Can You Wear Apple Watch On Ankle? (Functionality and Accuracy)

by | Feb 15, 2023

Quick Answer

Yes, you can wear an Apple Watch on your ankle, however, Apple Watch sensors are designed to be worn on your wrist, so you may experience less accurate readings if worn on your ankle.

Can You Wear Apple Watch on Ankle?

Yes you can wear an Apple Watch on your ankle. However, it is important to know that they Apple Watch was not designed and tested specifically for wearing it on the ankle.

Because of this, any data gathered from your Apple Watch while it’s on your ankle will be less accurate than if you wear it on your wrist.

The reason for this inaccuracy is that the Apple Watch relies on PPG sensors that flash LED lights into your skin to measure heart rate.

The ankle, with its thicker skin and fewer blood vessels close to the surface compared to the wrist, is not an optimal location for capturing accurate heart rate data.

Why Wear Apple Watch on Ankle?

There are many reasons why someone might want to wear their Apple Watch on their ankle, ranging from complications during certain physical activities, to rules at work.

Apple Watch On Ankle When Working Out

There are some activities that have been shown to cause issues when wearing an Apple Watch.

Some of these include sports that require you to wear gloves, such as boxing and martial arts. If you still want to gather health data while participating in these sports, you may benefits from wearing it on your ankle.

Another situation in which you may benefit from having your watch on your ankle is if you’re doing exercises where your wrist bends backward. A well-known design flaw on the Apple Watch Ultra causes you to set off the siren when doing push-ups, squats, or over-head presses.

You Use a Standing Desk and Want to Track Steps

If you work remotely and use a standing desk with a treadmill, and excellent way to track your steps is to put your Apple Watch on your ankle.

Imagine you’re standing and typing away while working remotely. There’s no way for your Apple Watch to know you’re moving, since your GPS position isn’t changing, and your arms aren’t swinging.

In this case, wearing your Apple Watch on your ankle would solve the problem, and ensure you’re getting those steps in.

Can’t Wear Apple Watch At Work

There are specific jobs that have rules preventing you from being able to wear watches on shift. Some of these include occupations where you’re working with food, but the big one is in the healthcare industry, specifically doctors or surgeons.

The entire point of a fitness watch is to constantly be collecting data, so if you work in an environment that doesn’t allow watches, simply put it on your ankle to continue monitoring your health data.

Will Apple Watch Count Steps on Ankle?

The good news is, your Apple Watch will still accurately track steps if you’re wearing it on your ankle. This is the metric that is least affected by ankle wearing your watch.

This is because step count measuring does not rely on the same sensors that are used to track temperature, heart rate, etc. Step count is measured with GPS data as well as the accelerometer, in the event GPS is not available.

How to Wear Apple Watch on Ankle

Because the Apple Watch is not designed to be worn on your ankle, there is no ‘right’ way to wear it.

To determine how to wear your watch on your ankle, it is important to understand how the sensors work within the device.

Apple uses a sensor known as photoplethysmography (PPG) sensor to measure heart rate, among other things.

Disregard the long name, all you need to know is that this sensor uses light to detect blood flow. This means that your watch will be more accurate if you can find a location on your ankle that has the best blood flow.

An example of this would be if you could find a vein on your ankle, your Apple Watch PPG sensor will be able to more accurately collect your health data there than if you aimlessly placed it on your ankle bone.

lastly, ensure to place the watch in a location on your ankle that won’t cause the watch to shift while your ankle moves, and make sure it is snug, but not too tight.

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Ken Lynch

by Ken Lynch

Ken is a Healthcare Data Analyst, owner, sole contributor to The Wearable Guy, and overall tech nerd.

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