Does Fitbit Count Arm Movement as Steps?

If you have been eating unhealthy processed food and spending good parts of your days in a seat, it is time to start taking your health and fitness seriously.

And what is a better way to do this than to start exercising and invest in a Fitbit? With a Fitbit, you can easily keep track of your steps, sleep, and heart rate to ensure you have better control of your body’s health and fitness.

But does Fitbit count arm movements as steps? This blog post will answer this in detail, but first and foremost:

What Counts as a Step in a Fitbit?

A typical Fitbit comes with a 3-axis accelerometer, which detects movement in different directions. That is to say, it can detect forward, vertical, backward, and sideways movements.

To determine if you have made a step, a Fitbit has an algorithm that is always on the lookout for specific movement patterns that indicate counting steps while driving, walking or running. That means it won’t register small arm movements like tapping your desk or scratching your head as steps.

Does Fitbit Count Steps If Hands in Pockets?

While a Fitbit is designed to be worn on the wrist, it does mean you always have to swing your arm for it to count steps.

That would be inconvenient.

As mentioned, the device’s algorithm knows when you have taken a step regardless of the position of your arms. This means you can still keep track of your steps, whether walking with your arms in your jeans or hood pockets or texting with both hands.

How Does Fitbit Count Steps Without Walking?

The Fitbit algorithm looks explicitly for patterns that signal you are walking. However, the tracker could record some steps if you are cooking or working at a desk where you numerously swing your arm.

Also, while you may not be literally walking, some of these activities involve making steps occasionally, and your tracker will count and record them.

Read Also: Can Fitbit Track You on a Treadmill?

Why Are the Steps on My Fitbit Wrong?

Your Fitbit is like your fitness partner. If it is showing unrealistic numbers that do not add up, you may be fighting a losing fitness battle. It may even feel like a waste of money.

This could happen if you put your device on your dominant hand, the accelerometer is acting up, or it is low on battery. Therefore, try restarting, putting it on your non-dominant hand, or recalibrating it.

How Does a Fitbit Know You Are Walking?

When you walk, the Fitbit accelerometer detects your movement pattern, intensity, duration, and frequency. Then, the algorithm will evaluate the motion pattern to determine if it meets the set threshold. If it does, then it will be recorded as a step.

Does Fitbit Count Steps Accurately?

You want your Fitbit to be as accurate as possible to ensure you are on the right fitness track. Research shows that Fitbit step counts are usually accurate, which means they are reliable fitness trackers.

Want to increase your Fitbit’s accuracy? If yes, you may want to put it on the wrist while jogging, on the ankle while walking slowly, or on the torso, while walking normally.

Read Also: How to Stop MI Band From Counting Steps While Driving

Do You Wear Your Fitbit on Your Dominant Hand?

If you are like most people, the chances are that you wear your watch on your non-dominant wrist. Think of a Fitbit as a watch and wear it on your non-dominant hand too.

For example, if you are right-handed, put it on your left wrist, and vice versa. This is because you are likely to move your dominant hand a lot while doing your daily activities, which could affect the tracker’s accuracy.

Can I Wear My Fitbit Somewhere Other than My Wrist?

The first thing that may come to your mind when you hear the word ‘Fitbit’ is a fitness tracker worn on the wrist. But this is not always the case. You can also wear your Fitbit on your upper arm or ankle. Even better, you could buy mounts and clips and fix them on your clothes. However, wearing it on the wrist is more convenient.

Does Fitbit Count Step When Pushing a Shopping Cart?

You can run errands while still keeping track of your fitness. Yes, your Fitbit can still count your steps when pushing a shopping cart, a lawn mower, or pushing a stroller.

However, the step count could be lower than the actual number because you are not swinging your arms, which is one movement pattern the algorithm uses to register steps. Try putting your Fitbit on your ankle for more accuracy next time you go shopping or cut your grass.

Can I Wear My Fitbit in My Bra?

Ever worn clothes with no pockets and had to slip your phone into your bra if you are a lady? If yes, you can do the same with your Fitbit, only that you do not have to slip it in there this time. Instead, you should clip it facing outward.

This might make more sense if you are a medic, given you have to be bare below the elbows. You could also clip your Fitbit on your belt, waistband, skirt, or shorts. Be sure to invest in high-quality clips to ensure your device is intact.

Can I Wear Fitbit on Ankle?

If you want your step count and distance accurate, you cannot go wrong with wearing your Fitbit on your ankle. This way, you do not have to worry whether you are swinging your arms enough or not.

However, wearing the Fitbit on your ankle could cause inaccurate heart rate and oxygen levels because it will be far away from your vitals.

As you can see, there are no definite answers to whether Fitbit counts arm movement as steps. It depends on the specific movement.

While the Fitbit may not interpret typing or playing guitar as steps, it could interpret swinging your hands as steps and recording them even if you are walking in place. However, the inaccurate counts are negligible and cannot affect your fitness goals. Happy fitness tracking.

Read Also: Huawei Band 3 Pro Not Counting Steps—Here’s the Fix