A Fitbit is a must-have in any fitness fanatic’s arsenal. It not only monitors your activity but offers tons of motivation by allowing you to compare your stats with your friends. But, have you ever wondered how Fitbit tracks your friends’ steps and activities?
All Fitbits have 3-axis accelerometers. This technology works with a step counting algorithm to track your friends’ steps and other movements. It converts all their physical activities into concrete data accessible on the Fitbit app.
A Fitbit can provide surprisingly accurate insights into your daily activity and workout routine. It keeps tabs on the number of footsteps, calories burned, workout intensity, and distance traveled. Some models even track various exercise modes, like swimming, yoga, and biking.
But is the data it collects completely accurate? If not, what can you do to improve its accuracy? We answer these questions and more below.
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Are the Fitbit Steps Accurate?
According to a study NCBI conducted on Fitbit’s accuracy, the Fitbit trackers are “acceptably accurate” for step counting about 50% of the time. Moreover, the device’s accuracy changes depending on where you are wearing the device.
For example, wearing it on the wrist provides the most accurate measurement as you jog. Ankle placement is the best for slow walking. And wearing the Fitbit around your torso yields more precise results when walking at a normal pace.
In general, Fitbit’s steps are accurate enough for non-medical use. So even if it is off by a few steps, this inaccuracy does not affect the real results.
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How Do I Make My Fitbit Steps More Accurate?
You can make your Fitbit steps more accurate by wearing your Fitbit so that it remains in contact with your wrist all the time, by entering your correct stride length, by changing your Fitbit’s location according to your activity, and by enabling the GPS feature on it.
The Fitbit algorithm isn’t perfect. For example, it can mistake a bumpy car ride as extra steps or fail to count the efforts you have taken on a soft surface like a plush carpet.
But there are ways to improve its precision and make your Fitbit steps more accurate. We have discussed five of them below.
Wear the Fitbit Correctly
The biggest mistake many Fitbit wearers make is not putting it on correctly. It strongly influences the device’s reading. The device should remain in close contact with your body for improved accuracy. Not dangle on a lanyard around your neck or clothing.
Enter Your Correct Stride Length
The Fitbit algorithm uses default data drafted on your height to estimate your stride length, but there is a solid chance this estimate does not match your actual stride length. So you can improve your Fitbit’s accuracy by manually measuring and entering your correct stride length.
- Start by measuring an area where it is possible to take ten steps at a normal pace.
- Walk-in that pre-measured area, counting your steps until you reach ten.
- Now divide the distance you covered by ten, and the result you have is your stride length.
Customize Your Information
Fitbit uses the information you provide in the app to calculate your daily activity and steps. If this information is incorrect, it can lead to inaccurate step logging. Ensure that all the information you have entered, like your height, stride length, wrist orientation, etc., are correct. It will make your Fitbit steps more accurate.
Change the Fitbit’s Location According to Your Activity
As we already discussed, where you wear your Fitbit also affects its measurements. So, changing its location as you indulge in various physical activities also improves its accuracy. For example, try wearing it on your wrist while jogging, around the torso for normal walking, and over your ankle while walking at a slow pace.
These placements provide the most accurate footstep logs for these respective activities.
For situations when you can’t swing your arms as you walk, using the Fitbit’s GPS feature helps log your footsteps more accurately. So, the next time you take your baby out in the stroller, turn on your Fitbit’s GPS.
How To Turn On Fitbit GPS
- Open the Exercise app and swipe to find the exercise you want to track.
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the exercise settings.
- In the GPS section, tap the switch icon to turn on GPS.
- Swipe down to return to the exercise screen.
What Is Community on Fitbit?
Community on Fitbit is a networking platform for people who use its products and are passionate about fitness. It is a truly diverse forum consisting of millions of people worldwide sharing the same obsession while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Users share their experiences, goals, stories, insights, and tips about their fitness regimes and Fitbit products in the Fitbit community. While community members have connected over Fitbit’s social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, a recent Fitbit app update has also enabled in-app community interaction.
Earlier, you could use the friend’s tab to connect with your existing family and friends. But now, you can use the community feature to search for like-minded people with similar fitness prospects. You can form new friendships, join groups around your topics of interest, and view the status updates in the feed.
The community serves as an ultimate source of motivation. You can challenge your friends to fitness competitions, cheer them on as they work towards their goals, or taunt them when they lag.
Let’s look at how the Fitbit Community works:
You can find the community icon at the bottom of the screen when you open the Fitbit app. You’ll find it on the spot where the Friends tab used to be. It looks like this “”. Once you tap on it, you will see three sections – Groups, Friends, and Feed.
Groups are an integral part of the Fitbit Community. Members create groups around popular topics like food, becoming fit, family, and more. You can join the groups that interest you the most and post queries, experiences, and photos. You can also comment on other members’ posts. They are a great way to share updates, inspiration, and connect with new people.
The friends tab from the earlier version is now moved here. This section has not undergone any changes. You can view your friends’ updates, send them messages, and compete with them in challenges.
The Feed on the Fitbit community is where you see status updates from your friends and groups. It works very much like the news feed on Facebook or Twitter. Here you can share anything — pictures, exercises, dashboard, badges, trophies, etc. for your community to see.
Are you curious how long your Fitbit will last you? To see how long your watch will stay working to track your workouts you can read my helpful article.