Sensor technology is getting better with each passing day. But as good as it is, sometimes you will be faced with issues. Here’s what to do if your Fitbit is not tracking steps accurately.
How wearables measure steps
You may be wondering how exactly a fitness tracker or smartwatch measures steps.
It does this thanks to something called a triple-axis accelerometer. This is an electromechanical sensor that is capable of sensing gravity as well as linear accelerations.
Housed inside the wearable, it tracks movement in each direction and can determine the body’s orientation, inclination and tilt as well as take inertial measurements of position and velocity. To translate in English – it is capable of figuring out if an individual is walking, running or standing still.
When setting up your tracker, you are asked to enter physiological details such as their weight, height and gender. This is for a reason. The software applies this data to accelerometer readings to come up with an estimated step count.
What to do if your step-count is off
This explanation provides a clue as to what you should do if you suspect there is a discrepancy in the measurements. Double-check that you entered your height correctly. Fitbit uses height to estimate your walking and running stride lengths.
You can also manually adjust these numbers. This is also a solution if your legs are longer or shorter than average.
The other thing you should do is to make sure you are wearing your tracker properly. A Fitbit should be worn a finger’s width above your wristbone.
But before you do all this, make sure your step count really is off. This can be done by walking 100 steps, making sure to count a step each time one of your feet hits the ground. Compare the result with the step tally on your device.
It should be noted, sometimes the discrepancy is not due to any fault. Wearable devices are not perfect at tracking steps. The count depends on the movement of your arms so everyday activities may trigger false readings. If you are in a car, for example, the tracker may add a few steps due to vibrations.
Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets
If your device has stopped counting steps entirely, try restarting it a few times while it is plugged into the charger. Hopefully this will resolve the issue. If not, it might be time to contact Fitbit’s support team.
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