How Accurate Is Smart Watch On Treadmill?

It would be great to have a smartwatch that can support your workout. Some joggers have reported about the ability to monitor their practice sessions. 

So, how accurate is smart watch on treadmill? Nearly all smartwatches, even the Apple Watch, fail to precisely record the walk when it comes to the treadmill. 

Smart watches do not give accurate metrics when tracking your movements on the treadmill. However, you can try to calibrate to improve the accuracy of your watch. 

This article will discuss the readings of smartwatches in detail.

Let’s read on to discover!

How Accurate Is Smart Watch On Treadmill? 

Let’s analyze an experiment carried a few years ago for the most accurate answer.

The researchers invited the joggers to put on fitness monitors from various manufacturers and jog on treadmills. This experiment attracted a total of 118 participants.

In the end, most smartwatches revealed significant variation from the actual distance. The results, therefore, were incorrect.

Although they were still incorrect, Apple smartwatches scored better than regular smartwatches and displayed a 1% error. 

The Apple Watch 3 proved to be the most inexact. The runner has finished the marathon at a distance of about 42 kilometers. However, the actual value was just about 37 kilometers.

This experiment revealed that nearly all smartwatches fail to track correctly on the treadmill, including Apple products.

The accuracy of the smartwatch may not be ideal

The accuracy of the smartwatch may not be ideal 

How To Make A Smart Watch More Accurate On The Treadmill? 

If you want the smartwatch to be more accurate on the treadmill, you’ll need to calibrate it.

It’s crucial since once you calibrate your device, you’re training it. The case is that when you jog at your speed, you will use the data as a guideline for future workouts. 

Assume that you have calibrated your watch for your walk and completed the 1-kilometer range in twenty minutes

The manufacturer then analyzes this information and other details such as calorie consumption, heart rate, and some other factors.

The watch examines the data with the calibrated data. Then, it shows a difference, which explains the reason why the results are incorrect. It will also need some actions to fix the information.

Here is how to calibrate your watch:

  • Launch the “Calibration and Distance” app.
  • Walk on the treadmill.
  • Start the workout program. Before you begin to jog, simply tap the horizontal dots symbol.
  • Continue the workout for about 20 minutes. This step guarantees that the smartwatch can gather enough data to serve as a baseline for the next exercises.
  • The smartwatch will automatically adjust its settings for your treadmill walk after twenty minutes. You can utilize it to keep track of your run properly.  
  • The data will be a lot better than it used to.

You can watch this video for a visual explanation. 

A smartwatch needs some calibration to work more accurately

A smartwatch needs some calibration to work more accurately

Best Treadmill Apps For A Smart Watch 

The majority of running applications don’t aim at working with the treadmill. As a result, you’ll want to look for a treadmill tool that works well with your smartwatch. Here are a few of the top apps you should look into:


One of the most well-known apps is Runkeeper. This software is ideal for running on the treadmill since it allows you to track your progress effortlessly. 

Because the software is compatible with the Apple Watch, you won’t have to carry your phone everywhere with you.

Nike Run Club

Nike Rub Club is a famous running tool that keeps track of your treadmill training. It’s simple to install on your smartwatch and use to monitor your running routines. 

There are both global and customized challenges in this program. It provides audio-guided workouts as well as individual coaching regimens. 

The application is incredibly beneficial in terms of keeping in shape and keeping you inspired.


Aaptiv has a lot of features, including training sessions guided by a professional. Aside from that, it has other tools that will allow you to get the most out of your jogging exercises. 

You can simply adjust the maximum speed and incline, as well as the expected duration and music genre, making your workouts more interesting.


STUDIO is also a top-rated treadmill exercise software that offers supervised workout videos. If you are new to workouts, this app is an ideal choice. It can seek instruction to attain your objectives.

Stretching, treadmill running, HIIT and many other exercises are all available in the program. STUDIO now provides an Apple Watch Edition. You can install and then use it directly from your device.

There are many workout apps to choose

There are many workout apps to choose 

Distance On The Smart Watch vs. On The Treadmill 

A smartwatch determines your walking distance and other information using data from the sensors as well as your personal info. Treadmills, on the other hand, estimate distance depending on the number of belt rotations.

As a result, the information obtained from the watch is more precise than the information recorded from the treadmill. 

The watch requires more sensors along with your data to identify correct information and remove any false statistics depending on the calibrated info.

The tracker on smartwatches are more reliable than that on the treadmills

The tracker on smartwatches are more reliable than that on the treadmills

Calories Trackers On Smartwatches 

You also want to know how much energy you’ve burnt while exercising. The smartwatch allows you to know this figure.

You will, however, have to calibrate your watch on the treadmill beforehand.

After you’ve calibrated your device, all you have to do now is go on it and start your exercise app.

After that, you’re free to begin your practice. Make sure you exercise for at least 20 minutes to give your watch enough time to pick up all the data required. 

This information will serve as a baseline for all of your following exercises. It also shows the calories burnt after each training session. 

To monitor calorie burn, most fitness trackers utilize one of two approaches. 

The most common method is to employ an accelerometer sensor, which monitors a user’s body movement during exercise and converts it to calorie expenditure. 

Besides, heart rate tracking considers the user’s age, weight, height, and other factors before calculating calorie expenditure based on their reported heart rate. 

When it comes to information acquired in these two ways, different monitors are more precise. The Apple Watch may be superior at heart rate tracking.

On the other hand, the Fitbit had a high accuracy rate with an accelerometer.

One thing to think about is the accuracy versus features ratio. 

Let’s assume you especially care about the precise statistics on a certain element, such as the heart rate. Maybe you’re aware that you should keep your heart rate within a certain range during your workout. 

In this situation, you may want to go for a machine that just works well on a specific task. The heart rate display that you wear around your chest appears to be more reliable.

The Bottom Line

The accuracy of a smartwatch on a treadmill is moderate. There would be some gap between the readings on the watch and the actual value. Fortunately, you can calibrate to have more accurate data. 

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. Thank you for your interest in the article!

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