Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit floors climbed not accurate? Here’s what to do.

We’ve all had this happen. Just going about our day as usual to notice in the Fitbit app the floors climbed is not accurate. What’s going on?


How do Fitbit devices calculate floors?

Fitbit devices detect floors using something called an altimeter. This is a sensor that measures altitude based on atmospheric pressure. The device on your wrist takes these readings to estimate elevation gain. Fitbit assumes an elevation increase of 10 feet equates to 1 floor. The company has estimated that this is the average between residential and commercial floor heights in the United States.

What to do if your Fitbit counts too many floors


Where do things go wrong?

The Fitbit floors climbed count may not be accurate – so don’t be surprised. This is because there are issues when detecting floors climbed based on atmospheric pressure. Natural elements such as a gust of wind or weather change can effect the measurements. Even something as simple as opening a door can sometimes cause your Fitbit to register extra floors! Mowing the lawn can be a cause of an elevated count as can many other activities.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

The second thing to keep in mind is that the device on your wrist equates 10 feet to 1 floor climbed. Long staircases may rack up your floor count pretty quickly. The other culprit are moving staircases. Combine that with manually climbing while on a moving staircase and your floor count will shoot right up.


How to correct the data?

Unfortunately the Fitbit app does not allow you to delete floors, or steps for that matter. It’s not ideal but there is a workaround. It consists of adding a driving activity to override the extra floors or steps.

This can be done one of two ways. In the Fitbit app, choose the Today tab and then the Exercise tile. Tap on the + icon/Log or Log Previous to add an exercise. Choose Driving as the exercise type but make sure the details overlap the time period of the unwanted steps or floors. Tap Add or Log.

Essential reading: What’s inside a fitness tracker?

Now go back to the main view. Have a look and you’ll notice the floors and steps have magically disappeared for the time period you specified.

The same can be done via the Website dashboard. Choose the Log tab and go to Activites. Under Log Activites add a Driving exercise. Again, main sure to specify the correct time period. Tap on Log to finish.

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32 thoughts on “Fitbit floors climbed not accurate? Here’s what to do.

  • I am a new fitbit user. Today, I noticed that my fitbit said that I had done 27 flights of stairs when I had not done any stairs. I did however walk up a hill 4 times that has about 70-80 feet of elevation from bottom to top. After researching how fitbit calcualates flights of stairs, it is apparent that it considers any increase in elevation of 10 feet as a flight of stairs.

    Reply
    • I just started having this problem yesterday and I have had the Fitbit Charge 2 for just over four years. This has not happened before. I would surely love to know how to fix this.

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      • I know, right!? I’ve used Fitbit watches for six years and have never had this problem until two weeks ago. Yesterday, it recorded me climbing three flights of stairs while I was sleeping. I sure wish they would get this problem resolved, stair climbing is one of my number one exercises to track. Disappointing…

        Reply
  • Some how I have registered 287 flights of stairs today while walking….I did not drive anywhere, get on a ship in rough seas (boy do stairs rack up when that happens). I am usually pretty active and a typical day of stairs is 70-130 flights…

    Reply
    • This just happened to me today, June 2, 2021, but this article is from 2019! And then there’s a reddit post on the Fitbit sub from six years ago! This is an ancient issue, and it still has not been solved!

      Reply
      • I just started having the same problem last week, too. It’s June 2021.

        Reply
      • I think it’s just the sensor they use is not good. Changes in weather, door opening, anything that might change the air pressure could be at fault.

        Reply
  • While this article is correct. The current floor count problem started with a firmware update, and will not be fixed without a firmware update.

    Reply
    • Well that explains why the floor climbed started in May 10th. Up until then, no problems.

      Reply
        • Please, Fitbit programmers, return the firmware to the old settings! I, too, had pretty accurate floor numbers until the last firmware update, and after that my Charge 4 registers way too many floors…even while I sleep!

          Reply
  • I have 14 steps in my house staircase. I probably go up and down at least 10 times a day. Fitbit doesn’t count them. Seems like a real problem. Get a 15 year old to re-program this issue!

    Reply
    • I live in a 4-level split, so 3 short flights—21 steps—from bottom to the top (w/a step in between to turn). It doesn’t matter how fast I run, or how much I move my arms—I have yet to register a single floor climbed. I’ve gone on multiple walks in the neighborhood where I know I’ve climbed hills that are more than a 10’ increase in altitude—not running, but at a brisk pace. Still nothing. My iPhone in my back pocket or the front pocket of my hoodie has no trouble with this.

      It’s a scam. 😹 Is Fitbit trying to make us buy a higher-end device?

      Reply
  • The last few weeks my fitbit is also registering way more floors climbed than I have actually done – Just did a relatively flat walk that typically would register maybe 4 floors or so, and it shows 57!!

    Reply
    • Sme for me. Any fixes yet?

