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TOPIC: Fitbit Accuracy

 
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April 4, 2012 4:47 PM
So, I have my fitbit for a week and what i've found out is this.........I wore the fitbit and my Polar HRM at the same time.......difference in calories burned.....Polar HRM..over 600, Fitbit over 400........bit difference, Now tonight I went to an hour long Zumba class, a class that I know I burn at least 650 calories in........the fitbit said that I only burned 223 calories. This does not make me happy at all. Am I doing something wrong??? Or is this really that innaccurate??
  487108
April 4, 2012 5:12 PM
When walking or running my fitbit is very close to my Garmin HRM. Fitbit only measures steps so maybe the movements in Zumba don't register. If that's the case you have to log it manually.
  2927295
April 4, 2012 5:30 PM
But it easily registerd over 7,000 steps. And if all my info is in, it should be accurate, if not, then what your saying is I paid $100 for a pedometer???
  487108
April 4, 2012 5:33 PM
Yes, you paid $100 for a pedometer... don't think it's claimed to do anything but count steps and sleep habits ... the calories are based on the steps so if you walk 100 steps or run 100 steps I think the calorie count is the same. There's nothing about it that could measure calories other than using your weight/age/steps and guesstimating.
  7251857
April 4, 2012 5:34 PM
QUOTE:

But it easily registerd over 7,000 steps. And if all my info is in, it should be accurate, if not, then what your saying is I paid $100 for a pedometer???

Yes, but a very cool pedometer.
  16946405
April 4, 2012 5:34 PM
Fitbits measure movement and other stuff while a hrm only monitors heart rate. The hrm will count from the time ypu press start to when you stop it. The fitbit can't differentiate between exercise as well.
April 4, 2012 5:35 PM
i have only had my fitbit for 2 days now but from what i have learned....if you log your activity on mpf the fitbit will adjust the calories from the fitbit...it cannot tell you are doing zumba it can only tell you are doing some sort of movement. I have not actually tried it yet so i dont know if i am fully correct about the adjusting feature...not sure if you are supposed to log it on mfp and fitbit.com (for the time) hope that helps :)
April 4, 2012 5:35 PM
So to say,but all a fitbit is,is a glorified pedometer. Isn't made for any other exercises,except things that count steps.
April 4, 2012 5:36 PM
I noticed this as well with my fitbit after zumba. I think zumbacalories.com is more accurate for zumba. Maybe the fit bit works best for just walking, running, jogging.
Edited by BeachyBecky On April 4, 2012 5:37 PM
April 4, 2012 5:37 PM
by the way does anyone know how to make mfp refresh and adjust calories from fitbit.com? It has synced with fitbit.com but has not adjusted on mfp since this morning....how long does it usually take (sorry to go off topic)
April 4, 2012 5:40 PM
Did you run the stop watch feature while doing your Zumba?
  15117065
April 4, 2012 5:49 PM
I do Zumba and when I set my fitbit for the class I can get about 425 calories burned. The same class and doing nothing with fitbit (no activity setting) MFP gives me 560 cals for my activity. Since I don't plan to eat my calories burned to me it really doesn't matter as long as I'm just using it as a guide to make sure I've done enough exercise.
April 4, 2012 5:51 PM
I felt the same way about mine at first ... did you press and hold the button so it would "start" and then when finished press and hold so it would "stop"? I like to use mine to track the number of steps and distance as traditional pedometers are extremely inaccurate for me. I haven't tried using mine to track sleeping habits but like to use it to get a good baseline for calories burned.

But just like the numbers that I am given here on MFP for calories burned doing various exercises, I don't believe 100% of the data. I usually underestimate the time I have spent doing an activity or exercise by 5-10 minutes (sometimes more) to get what I feel is a more accurate number of calories burned. I usually subtract 100-200 of the calories my Fitbit says I have burned unless I have specifically started and stopped it for an activity.
  9184834
April 4, 2012 6:14 PM
So I just ordered my fitbit and I am excited to get it. I mainly want it for tracking my steps during the day and when I walk/jog, but I was planning on not using it while doing my cardio like Zumba or JM30DS and such. I was just going to manually enter that into myfitnesspal. Does that seem like the best thing to do? I am seeing so many different opinions on the subject so I am confused already and I don't even have it yet lol
  2836449
April 4, 2012 6:49 PM
I'll throw in my two cents worth with the caveat that I just started on MFP a week ago and just now received and set up my fitbit. During the process of linking the fitbit to my MFP account a blurb on cardio activities came up indicating that you should select an activity and the start and stop times for more accurate tracking. I popped into MFP on my IPad, and, sure enough, where there had previously been no option to track start and stop times there now is one. I assume that this means that MFP somehow throws the activity, activity time and fitbit data into a blender and somehow comes up with a number that the raw fitbit data would not reflect.

