Activity tracking – Why is it important to measure elevation?

Activity tracking – Why is it important to measure elevation?

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Among the metrics tracked by the Withings Pulse, there is elevation. But what are we talking about? Does it mean this smart tracker has an altimeter? How does it work? Why would someone want to know this? Let’s elevate the debate and learn all about the second metric displayed by the Pulse’s screen.

The explanation

When you walk up a flight of stairs you burn more calories than if you just walk the same distance on a horizontal plane. If you are serious about tracking your activity it is important to have a tracker that does more than just counting steps. This is why, beyond steps, the Pulse also measures the vertical distance you climb. In the end, taking elevation into account provides a much more accurate calorie-tracking.

Elevation has many shapes

The Withings Pulse counts all your upward steps, whether you are exiting the subway, swallowing steps 4 by 4, or you are slowly but surely conquering the Mont Blanc in the Alps. The Pulse tracks it all, and converts them into burned calorie equivalents.

An informative metric

You get an interesting feedback when you consult the elevation data on your Pulse. After a balad or a race you can instantly see how many feet/meters you’ve moved vertically. You can even try to guess it with your friends! You’ll be surprised by how steep that flat stretch actually is. The tiny Withings Pulse is able to calculate the elevation, thanks to its altimeter, high precision MEMS 3-axis accelerometer and carefully carved algorithm.

Know when to take the stairs

When you are wondering how active you have been today, and if you should take the stairs instead of the elevator coming back from work, the Withings Pulse comes in handy. Whip out your Pulse, press the top button twice, and check how much elevation it has measured so far today. See a low number? “No problem! I’ll take the stairs!” See a high number? “OK! I could take the elevator… But I’m going to use the stairs anyway! Wow this tracker really turned me into a more active person!”


At Withings, we make a range of products that empower people to make the right decisions for their health. Our award-winning connected devices are known for personalization, cutting-edge design, and ease of use, allowing anyone to measure, monitor, and track what matters via seamless connection to the free Health Mate app available for iOS & Android.
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