      Reply
    • Cannot get this watch to work correctly I now have two charge 2 and over 10 different bands. Since update took away stairs. Planned obsolescence can’t use bands on any other upgrade Fits-hit i think🧐🙁☹️😖😫😩😢😭😤🤬

      Reply
  • I play tennis today I got 257 flights of stairs

    Reply
  • Same thing happening here. My charge 4 is way over counting floors climbed. Started a few weeks ago. All of a sudden my daily floor count went through the roof. Today I went for a completely flat, short run at sea level, Fitbit says I had a 261 foot elevation gain during that run. Something’s wrong causing inaccurate floor count. Is there a fix?

    Reply
    • Same here. 200 flights a day when I probably did 5.

      Reply
  • Well, now that we all have the same problem, why does no one give us the solution? I have “earned” many badges climbing stairs. Yesterday I earned 747 floors … and have earned 4000 lifetime. Really? Amazing for wearing the Fitbit for less than a year with no stairs in my house. How do I erase the erroneous badges so it can start over?

    Reply
  • yep same problem here. yesterday 20 floors climbed. so far today 12. i haven’t climbed a single stair step either day. My wife and I each got a charge 4 at the same time. Hers is doing it too. wtf fitbit?

    Reply
  • I have a fitbit sense. Only up and down the stairs twice today. But I have 14 stairs logged…. what’s going on.

    Reply
  • If I had known that my FitBit Sense be so unreliable about sensing what I am doing, I would have returned it. Thank you for nothing, FitBit; you gave me hope for assistance, you took my money, you gave me false readings of my efforts and progress, gave me bad suggestions like set my activity to driving to eliminate floors, and, although part of one of the best software companies on the planet, have not made the effort to fix the problem. Call your mothers and tell them that you all are making good livings as thieves.

    Reply
  • I agree! My FitBit4 is a huge disappointment! And too late to return it!

    Reply
  • My Fitbit Charge 2 is counting way too many floors (stairs). I have had it since June 2017 and all was fine until recently. This is so frustrating. I see from other comments that this is not a new issue. Why has it not been fixed? I know this tracking device will not last forever. Before, I was sure to be replacing it with another Fitbit device. Now, I’m not so sure.

    Reply
  • Yep, pretty annoying. I just climbed my cellar stairs, more than 10 feet altitude change, twelve times and got ‘credit’ for five floors. Same thing yesterday, did the stairs 32(!) times and got ‘credit for 10. I’m counting calories and using the app to calculate my intake and output each day so this is certainly not dependable. Come on FITBIT fix this!

    Reply
  • My new luxe has yet to acknowledge ANY stairs, with the charge it at least counted 1 for every 2. Guess my split entry house is not tall enough for Fitbit. Wish I could change the setting to 9 feet elevation instead of the standard 10

    Reply
  • Charge 5. March 2022. This problem still exists. Most of the time it has no clue when I go upstairs, and today it miraculously says I did 12 flights.
    Add that to the fact that it thinks I’m swimming nearly every day, and I haven’t been in a pool in years, and I’m highly disappointed. My old versa 2 was way more accurate.

    Reply
  • This is a real problem or a worthless feature. This is my 2nd Fitbit Sense. Returned the first one as defective a couple of months after I received it because of this floor issue which was showing 10x or more higher than it should. The new one does the exact same thing. I get credit for 25 floors on a Saturday morning just getting out of bed and watching TV for a few hours. No stairs, no driving, no mowing, no hill climbing, just occasionally walking around on a single floor in my home. I’ve owned many Fitbits, the previous one was the Charge and it was very accurate with Floors. Maybe Fitbit should change this to a barometric pressure feature.

    Reply
  • I bought a fitbit Blaze in 2016 and started running stairs. The watch lasted about 6 months then failed as soon as it got some sweat on it. So I bough an Ionic, that is waterproof and still counts stairs. It worked for about a year, then failed too. I was offered a refund as part of a recall and used it to buy a new Versa. But this thing is all over the place! Yesterday after some sports, it indicated 8 floors. Then in the evening I ran up 40 floors here in my condo building. When I finished my brand new Versa said 24 floors!

    What a disappointment!

    This thing is not maladjusted, it is completely off the mark. 8 floors + 40 floors should have read 48 floors more or less a few. But instead it only registered 16 extra floors when I ran up 40 flights of stairs? As a stair runner, I need a watch that can count stairs reliably. This thing is not even close. I’m not doing anything unusual and going up the same stairs I ran with both the Blaze and Ionic. They were both about 10% off, but at least were reliably off.

    The new Versa shouldn’t be sold to count floors climbed if it is more than 50% off!!

    Reply
  • Today at noon it showed me at 56 floors climbed. I’m up and down 2 flights of stairs a great deal; during the day but not 56 times by noon. The really weird thing is that at 3pm I was at 12 flights!! It just decided to remove 44 flights? I’ guess this means the number of steps walked and the calories burned are also inaccurate. What a waste of $200.

    Reply
  • This has nothing to do with a firmware update breaking anything. I had a versa 2 for 2 years and it always did this. Literally hundreds of floors a day, every day. Then I switched to a versa 3, the same happened so I returned it after an month and got a Sense. Guess what? Exactly the same thing, still wildly inaccurate reporting of floors.

    The only fix is to ignore it. I don’t know why Fitbit feel the need to include it anyway, it’s not even a useful feature for me.

    Reply

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