How to make sure your Fitbit is counting steps correctly


It seems like everyone these days is trying to hit their 10,000 steps, close their rings, or complete whatever other task their wrist-based fitness tool urges them to do.

Personally, I enjoy my relatively low-tech Fitbit Inspire 2. And I like seeing how many steps I’ve taken in a day. I wouldn’t recommend using that as some kind of gospel for your fitness journey — steps are pretty arbitrary as a fitness goal in and of itself — but I enjoy using it to get a read on how much I’ve moved around in a given day.

SEE ALSO: Best fitness trackers

If you’re here, reading this article, then you, too, like knowing your step count for the day. If you’re worried the count from your Fitbit might not we accurate, don’t fret, we’ve got three tips to make sure it’s tracking accurately.

1. Make sure you are wearing your Fitbit device correctly

Wearing your tracker incorrectly could cause issues with how its tracking your data. Here’s a quick checklist of things you could be doing wrong:

  • Is your tracker on your non-dominant hand? If you’re wearing it on your dominant hand there might be too much movement, potentially causing an inaccurate read.

  • Is your Fitbit in direct contact with your skin? Make sure it isn’t being worn over a shirt or something similar.

  • Make sure your Fitbit isn’t too tight during everyday use. According to Fitbit’s guide, it should be able to slide on your wrist a bit. During exercise, the company recommends you place the tracker a bit higher and slightly tighter on your wrist, about two fingers width away from your wrist bone.

2. Restart your Fitbit

Listen, there are worse ideas. Try restarting your Fitbit because sometimes problems are easily solved with a quick Off and On. Also, if your Fitbit is super low on battery, charge it, because electronic devices on low batteries don’t always perform well.

3. Recalibrate your Fitbit’s stride length

This is the most complicated but likely best way to make sure your step count is accurate. This is definitely the thing to do if your feel like your tracker is not working correctly or you want to be sure it is as accurate as possible.

Here are the steps to take:

  • First things first, you need to go to a place where you’re certain of the distance. A track is the easy answer here.

  • Count your steps as you walk or run an exact distance, such as 100 meters. Fitbit recommends you take a least 20 steps for this process.

  • Divide the distance traveled by the number of steps taken. That’s your stride length in meters if you’re using a track, or in whatever measure you chose to use.

  • You’ll then have to convert the stride length from meters (or whatever) to centimeters or inches. Google is your friend here, people.

Now you can manually change your stride length in the Fitbit app. Here’s how you do that.

  • Open the Fitbit app and go to your account. You page should look something like this.

What an account page looks like in the Fitbit app.
Credit: screenshot: Fitbit app
  • Select “Activity & Wellness” from the list of options on your account page.

There are only a few steps to go.

There are only a few steps to go.
Credit: Screenshot: Fitbit app
  • Click “Exercise.”


Credit: screenshot: Fitbit app

  • Scroll down and select “Stride Length.” You’ll have to pass a few options before you see it. It’ll look like this.

I'll be under some different exercise options.

I’ll be under some different exercise options.
Credit: screenshot: fitbit app
  • Manually change your stride strength using the calculations you did earlier. All you do is enter your data and your step count should be more accurate.

And there you have it.

And there you have it.
Credit: screenshot: Fitbit app

From this point on, your Fitbit tracker should be as accurate as ever. Happy walking.


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