How to Use Your iPhone as a Pedometer

You don't need a fitness tracker to count your steps

Modern technology has made many aspects of life much easier, particularly when it comes to helping people stay mindful about their health. There are many products out there to help people encourage themselves to keep fit from fitness trackers that count the number of steps you take, and even iPhone pedometer apps from the App Store.

However, did you know that you don’t have to go out and buy an expensive fitness tracker or pedometer to track your daily mobility? Your iPhone has a built in step tracker to help you stay in shape and make sure you get your 10,000 daily steps in.

How Does The iPhone Pedometer Track Steps While You Walk?

Your iPhone tracks the number of steps you take by making use of several advanced instruments, including an accelerometer and air pressure sensors to not only track steps but even flights of stairs climbed. Your iPhone is even capable of sensing whether you are walking on an incline or decline and will track that as stair climbing. As long as you have your iPhone somewhere on your person or even stowed in a bag, it will track info on how much you run and walk, as well as your overall movement in miles.

How to Turn on Your iPhone Step Counter and Other Health Trackers

When you go to turn on your iPhone’s fitness tracking functions, you might be surprised to learn that your iPhone has already been keeping track of how steps you’ve taken while carrying your phone. Once you turn on the active tracking features, you will be able to see a graph that keeps count of your average steps over time and displays any changes or trends.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

    iPhone 8 Settings Menu
  2. Locate and tap the Health menu.

    iPhone Health App
  3. Tap the Health Notification Settings button and proceed to activate all three options or just one.

    Health Notifications Settings
  4. Select the Walking + Running Distance button to activate the function. Toggle the star button switch until it is filled in to turn it on.

    Health App Activities
  5. Select the Steps button and toggle the star button switch until it is filled in to turn it on.

  6. Select the Flights Climbed button and toggle the star button switch until it is filled in to turn it on.

  7. Now open the Health app and go to the Summary tab to review data from these three functions and their data charts.

    Settings Tab

You might be concerned about these health tracking functions impacting your iPhone’s battery life. Fortunately, studies have shown that these functions have little to no impact on your battery’s performance and longevity.

How Do I Fix Issues with the Health App Caused by iOS 12 and 13 Updates?

Now that you have your iPhone step tracker functions enabled, you can keep track of your daily movements and start getting healthier. However, you may find that your app stops counting steps for no apparent reason. This can happen because your iPhone had an iOS 12 or 13 update that caused an issue with your device. Fortunately, there are several quick fixes that can get your iPhone tracking steps again in no time.

How to Make Sure the Health App is Turned On

iOS updates can occasionally alter your privacy settings, which can affect how certain apps, like Health, function. To confirm that you have Health turned on in Privacy, follow these simple steps.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

    iPhone 8 Settings Menu
  2. Navigate to Privacy, then select Motion & Fitness.

    Privacy Button
  3. From Motion & Fitness, make sure Health is enabled. This will ensure that your fitness data is displayed in the Health app dashboard.

    Health Toggle

How to Fix Steps Not Showing up in the Health Dashboard

Your iPhone step tracker might be collecting data that is not showing up in the Health app dashboard due to update errors. Follow these simple steps to get your data working correctly again.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

    iPhone 8 Settings Menu
  2. Select Health, then tap the Health Data section.

    Health Data Selections
  3. Tap Fitness and select the Walking + Running Distance button.

  4. Make sure that the Walking + Running Distance is toggled and return to the Home screen.