Written by Julie

How accurate is your Fitbit?

Fitbit develops the most accurate activity trackers. With a Fitbit on your wrist, you can be sure that you're accurately informed about your steps, heart rate, distance, or sleep. It can sometimes happen that your Fitbit is a bit of the mark. The tracker might count fewer steps than you actually take, count them when riding a bike, or say that you get more exercise when you switch the tracker from your left to your right wrist. Read how that works here.

Why is my Fitbit measuring extra steps?

Fitbit extra steps

The technology Fitbit uses for counting steps has been calibrated to recognize walking and running patterns. These include certain arm movements. If you're behind your desk or cooking, it could happen that you move your arms in ways that are similar to what you would do when walking. It's also true that if you vigorously move your arms and hands around, it might seem that you've walked extra steps. That'll make your partner feel better. The number of steps counted like this by your Fitbit is negligible compared to all the steps you take in a day.

Why does my Fitbit count steps when I'm riding a bike?

Fitbit accuracy

The only thing you did this morning was ride your bike to work, and still your Fitbit says you've already taken quite a few steps. It's possible that your tracker registers steps on bumpy roads. This has to do with the movement your body makes at that moment. If you have a Fitbit that has a multi-sport mode and you want to track your activity when cycling, indicate this before you get on your bike.

Why does my Fitbit measure extra stairs?

Fitbit accuracy

When your Fitbit measures stairs, it does so using an altimeter. That's a sensor that determines altitude based on air pressure. Factors like a gust of wind or suddenly opening a door can cause the tracker to register an extra floor.


When you feel your Fitbit is counting extra steps or stairs, you can indicate that in the Fitbit app. Go to 'Log' and click on 'Activity'. In the list with all the data, select the steps you want to ignore. Type 'driving' for instance and indicate the time. Click on 'Log Activity' and your number of steps will be reduced.

Why is my heart rate not being measured accurately?

Fitbit accuracy

The accuracy of your heart rate can be influenced by the way you wear the Fitbit on your wrist. Your heart rate is measured most accurately if the width of your finger fits between the Fitbit and your wrist bone. If your Fitbit shifts while exercising, your data might be less precise. You shouldn't wear the tracker too tightly either. A tight strap impedes blood flow and your heart rate is measured from that blood flow. That's also the reason that workouts in which you use the muscles in your forearms a lot ā€“ like strength training and rowing ā€“ lead to less accurate heart rate measurements. The muscles in your forearms will get bigger and press on the veins. This will influence blood flow.

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