Garmin Vivomove Sport Step Accuracy

I am not overly active, but I resolved to embrace a more active lifestyle after learning about the dangers of prolonged sitting. I figured I’d ease into it by doing the most basic exercise—walking. 

So, I snagged a Garmin Vivomove, famed for its steps-measuring accuracy, and resolved to put in my 10,000 steps. I’ve never put in that many steps in a day—should I start doubting the Garmin Vivomove step accuracy? 

I wish. But I am comfortable walking about 4,000 steps daily, equivalent to about two miles

If you want a Garmin watch with super close accuracy, check out the following options

How Accurate Are the Steps on a Garmin Watch?

Like all other Garmin trackers, a Vivomove Sport can accurately calculate my steps with 95% accuracy. The reported steps are within 5% of the actual steps I take.

Since Garmin watches are fitted with Garmin GPS receivers that use an innovative multi-channel design, they’re incredibly accurate.

Certain factors, such as cloudy weather, tall buildings, and crowds, can reduce its accuracy. You can check the accuracy rating of your device on the Satellite Information page.

Read Also: Garmin Watch Green Light Not Working? How to Fix

How Does Garmin Calculate Steps?

Typically, a Garmin wearable measures your steps using acceleration patterns that mirror your arms’ motions while walking. They can accurately match how many movements it takes to make a step and accurately measure them to calculate your steps.  

Therefore, your Garmin wearable comes with an internal 3-axis accelerometer. The accelerometer calculates your steps based on your hand movement—need I say that it can only calculate your steps when worn on your arm? 

Typically, humans have a systematic way to move their hands when walking. Wearables such as Garmin Vivomove Sport use your hand movement to calculate your steps

Typically, moving uses three arm movements —up and down, side-to-side, and forward and backward. Similarly, Garmin watches use an accelerometer to measure acceleration in three dimensions—the x, y, and z-axis.

  • x-axis: Measures up and down acceleration 
  • y-axis: Measures side-to-side movement
  • z-axis: Measures the forward and backward arm movement 

Garmin wearables use acceleration on the x and y axes to calculate steps. The watch will register a step if it senses a rapid increase in the x-axis acceleration followed by a rapid decrease in the z-axis. 

Garmin watches also use your height and stride length to improve step-counting accuracy. Based on my height, the watch estimates my stride is about 30 inches. After taking 100 steps, the wearable estimates I have walked 30 feet. I counterchecked this and found my Garmin Vivomove Sport to be quite precise. 

How Does Garmin Calculate Steps  

Garmin Not Counting Steps Accurately? Here Are Some Quick fixes

That said, sometimes my wearable is offered and doesn’t capture all my steps. However, is noticed if my Gamin is not counting my steps accurately, it’s usually a glitch that’s easily fixable. Here are my best quick fixes. 

Read Also: Huawei Band 3 Pro Not Counting Steps—Here’s the Fix

Confirm Activity Tracking is Turned On

Garmin Not Counting Steps Accurately

I love the customizability of the Garmin wearables—there’s practically a setting for every feature, including activity tracking. While helpful, advanced customization can prove overwhelming, and you may inadvertently turn off some crucial features. 

If you accidentally turn off Activity tracking, Garmin will not count your steps, which may interfere with your fitness goals. You can turn on Activity Tracking on your timepiece or the Garmin Connect app. 

  1. Long press the touch screen to view the menu
  2. Tap the Settings icon
  3. Turn on Activity Tracking

Activity Tracking

I prefer using the Garmin Connect app when customizing my settings. Here’s how to turn on Activity Tracking on the app:

  1. Tap the watch icon to open settings 
  2. Tap Device Settings 
  3. Toggle Activity Tracking on 

Reboot the Device 

Sometimes, a glitch may cause your wearable to miscount your steps. Since Garmin Vivomove Sport doesn’t have a power button, you can’t reboot it in the traditional sense. Plug the USB cable into the charging port and connect it to a power source. That’s as close as you’ll get to a restart, but it’ll clear any glitches.

