August 2018 I got my Fitbit Versa. It took me a month to find the perfect fitness tracker for me. I wanted it to be stylish yet rugged. I swim, so water resistant was a big yes from my side. After a lot of searching and scorching the internet to find the best fitness tracker/ Smart watch at a good price. Soon I realised that my demands weren’t going to be met by something very cheap but at a moderate cost for which I would have to empty my pockets a bit out of my comfort.
I was adamant to buy the versa. It was the perfect match for all my needs. The day it came I legit skipped my morning class to update and set it up. Over the moon is an understatement.
Then the biggest rock hit me. The Fitbit Community awarded me loads of awards one day. I was shocked. How could I deserve something that I didn’t even achieve. I did not walk 10,000 steps. I definitely was thousands of steps behind from reaching 20,000. My versa was counting steps while I was travelling by bus to my college. Without a doubt, I was the most upset fitness enthusiast at that time. It shattered me. I felt like I wasted my money. As a college student money is THE major factor for me. I couldn’t believe that I had spent my precious for something I can’t be proud to wear anymore.
Not only was it counting it all wrong but misbalancing my actual routine. I loved seeing the number at the steps I took at the gym. Now I had to subtract and math it all to actually find out. I did not sign up for the hassle.
That is too much of a rant. Let us get to the problem, solution and what others had to say about this.
The problem Specific :
Fitbit counts steps while in the car, bus etc. It misbalances the whole tracking of an Individual. It makes you wonder the worth of your money. Let us see some of the questions asked by many in the Fitbit Community. Later on we shall what Fitbit has to answer for this mishap.
What is the Source of this Problem:
Well, someone was helpful enough to link the problem to WHERE THE PROBLEM ARISES FROM. This seems fair enough to first get to know the source of the problem and if we can manually Solve it. Here is the link and what it provides.
Fitbit devices use a 3-axis accelerometer to understand your motions. An accelerometer is a device that turns movement (acceleration) into digital measurements (data) when attached to the body. By analysing acceleration data, our devices provide detailed information about frequency, duration, intensity, and patterns of movement to determine your steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and sleep quality.
The devices have a finely tuned algorithm for step counting. Algorithm is designed to look for motion patterns that are most indicative of people walking. It determines whether a motion’s size is large enough by setting a threshold. If the motion and its subsequent acceleration measurement meet the threshold, the motion will be counted as a step. If the threshold is not met, the motion won’t be counted as a step.
Other factors can create enough acceleration to meet our threshold and cause some over counting of steps, such as riding on a bumpy road. Fitbit engineers have worked diligently on your tracker’s algorithms to make sure that it does not pick up false steps or activity recordings while in a car. Unless you are driving in a car with a stiff transmission or on back country roads, your tracker should not give you credit for any work that you don’t do.
This question naturally arises as the price of Fitbit devices are nowhere near the lower side in the market. They ask for a good amount of money for which you expect to get a decent product that is accurate and does its own work. Since this is not head on related to the solution you are looking for I will just provide the link to the article here.
Solutions on the Fitbit Community :
1. STEPS DELETION
The help article recommends to delete steps that the device counts while you are on the drive.
Log in to your fitbit.com dashboard
Click log activity.
You can now delete the steps, floors and calories for the time you specify.
It does not seem right. I did not buy to do the work manually. All I wanted was a device that could do that for me. Anyway here is the article that teaches how to delete your steps. I personally did not like this solution.
Most of the people agreed that this was not at all a feasible solution to a problem so grave. People had different reactions.
2. DriveBit App
One of the Fitbit Community member suggested to download DriveBit App, this app takes the hassle our of keeping your steps count while driving accurate.
Once you get into the car simply tap ‘START’ , this begins the trip. Once over, click ‘STOP’ to automatically log the car drive to your Fitbit account. The app takes care of keeping track of the length of your drive and syncs it as a new activity to your Fitbit account in the background. The activity overrides any erroneously counted steps and keeps your step-count accurate.
This solution seems to be working for a lot of people. It is more user friendly to just tap on and off then to set a fixed time for the time you’ll be driving. This seems more accurate than the later.
3. Shift to Dominant Wrist
Shifting to dominant wrist makes the Fitbit less senstive to small movements. However this is not the case for everybody and is too subjective to be regarded as a proper solution.
My Fitness Pal
Most of the solutions were the same. The solution on DriveBit App seems to be the most popular here as well.
I am a Fitbit Versa owner. I love it. This problem is a big concern for me. I would like to request to the Fitbit makers to look into this and get rid of it. If I knew this would happen it would have affected my decision. I am FITBIT fan and this is more of a concern then a complaint from my side.