Fitbit smartwatches are getting sleeker, lighter, and smarter. And they can track so many health and activity metrics as long as you have them worn right. So can you wear Fitbit on your ankle or should you only fit it to a snug on the non-dominant hand?
You can wear Fitbit on your ankle, but the results you get won’t be as accurate as when you have the device snug on your non-dominant arm. Because Fitbit can monitor metrics best when worn on wrist, it can over or underestimate your steps and heart rate and sometimes give poor results.
However, if you wear your smartwatch or tracker right, making sure that the sensors make contact with the skin, you might get accurate results from every workout.
I understand it’s easier to assume that there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to fitness tracker placement.
And that’s true.
But just so to be certain that you get accurate results all the time, it would be best to wear your Fitbit on your wrist rather than on your ankle.
Does Fitbit Work on Your Ankle Or Only On The Wrist?
I’ve hardly ever worn a smartwatch or a fitness tracker on my ankle.
If you’re anything like me, it might seem that wearing a smartwatch somewhere else other than the intended spot of placement would be weird.
Or, wouldn’t it?
Well, not exactly.
Based on hands on testing, Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches can work on your ankle pretty much the same way it does when wrapped around your wrist.
Only you might not get accurate results 100% of the time, not to mention you’ll be missing some important metrics.
If you’re someone who doesn’t swing their arms enough for your Fitbit device to catch your steps with every move you make, wrapping the smartwatch or tracker around your ankle can make a difference.
With the device on your ankle, you wouldn’t miss a step count, although there’s no guarantee that the data you get will be 100% accurate all the time.
And that’s not all.
Some users have argued that wearing a Fitbit on your ankle makes you miss the heart rate data.
However, if you do wear the tracker or smartwatch on your ankle, the heart rate reading from the device might not be as accurate an approximation as what you get when you wear the device on your non-dominant wrist.
When Does It Make Sense to Wear Fitbit on Ankle?
Fitbit doesn’t want you to wear your smartwatch or tracker on your ankle.
But there are instances where it makes to have the device wrapped around your ankle instead of wearing it on your wrist.
I’d recommend wearing Fitbit on your ankle if:
1. You’re Indoor Cycling
For a Fitbit smartwatch or fitness tracker to work, the device has to detect motion from a non-dominant wrist.
But since your arms and upper body hardly move when you’re on a stationary bike, it would makes sense to wear the gadget on your ankle.
In addition to Fitbit detecting indoor cycling, it can get useful heart rate data from the workout.
2. You’re Pushing Strollers
Your Fitbit won’t count steps if you’re pushing a stroller.
That’s because it doesn’t detect arm movements the way it does when you’re walking freely. And if you sync data from the watch to your phone, Fitbit even override the step count in the app.
Wearing the device on your ankle can make a difference.
For what it’s worth, the tracker or smartwatch can detect movement from the ankle position as you push the stroller. And you’ll end up having helpful data even for such light movements.
3. You Perform HIIT Workouts
HIIT workouts are the replacement for boring cardio, and they can get different parts of your body moving in quick succession.
Wearing your Fitbit model on ankle when doing HIIT can give you immediate accurate feedback, regardless of whether the workouts last 30 minutes or span beyond that limit.
4. The Tracker Doesn’t Have Heart Rate Sensor
You can wear a Fitbit on your ankle if it doesn’t feature a heart rate sensor. The assumption here is that you’re mostly interested in tracking your steps, in which case the device should suffice.
Fitbit Alta is an example of a fitness tracker that doesn’t include the heart rate sensor.
Other models that can work well when wrapped around your ankle are those whose heart rate monitor you can actually turn off. For example, the Inspire 2 gives you the option to turn this feature off if you don’t need it.
5. You Work as a Cook or Nurse
I often laud Fitbit fitness trackers and smartwatches for what they can do. But it turns out that not everyone can wear these devices on their wrist.
If you work as a cook, then you know it’s against health code to wear watches and bracelets because of possible contamination.
You do not want to break health regulations. So your only option, if you want to track steps and see your heart rate data, in such a situation would be to wear the device on your ankle.
Even registered nurses can’t wear bracelets and jewelry on their hands and wrists. So if you fall into this category of profession, and you would like to get the most out of a Fitbit device, it would be best if you wrap it around your ankle.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where Should I Wear My Fitbit?
Fitbit suggests that you wear the device on your non-dominant wrist. By doing so, you’ll get more accurate reading than you would if you wrapped it somewhere else.
Check out my post on how to wear a Fitbit to learn more about where to place the device so that you can get the most useful stats.
2. How Can I Wear Fitbit On My Ankle?
First, understand that Fitbit smartwatches and fitness trackers have wrist strap that are too small for ankles. In other words, they’re not long enough to go across and fit.
Second, you can wear Fitbit to a snug fit and get it reading your stats by using the device in combination with an ankle strap.
Fitbit doesn’t sell ankle straps, as many of its current devices are wrist-based. However, there are third-party bands that sell ankle straps you can use to get the fitting right.
3. Can You Get Accurate Reading If You Wear Fitbit On Your Ankle?
You can get accurate reading if you wear your Fitbit device on your ankle under the condition that you wrap is in a snug.
In other words, the tracker shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. Also, make sure the sensors make contact with your skin, or you won’t get the best results.
Some people wear their Fitbit devices on their wrists and others wrap them around their ankle.
So whether you choose to have the tracker on your non-dominant arm or wrapped around your ankle, it does come down to a personal choice.
However, you need to wear the Fitbit on your ankle the right way to get the best results.
The best way to do that is to determine what replacement band can fit you well depending on the size of your ankle.