Read Also: Why Is My Fitbit Sense 2 Keep Restarting?

Upgrade the Firmware

If your Garmin isn’t correctly counting steps, your firmware may be outdated. Typically, wearable manufacturers use firmware upgrades to fix bugs in their systems. Luckily, this is a simple fix. 

Tap and hold the touchscreen>>Tap the Settings icon>>Tap About, check for the latest firmware, and update it if it’s outdated. 

Auto-updating on Gamin Connect

I prefer using the auto-update option to avoid this hassle. Switching on the auto-update option on Garmin Connect enables the app to sync the wearable with the latest firmware version. 

You may also update your software using Garmin Express

  1. Install Gamin Express on your computer
  2. Sync your device on Garmin Express 
  3. Connect your wearable to the PC via USB
  4. Garmin Express will any new updates to your device 
  5. Disconnect the wearable from the computer 
  6. Your device will install the updates 

Reset Your Device  

I recommend resetting as a measure of last resort. Only try this method if all else fails. Luckily, Gamin Vivomove Sport allows you to reset your device without losing all your data. 

  1. Tap and hold the touchscreen to open the menu
  2. Tap the Settings icon
  3. Tap the Reset icon. It’ll give you two options.          
  • Reset Default Settings: This will reset the wearable’s setting to factory default but will save all your data and activity history.
  • Delete Data and Reset Settings: This option wipes your watch clean. Be careful with it, as you’ll lose all your data and information. 

     4.  Tap Reset Default Settings
     5. Follow the prompts on the screen

Final Thoughts

Garmin wearables, including the Vivomove Sport, feature incredible step-measuring technology. They will accurately measure your step with a 95% accuracy. If you’re having trouble measuring your steps accurately, it’s most likely a bug, and these quick fixes can help you resolve the issue. 

Read Also: Fitbit Counting Steps While Driving – How Do I Stop It?


How Accurate is the Vivomove Sport at Counting Steps?

The Vivomove Sport has been tested for step-tracking accuracy, usually coming within 5% of actual steps taken during use. This is comparable to other Garmin trackers. Accuracy can vary a bit based on how tightly it fits and individual walking motions.

Does the Vivomove Sport Have Dedicated Step Counting Sensors? 

This model does not have a dedicated step sensor but efficiently uses the accelerometer data from its other activity tracking sensors to also record steps continuously throughout the day.

Does Wearing it at Different Wrist Spots Affect Step Accuracy?

For best results, wearing the Vivomove higher up on the wrist bone provides a more optimal angle for picking up step motion. Loose fit or wearing lower near the forearm can impact accuracy. 

Can I Improve Step-counting Accuracy?

You can calibrate the device to your specific walking style in the Garmin Connect app, which helps improve precision. Ensuring a snug, but comfortable band fit also optimizes step data capture. Accuracy typically improves with regular all-day wear.

Does the Vivomove Track Steps With Non-upright Exercise? 

The Vivomove Sport mainly counts steps from upright ambulatory motions like walking and running. Non-upright exercise like cycling likely does not contribute much to step count, since the wrist motions differ from walking.

How Does Step Accuracy Compare to Dedicated Fitness Trackers?

Dedicated fitness bands optimized purely for step tracking can provide slightly greater precision. However, the Vivomove still delivers reliable daily step tracking as a versatile hybrid smartwatch. 

Can I View Data Like Steps Taken Per Hour or Per Day?

The Garmin Connect app lets you view very detailed step count breakdowns by day, week, month, and yearly, as well as customizable date ranges and other time periods.

Does the Vivomove Sport Screen Display Real-time Step Count? 

The Vivomove Sport’s digital display shows real-time, continuously updating step count all day long. This allows checking step progress at a glance along with other metrics.

Read Also: Which Arm Should I Wear My Fitbit On?