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How Does Fitbit Work?

Fitbit, the activity tracking device, has gained popularity ever since its launch in 2009. This new-age pedometer monitors one's activities such as steps, run, heart rate, diet and sleep.
Bindu swetha Feb 5, 2020

Calculating Steps

Using a 3-axis accelerometer, Fitbit calculates one's motion. The accelerometer translates the acceleration data i.e. movements into digital data and displays the same on the device's screen. The finely-tuned sensors can detect even a small movement that can indicate one's walking.
Depending on the threshold limit set in the device (by the manufacturer), the device either calculates and considers the movement as a step or it does not. Though the device picks minute movements, it is smartly engineered in such a way that it can differentiate between one's physical movements and that of a vehicle's.
So, steps won't be added to one's account, if the movements are by riding a bike or driving a car. Also, it won't calculate the data that's picked from elevated exercise equipment or stationary exercise equipment. Fitbit uses barometric pressure to calculate elevation change, so as to differentiate between elevated machine exercises and stair climbing.
Apart from steps i.e. movements, the device is also designed to gather the key information such as frequency, intensity, duration and patterns. This data is used to determine calories burned, sleep quality, distance travelled and of course, steps taken.

Calculating Calories

For any health-conscious person, the number of calories burned hold the utmost importance. While using the device for the first time, one needs to feed data such as sex, height, weight and age. Taking these parameters and the measured number of heartbeats into consideration, the device calculates calories burned.

Calculating Sleep Activity

The sleep tracking activity is as easy as it sounds. Depending on the tossing and turning or the restlessness before sleeping, the sleep quality is calculated.

Calculating Distance

Distance is calculated by multiplying the number of steps taken and the walking stride length. Depending on one's height and sex data, the stride length is calculated. The steps taken with the same stride length will be recorded, however, any smaller or unmatched stride lengths will not be recorded.
Similarly, if the device is connected to GPS, it will automatically pick one's runs and calculate running stride length. However, if the GPS signal is lost for a while, the stride length and steps will be used to calculate distance, until the GPS signal is reconnected.

Fitbit Zip

The most commonly used Fitbit model is the Fitbit Zip. The Fitbit Zip is water resistant and has long battery life. The device picks all the aforementioned data such as steps taken, calories burned, distance travelled, and active times. The LCD screen, when tapped upon, displays all these stats and the current time.

Fitbit Alta

The more advanced model, Fitbit Alta, can do everything that Fitbit Zip does, but it also calculates sleep quality, has a silent alarm that vibrates to alert the person to wake up, and a SmartTrack that reminds the person to move. It can also display all Smartphone notifications.

Fitbit Charge 3

One of the advanced Fitbit models, the Fitbit Charge 3 has an automatic exercise recognition like swims, runs, ellipticals, sports, etc., and record this data. It has 15+ goal-based models, to keep one motivated. It also provides guided breathing sessions to help one find calmness, depending on the heart rate.

Fitbit Versa

The Versa model has a built-in NFC chip that can help one use credit and debit cards on-the-go. Additionally, on-screen personalized video workouts are available on the device. Pandora and Deezer playlists can be downloaded on the device that has a capacity of storing 300+ songs. It also has a wireless Bluetooth capability alongside a 4-day battery life.
The other models are Fitbit Inspire, Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Aria, and Fitbit Flyer.

The Fitbit app is available for download in App Store, Google Play and Microsoft Store.