runs?

The Apple Watch is a smartwatch that provides GPS tracking for workouts, but it’s not always accurate when it comes to tracking treadmill runs. This is because the smartwatch relies solely on the accelerometer to track metrics like speed and distance, which can be easily influenced by direction and motion change. Consequently, the data recorded by the Apple Watch app might not be as accurate as the one tracked by the treadmill.

Fortunately, there is a way to improve the accuracy of the Apple Watch GPS tracking for treadmill runs through calibration. By resetting the fitness calibration data of your Apple Watch, you can still get acceptable tracking data. To do this, you’ll need to go to your iPhone’s settings, tap on the My Watch tab, and select the Privacy option. From there, tap on Location Services and select System Services, then enable the Motion Calibration and Distance option.

Once you’ve calibrated your Apple Watch, it’s time to get onto the treadmill and open your running app. However, before you start, it’s important to choose the mode of your workout. You can then perform an indoor walk or run on the treadmill for at least 20 minutes to allow your smartwatch to collect enough data. After the exercise, your Apple Watch will be calibrated using the collected data as a reference during future workouts.

In addition to tracking distance, the Apple Watch also tracks the number of calories burned during workouts on the treadmill. However, to ensure accurate tracking of calories burned, you’ll need to reset the calibration data of your smartwatch first. If you want to determine the exact number of calories burned, using a Foot Pod might be a better option since it’s far more accurate than the Apple Watch.


When it comes to tracking your treadmill workouts, the Apple Watch may not be the most accurate device. The Apple Watch relies on GPS data to measure the distance you cover, but this doesn’t work on a treadmill since you’re not moving from one location to another. Therefore, the distance recorded by the Apple Watch may not be entirely accurate, even after calibrating it.

On the other hand, treadmills are incredibly accurate when it comes to tracking distance. The distance is measured by calculating the number of revolutions made by the treadmill belt, which is almost perfect in terms of accuracy since the belt length is fixed, and the number of rotations is easy to calculate.

However, if you want to improve the accuracy of your Apple Watch while working out on a treadmill, you can try calibrating it. Still, even after calibration, the data may not be entirely accurate. If you’re looking for a device that can provide more accurate measurements of your treadmill workout, you can use a Foot Pod.

A Foot Pod is a small device that can help boost the accuracy of your treadmill workout to the maximum level. If you want to learn more about Foot Pods and which ones are best for use on a treadmill, you can refer to my guide on the topic.

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Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a technology lover and loves to write about laptops, monitors, printers, tablets, Apple products and anything that's related to computers and games. He is passionate enough that he maintains this blog regarding tech updates on a daily basis.