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Yesterday, I traveled 4.46 miles on my Octane Q37xi, which should correlate to roughly 9,000 steps. My dashboard only recorded 4,402 steps, less than half. I assumed the problem could be the stride length differential between me (6 foot tall), and the fixed stride of the elliptical.

Last night, I adjusted the stride length under settings on fitbit's site, to match the elliptical stride of 20.5 inches. I entered 1 foot, 8.5 inches. Today, I traveled 3.13 miles on the elliptical, and my flex only recorded 2.037 steps.

I am ready to return the flex as the elliptical is my primary source of exercise. If it consistently under records my steps, what's the point?

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The very reason you use an elliptical (low impact on your joints) makes it difficult for the accelerometer in the FitBit Flex to detect the difference between strides. It wouldn't count steps right when you're swimming either, even if your legs are moving. This answer tells how FitBit expects you to log elliptical training.

If you use the elliptical at a steady pace, you could count your own steps for 30 seconds, then multiply by the time you work out. One interesting thing you could do is use the FitBit to do exactly the same number of steps (walking or running) and see whether the weight-bearing exercise has any different effects on your health.

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Stride length is only really applicable if your attempting to verify / compare the distance covered during a treadmill based workout. The distance given by the other pieces of equipment are pseudo / equivalent distances, to that a treadmill would record for a similar level of effort input, anyway as you've actually gone nowhere they're all wrong ;-)

The Fitbit is principally an electronic pedometer, so it's primary purpose is to track STEPS WALKED, if your looking to measure / quantify other forms of exercise, and calories consumed, you're probably better off seeking out a heart rate monitor.

For info: There have been a number of studies and articles published that evaluate / estimate the accuracy of pedometers and fitness trackers eg.

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