Hardware watches

Will Fitbit work on the ankle?

will fitbit work on the ankle
Fitbit's full smartwatch and tracker family: not an ankle bracelet in sight.

Fitbits, you may have noticed, are designed to be worn on the wrist. 

The main reason for this is obvious: every single currently available model has a screen on it, and the wrist is simply the best place for quickly checking data.

But there are definitely drawbacks if you’re obsessively counting steps. Relying on wrist movement to measure walking can lead to serious underestimates (if you’re pushing a buggy or a shopping trolley, say) or overestimates (if you’re sat down and drumming, for example). 

So is there anything stopping you strapping a Fitbit to your ankle?

Will Fitbit work on the ankle?

There’s nothing stopping you strapping a Fitbit to your ankle if you really want to – other than the thickness of your leg, of course. In the likely event that you find your Fitbit’s strap doesn’t stretch far enough, there are plenty of custom straps and bands designed for ankle wear on Amazon, so fill your boots – if you’ll excuse the reference to feet when we’re talking about ankles.

To be fair, they don’t cost much: the one pictured below is currently £6.99 on Amazon Prime.

But it’s important to remember that this generation of Fitbit devices weren’t designed to be worn anywhere but on the wrist. That not only means that reading notifications will be an act of contortion that even a seasoned yoga pro might struggle with, but other functionality could suffer. The heart-rate sensor, for example, is designed to measure the easily visible veins on your wrist, not the better hidden ones on your ankle. That, in turn, affects sleep tracking, which uses heart rate to tell what stage of sleep you’re in.

Plus there’s a decent chance this could make your step counting less accurate. Think about it: because Fitbit devices are designed to be worn on the wrist, the company has made adjustments to the way they measure arm movements. Measuring from the ankle simply isn’t supported, so your mileage – both figurative and literal – will vary.

Still, some people swear by it, so feel free to give it a go if you’re happy with the ‘tagged prisoner on day release’ vibe.

Are all Fitbits designed for the wrist?

All the currently available models on the Fitbit site are wrist based – although you can buy an official clip for the Fitbit Inspire, which lets you attach it to clothing if you prefer. 

The discontinued Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip also had this clip design, with Fitbit suggesting they’re clipped “tightly to a shirt pocket, bra, pants pocket, belt or waistband”. Given these devices are specifically designed for the purpose, you may find the step count more accurate on these models, but it’s worth noting that they’re pretty basic when compared to more modern Fitbit devices.

READ NEXT: Will Fitbit work with Huawei phones?

About the author

Alan Martin

Alan has been writing about tech professionally for a decade, and answering tech questions to family members on a voluntary basis for even longer. That should make him an ideal fit for Big Tech Question, then...

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  • Suppose you are over weight and your veins dont show on your wrist? Put the sensor near you achilles tendon and it should work fine. Compare it to taking your pulse manually for 15 seconds x 4 and see your results. Seems to work ok. Also, i got a extra band and cut a piece to make it a longer band instead of using a band that has a pocket and mesh that could block the sensor.