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How Does Fitbit Calculate Your Average Steps? How to Count Steps

If you’re wondering whether your Fitbit counts your steps correctly or not, it’s important to understand how it exactly tracks movements.

One of the basic functions of fitness trackers is to calculate average steps; getting accurate results can help your fitness journey, so are you ready to learn how these devices work?

Fitbit is designed with a three-axis accelerometer that counts your daily steps and converts recorded movement into fitness activity. The average daily measure is calculated based on your steps taken every day. As a result, the step counter is more accurate than calories burned, and distance traveled.

Knowing how Fitbit counts your steps is tricky, but I have included the most important topics to make it easier.

In this article, you will learn how to calculate your average steps, how to calculate them daily, and how to make your Fitbit steps in a day, so keep reading.

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How Do You Calculate Average Steps?

Fitbit uses the data in your account, including your daily steps, and shows it on your dashboard, to calculate average steps. It will normally change per day depending on how many steps you take daily or weekly. For example, you can get 7-day average steps based on the previous seven days.

Fitbits can tell when the three-axis accelerometer inside the device moves up or down, forward and backward, and side to side.

It can tell when you move in these directions to count your steps accurately. Based on the data recorded, the device can easily know whether you’re simply tapping your hands, running, or walking.

With these complex algorithms, Fitbits know when you’re moving your feet, riding a vehicle, or even just moving your body while staying in one place, it eliminates movements that are not taking steps. Hence, the average step count calculated at the end of the day is remarkably accurate.

How To View Average Steps On Fitbit

  1. Press the main button located on your Fitbit’s side.
  2. Press the side button several times or touch the screen to view different stats.
  3. You may also check the paired app via your mobile device or access the dashboard on your computer to see your step history and daily steps.
  4. On the Activities, tap Today or select a specific date range.

You should see all the recorded data that your Fitbit has tracked on a certain date. However, some activities, such as driving on rocky roads and playing drums, may cause inaccurate step counts. Therefore, removing your Fitbit watch for these activities and other similar ones is important.

One big problem with Fitbits is how often they break. You can read my article about my experience with Fitbits and how often they break.

How Do You Calculate Average Steps per Day?

Calculating average daily steps can be done using a step tracker, a fitness-friendly device, or a dedicated smartphone app. Daily average steps vary depending on various factors, including sex, age, location, and occupation. It’s also affected by lifestyle, overall health, and transportation choices.

There are about 2,000 steps in a mile. The stride length of an average person is roughly 2.1 to 2.5 feet, meaning it takes more than 2,000 steps to walk a mile and over 10,000 steps to walk 5 miles.

Sedentary people only have an average of 1,000 to 3,000 steps per day. Adding steps every day has plenty of health benefits for all ages.

Wearing a Fitbit or a fitness tracker is a proven way to count your steps daily. You should wear it every day to see consistent results. It encourages you to take extra steps that you otherwise wouldn’t, that extra daily walk you take might not seem like a lot, but over time, it makes a HUGE difference to your health.

Start by wearing your Fitbit when you wake up and until it’s time for bed, then record your daily steps in a notebook or logbook just in case your tracking device gets damaged to know your average steps.

After wearing the fitness tracker for a week, you will get your average daily steps. You will probably be surprised by how few or many steps you take daily. Ideally, you should increase your weekly steps by at least 500 each day until it becomes easier to achieve 10,000 average steps per day, according to a 2011 study, which was a good healthy target.

Calculating Steps Per Mile

According to The Walking Site, your approximate steps per mile depend on your height. So, if you have a height of 4’10”, your average steps per mile is 2,645. For 4’11”, it’s 2,600 average steps per mile. For 5’0”, it’s 2,556 average steps per mile, 5’1” is 2,514 average steps per mile, and so forth.

Let me give you an idea of how average steps per mile are calculated.

First, your height (inches) is multiplied by 0.413 to get your average stride length. So one mile is equal to 63,360 inches. Now, let’s do the math and calculate that.

Here’s the formula for a 5-footer with average steps per mile of roughly 2,534:

63,360 inches / 25 inches Stride Length = Steps Per Mile

For someone who is 6 feet tall, the average steps per mile are 2,112, as calculated below:

63,360 inches / 30 inches Stride Length = Steps Per Mile

These are only rough numbers. Your final average steps per mile usually depend on how short or long your stride is. The length of your legs differs from another individual, so your average steps will differ from the examples even if you have the same height.

If you’re curious about how to use your Fitbit on multiple devices, you can read my article about the Fitbit app and how to use it on two devices.

How Do I Make My Fitbit Steps in a Day?

  1. Make walks entertaining.
  2. Embrace household chores as a way to get into steps.
  3. Park further away. 
  4. Use the bathroom on another floor.
  5. Break your steps up throughout the day.
  6. Create your long walks.
  7. Walk the dog.
  8. Take part in Fitbit challenges.
  9. Take daily walks throughout the day (one when you wake up, another after lunch, and one before bed).
  10. Go for walks with an accountability talk partner.

Checking your daily progress is easy, as your daily steps are displayed on your dashboard. However, increasing your average steps can be challenging. To help you, here are some of the most effective tips to get your steps in each day:

  • Watch Netflix while jogging in place or play your favorite video game as you exercise on your treadmill.
  • Use the staircase instead of the elevator, or walk around while taking over the phone.
  • Put some distance between your parking lot and your front door.
  • Break your walks each day. Do shorter walks three times instead of a large walk.
  • Walk your dog every day and play games with your kids.

The most effective way for me to make my Fitbit steps in a day is by participating in Fitbit challenges. The challenges are organized by Fitbit community members who manage awesome challenges to encourage people to walk more while having fun.

Taking your phone with you to track your steps can be a drag, but is it possible to leave your phone at home and still follow your steps? Learn the truth in my article.