How Fitness Trackers Count Steps! Is It Accurate?

How Fitness Trackers Count Steps

Fitness is now in the top priority hence accuracy is solicited. Users often ask how fitness trackers count steps! What’s the mechanism behind it. This level of curiosity emphasize ability of accuracy.

Fitness bands or fitness trackers use multiple sensors to track the steps, and other activities.

In following passage, we have discussed how it works actually, the level of accuracy, and also how you can use it properly.

Mechanism Of Sensors In Tracking Steps

As the name states, a fitness tracker consists of several sensors. During walking, a sensor called 3-axis accelerometer in your fitness tracker tracks your movements with acceleration, and frequency. After that, the recorded data is processed in the software, and shown the analytics.

Technically, fitness trackers hold more fitness tracking sensors than smartwatches or hybrid watches. That’s why we can have more sensors in fitness trackers.

To measure your heart rate or pulse optical sensors play a vital role. However, some fitness trackers use are with blood pressure, SpO2.

Sleep tracking is one of the most important factors for a few patients but without tri-axis motion control we can’t calculate the sleep percentage.

In addition, the Altimeter measures altitude, it helps when you are on climbing mode, or walking upstairs. While you used to lift a weight, go jogging gyroscope plays a vital role in the rotation, and orientation measurement- shows calories burn amount, sleep quality, and so on.

The more the sensors are the more the data will process perfectly. Thus, we can get an accurate measurement from trackers.

In the last few years, few fitness gadgets have proved that how fitness tracking devices can give results in terms of an accurate results as compared to a medical device. 

Fitness brands like Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung, Galaxy watch is trying their best to give accurate data to the users.

Fitness Algorithm To Represent Data

After acquiring data, your smart gadget stores it in its memory. But it can’t calculate, hence the data has to be a tracker to the software- fitness app. After that, the algorithm functions process the data with preset professional fitness guidelines.

Now, What’s the Preset Professional Fitness Guideline? In the software, there are some criteria, or limits of fitness advice such as the amount of exercise for a specific calorie burn, daily, weekly fitness target goals, fitness improvement status, and so on.

 After submitting the data, the user has to set the goals he or she want to achieve in a specific time, current weight, height, age, etc.

During the course of the fitness journey, the software will show you each, and every type of detail that is required in fitness improvement.

Generally, each fitness brand has its own fitness App- such as Apple fitness+, Samsung Health, And Fitbit. On the other hand, Google Fit, DailyBurn, Strava, MyFitnessPal is performing well nowadays.

Fitness and health is crucial factor. Therefore, those brands that have gained a significant amount of love, and respect from users are trustworthy.

It is highly suggestive that you must choose fitness goals, activities, and all other guidelines from a professional source.

Software That Makes It Easy To Understand

Thanks to the fitness App facilities. You know if you see the raw data from the fitness tracker, we would wish to throw the device outside the window but developers know that we are not happy with the ugly numbers, and stats.

Well, that’s why they programmed the software that is easy to digest. At any App, you can see different navigation for each type of parameter.

Fresh and clean data are waiting for you in the analytics dashboard. Where you can watch your performance in the form of graphs, histograms, and pie charts.

Suppose, you set calorie burn goals, it will show you how far you are from your daily goals. Moreover, it will notify you if you are near to deadline.

It helps a lot during super tiring sessions. Because we either forget or willing to avoid the workout for the day. Then it reminds us what our goal was.

How Accurate Fitness Tracker Tracks Daily Steps

Some people got frustrated after getting the wrong data. This is called ETC- Error in tracking calculation or few say it- Misunderstood Motions or Misunderstood calculation.

Trackers often show undercount or overcount results due to many reasons- the sensors basically measure movement upwards/downward, rotation, and vibration.

Hence, whenever you do some specific task such as operating a drill machine or holding a phone that’s vibrating it will count steps.

During driving, you will have to rotate your hands but after reaching the office you will see you have waked more than a thousand steps as it counts rotations.

In addition, there are other tasks such as chopping vegetables, washing dishes, cooking also cause count steps.

The funny fact is that some trackers count steps if you are on an escalator because it counts upstairs motion using air pressure.

How To Calculate Steps Accurately? 

After reading the previous point, we feel like Should I spend $300 to get false data. To tell the truth, this is not the case technically. Most fitness trackers are well-modified to perform better.

If you use a high-quality fitness tracker the error is a slight fraction of actual data. That’s is enough to maintain your fitness on day to day basis.

Even medical devices are not 100% accurate. Therefore, you need not worry about the accuracy too much. Instead, you could follow some process to get these data more accurately.

Be Active Only Measuring Hours

If you want to measure your steps accurately, turn on your gadget only in the active hours. When you want to measure the steps you will be aware of the movements, time, distance, and so on.

In jogging, some people prefer morning walks, climbing, cycling, you can turn the device on for tracking. Thus, you will get far more accurate data.

Wear It Firmly

Do you prefer to watch classic Rolex? Then you will also like not to wear it firmly on your wrist. However, for fitness tracking accuracy you need to wear it firmly on your wrist.

But here it is not meant that you need to put on it so firmly that feels uncomfortable.

Never Track During Low Battery

Throughout the day, you will have a little time to charge it up. It is better to keep its battery on the previous day because with a low battery you can’t expect proper data observation.

It’s better to track at least above 20% power supply remaining.

Follow The Manufacturer Guidelines

The different brand has different instruction to assemble the devices. Often error occurs because you are using it properly. From strap assembling to app settings you should follow each, and every instruction to keep your device on its pick potentiality.

Choose Trustworthy Brands

Anytime when a fitness gadget gets a reward from the customers, it is just because of the authenticity. And fitness is not a matter of joke right! Therefore, you should only follow those brands that have gained the trust of a decent amount of people.

It’s better to avoid any new, and unknown brand with super-catching advertising.

Choose Hands Wisely

To Avoid Random movements, you must choose your hand. Basically, fitness guidelines say to wear the tracker on the non-dominant hand.

Using these tactics you can avoid a few percentages of unnecessary counts on your gadget.


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Soumyadeep is tech, and SEO enthusiastic. He writes on tech facts, SEO, internet marketing. Enjoy the conversation with him on his social profiles.

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