During a recent pitch meeting, one of our editors said, “Did you know the iPhone has a pedometer that’s already built into the phone? It’s automatically measuring how far you walk every day!”
To which everyone replied, “Yes, we know.”
But then we started asking around. And turns out, it seems that most people actually don’t know about this feature.
It first appeared on the iPhone in the fall of 2014, when the Apple Health app was released. That’s the one whose icon is a pink heart on a white background.
It appears that many people only glanced at the app when it first appeared. Some say they’ve never even opened it. But inside is a pedometer compatible with iOS8.
And it’s already “on,” tracking your steps.
Here’s how to find it, just in case: Tap on the Apple Health app, which opens your health dashboard. Click the step counter. You can look at your data based on day, week, month, or year. (Not an iPhone owner? Download Google Fit for the Android.)
Depending on your job, you may be surprised at how little you actually walk throughout the day. At least when compared to The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommendation of taking 10,000 daily steps–the equivalent of walking about 5 miles.
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You probably won’t be close to that to start, says Jen Caudle, D.O., assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Most people aren’t. “Instead, just try to beat whatever you did the day before,” she says.
There is one big drawback to using your phone as a pedometer: You have to carry it on your person everywhere–at least if you expect it to track your steps. (Duh.)
But then again, you’re probably already doing that.