Personally, I got the fitbit for the primary purpose of having a techno-geeky pedometer because I'm a heavy pacer and I'm sure that the default options in MFP don't accurately reflect my "incidental" calorie burn. I was planning on separately logging specific cardio activities, but, I'll try and log some stuff using the above mentioned method and see how the results look.
April 4, 2012 8:04 PM
My fitbit is extremely accurate when walking, as well as stairs/floors. While doing an activity like riding bikes, stationary bike, eliptical, zumba, workingout that isn't involving the movement of walking, it is only accurate in your activity level. Not accurate at all in your steps or miles.
Going by gps, and mapquest, as well as my trip on my vehicle, it was spot on when I walked to a walking trail around the walking trail then back home. (walking trail was 2 1/2 miles) and to and back was 1 mile. it was spot on with 3.5 miles walked, so it is a very accurate pedometer.. Just not so much as far as a standing in place moving around workout, for that, I use my heart monitor. and just keep my fitbit on and timer going, as a activity level checker. because I like to see my flower grow.. Then when marking it into your MFP when you enter the time of your workout, it syncs in automatically adjusting either site it needs to. (MFP or FitBit). I am still very glad I got it, it makes me get up and move, I hate seeing that sedentary.. but I do wish it was better at counting those workouts, those are the workouts I use the most.. So I have just turned to my Body Flex bike, so I can go by heart monitor and the bikes monitor to know how many calories I burn..
  12809490
April 4, 2012 8:06 PM
QUOTE:

I'll throw in my two cents worth with the caveat that I just started on MFP a week ago and just now received and set up my fitbit. During the process of linking the fitbit to my MFP account a blurb on cardio activities came up indicating that you should select an activity and the start and stop times for more accurate tracking. I popped into MFP on my IPad, and, sure enough, where there had previously been no option to track start and stop times there now is one. I assume that this means that MFP somehow throws the activity, activity time and fitbit data into a blender and somehow comes up with a number that the raw fitbit data would not reflect.

Personally, I got the fitbit for the primary purpose of having a techno-geeky pedometer because I'm a heavy pacer and I'm sure that the default options in MFP don't accurately reflect my "incidental" calorie burn. I was planning on separately logging specific cardio activities, but, I'll try and log some stuff using the above mentioned method and see how the results look.


If you log the exercise activity into MFP, it will double count... So just use the START/STOP setting and it will log an activity on FB, and eventually it adjusts on MFP. For example, today I ran to go pick up my van and it logged 173 calories ... when I double log, MFP counts it as 182. Pretty close.
  7251857
April 4, 2012 8:41 PM
QUOTE:

what your saying is I paid $100 for a pedometer???

This is exactly why I did not buy one. I rarely walk or run anywhere, aside from on the treadmill, and the FitBit is otherwise pretty uselessly inaccurate. So, I went with a Polar FT7 and if I do go for a walk or run outside, I use my smartphone with RunKeeper on it to give me a distance tracked via GPS - it also shows me on a map exactly where I went, how far, how fast, calorie burn estimate, etc.. And it's free.
  13964211
April 5, 2012 7:18 AM
Thank you all for you responses......First, yes I do hit the button to start an activity and I also hit stop when its over. I just really thought it was going to be more accurate and if you read the hype it would seem that it is. I had the bodybugg and that was awesome, I thought the fitbit would have been in the same category, i'm disappointed. Although I do like the fact that you can look at the sync and see how much your moving. The dashboard I will give a huge plus to..Thanks again for all the input and keep up the great work!!!!
  487108
April 5, 2012 7:44 PM
I don't "start" an activity and the calories burned still come over to MFP.
April 5, 2012 7:48 PM
I've been considering getting a Fitbit....so do I get one or not? I basically use my elliptical which tells me how many calories I'm burning. Help!
  14417403

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