Well – I’m a bit unsure what to do now. After yesterday’s post about walking from Land’s End to John o Groats I’ve exported and have been looking at the data stored on my iPhone. It goes back to 2014 (!) when Apple introduced the motion co-processor into its phones and started publicising HealthKit. This app quietly saves any info that the phone or watch collects about activity or health data.
It details (amongst MANY other things) the distance I’ve walked and the number of steps I’ve taken since April.
I’m pretty sure I don’t completely trust it though.
When I’m walking I’ve confidence in Apple Watch and the iPhone’s combined ability to track me with GPS and count my steps (with an acceptable margin of error). However some days I’ve noticed that the total continues to creep up more than I think it should when I’m just moving around my house in the morning or evening, after or before my daily exercise. I’m pretty familiar now with how it feels to walk a mile and I’m sure that I’d recognise it if I did one accidentally. I don’t think I walk a mile around my house on any given day.
The figures I have from April till now therefore don’t seem to show an absolutely 100% accurate distance travelled.
However the watch and phone are tracking ALL movement, and I probably have ‘hidden’ exercise in the background. It’s counting everything I do from the moment I put it on in the morning until the moment I take it off. Every time I make a cup of tea, or walk up the stairs, stand up, sit down and go to the loo. It records it all.
Maybe I don’t feel it because it’s not continuous effort. Maybe I am (and was) doing more than I thought?
So how do I use this? Is there still a point to a goal like the one I made yesterday if I can’t accurately measure it?
Maybe accuracy isn’t the point though. Maybe since I’m walking in a ‘virtual’ trip to from one end of the country to another maybe it doesn’t have to be 100% accurate – just as close as I can get it.
Am I being too picky?
I’m undecided what to do. I am really not sure how best to manipulate the data to get an absolutely HONEST account of the distance I walk during a day, and I don’t want to feel that I’ve misled anyone reading my posts or lied about my efforts.
One thing the data does show is an undeniable overall progression in my fitness. What I can say with authority is that I see a big month on month increase in activity. A huge one in fact.
The raw data (take it how you will) is this:
For those of you that like graphs….
I’m going to open this up to people reading and ask for comments.
Whether you follow on Twitter, Facebook or WordPress – (if you have any thoughts either way) please put your opinion where you prefer and I’ll read and consider it.
Do you think I should:
- Keep the goal and use the approximate data I’m getting to reach my destination?
- Find another way to do this?
- Find another goal?
For that matter if anyone knows of another way to harvest and interpret historical data with Apple Watch/iOS I’d love to hear it.
One thing that won’t change however is how much I enjoy moving from A to B again. Today started with a walk to the Saxon Mill, then a stroll with some friends to St James the Great. That turned into a coffee at the Shire Retail Park, and then a gentle walk home along the canal and River Avon.
I spent an hour in a place I’d never been before, sitting on a bench and just staring at this shaded view.
I shouldn’t really worry too much about accuracy I guess – as long as I’m continually making progress – which I feel I am.
Anyway internet – let me know what you think please 🙂