Getting fitness data from an Apple Watch

When I got an Apple Watch last year I knew it would not work with the Fitbit platform easily (the two companies don’t like each other much).  I like some aspects of the Apple Watch but the fact that you can only look at the data on your phone or tablet makes it a poor competitor to the Fitbit platform.  There are apps that will sync your Apple Watch steps with your Fitbit account if you’re looking to replace your Fitbit with the Watch but I wanted to collect data from both so that I could compare them.

Now that I’ve had the watch for almost a year I wanted to get my step data from it and see how it compares with the Fitbit data.

The first path I found from a web search was to export the data from the Apple Health app. While the procedure works, it is painfully slow. For me it took over 20 minutes and my phone could no be used during the process. When I finally got the data it turned out to be a 60Mb XML file and I had to find another tool to convert that into a file that could be read into Excel. It just seemed there had to be a better way.

More web searching and I happened upon a free app named ‘QS Access‘ which allows you to select which Apple Health data you want and creates an Excel file of that data.  The app is quite fast and solved my need perfectly.

From a quick look at the step and distance data the first thing I noticed is that since a phone knows the distance it covers you get actual step and distance data without needing to specify a stride as you do with Fitbit.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the Fitbit and Apple Watch data compare but that is for another time.


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