Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It measures "very active time" in addition to steps, but I have no idea what that means. Assuming it's based on "lots of arm movement, does that mean that it'll pick up jogging, but not a stationary bike? Is there some way to tell it I'm (finally, at long last) working out?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

From the Fitbit help pages:

You earn "Very Active Minutes" when you wear your Fitbit while doing cardio workouts and high intensity activities like jogging, running, aerobics, biking, rowing, or anything where you are working up a sweat.

By default, you are given a starting goal of 30 Very Active Minutes a day based on the Center for Disease Control's recommendation of 20-30 minutes of daily moderate-to-intense activity. You can always change your Very Active Minutes goal to meet your personal needs.

Which doesn't tell us much, though I suspect it should be able to pick up forward accelerations.

Other help topic mention your concern regarding cycling:

All Fitbit trackers are optimized for walking, running, and general household and lifestyle activities. It will not be as accurate for activities like biking, but will record that your were active if you wear your tracker during a non-walking or running activity. For increased accuracy, go to: http://www.fitbit.com/activities or click the "log activity" icon from your Dashboard to manually log activities like cycling. This will allow for a more accurate estimated calorie burn for workouts like cycling to be included in your daily totals. Our online database of workouts makes it easy to save and access your favorite activities.

and:

All Fitbit trackers are optimized for walking, running, and general household and lifestyle activities. It will not be as accurate for activities like biking, but will record that your were active if you wear your tracker during a non-walking or running activity. For increased accuracy, go to: http://www.fitbit.com/activities or click the "log activity" icon from your Dashboard to manually log activities like cycling. This will allow for a more accurate estimated calorie burn for workouts like cycling to be included in your daily totals. Our online database of workouts makes it easy to save and access your favorite activities.

Here's more information regarding manual logging.

Given that the Fitbit Flex uses a 3-axial accelerometer, I reckon it starts counting Very Active Minutes as soon as it notices a deviation from patterns of known activities such as normal walking, sitting or lying down/sleep. Especially if you fall into a repetitive pattern, it should be able to reliably determine you're doing something.

My advice for cycling: put the wristband around your ankles, they might record awkward data, but it'll surely be very reliable.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.