Fitbit Charge HR Accuracy: How Accurate Is It?

Have you always wondered how you can keep track of your daily activities and fitness goals seamlessly? Irrespective of the activity, the Fitbit Charge tracker helps track burned calories, distance, heart rate, steps, climbed floors as well as basic heart rate zones. In order to track and check out summary workouts for your best activities, preset Charge to a special exercise mode for a specific activity. Exercises that involve movement will by design activate your GPS, such exercise modes include walking, running, biking and hiking. Data acquired from such activities is saved and synchronized to the Fitbit dashboard and you can view it later to evaluate your progress.

Fitbit Charge HR Accuracy

The Fitbit Charge HR comes with continuous tracking as an addition to the already existing features of Fibit Charge for a small bump in the price. The accuracy levels while resting are quite impressive. However, the case is not exactly the same when you areactive. Nonetheless, Fitbit Charge HR accuracy levels are the highest for devices in its category.

Accuracy of the Heart Rate Measurement

The heart rate is measured by the expansion and contraction of blood vessels and their rhythm. LED lights on the tracker detect the changes in volume of blood being pumped. To get the heart rate, Charge HR uses a simple formula - 220 subtract your age. This helps you to optimize on your exercise, bearing in mind the various intensities. For the Charge HR to get an accurate reading on your heart rate, wear it a finger’s width away from the wrist bone. This is when you are resting. When exercising, you can push the tracker away from the wrist. The higher you up your arm, the better the blood flow, thus it gives a more accurate reading. The wristband should not be too tight as it will restrict the flow of blood leading to an inaccurate reading. When participating in vigorous exercise like boxing, the Charge HR might not be able to pick up a clear reading. For activities like weight lifting, wait for the muscle to relax to get a clear reading.

Reason Behind the Variance on Fitbit Charge HR and Other Fitbit Products

The Fitbit Charge HR accuracy has been extensively tested against the clip based Fitbit products like Fitbit Zip. With this in mind, the Fitbit Charge HR is meant specifically for the wrist. Therefore, if you happen to move your wrist a lot, then there are chances that the readings on your Charge HR differ from those on your clipped device. Another reason is that since it is on your wrist, then it picks up more steps compared to the clipped devices. If your job involves a lot of hand movement, you are likely to realize the slight difference between the readings of your Charge HR and those of the clipped devices.

Reason for Extra Floor Readings

The Fitbit Charge HR, counts floors using an altimeter. This is an altitude sensor based on atmospheric pressure. Though the Charge HR is meant to measure change in pressure because of elevation, other reasons might cause a change in pressure like wind and opening of a door. This might cause the Fitbit Charge HR accuracy to be distorted by adding a floor or two.

Reason for Extra Steps

When cooking,working at a desk, or other activities involving arm movements, Fitbit Charge HR will think you are walking and can pick up extra steps.

Will Steps Be Counted When Pushing a Shopping Cart or a Stroller?

Though the step count will be low because your hands are not in motion, the Charge HR will pick up as many steps as possible.

Are There Steps Picked Up When in a Car or Driving?

The Fitbit Charge HR has been thoroughly tested against trains, buses and cars, and it does not pick up any steps. It is a smart device and it is programmed not to give steps while travelling. However, on a bumpy road, a step or two might be picked up.

What About Accuracy of Calories Burned?

This is also fairly accurate. Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is responsible for at least half the calories lost in a day. BMR is the rate at which the body burns calories during the normal functioning of the body like brain activity and breathing. BMR is measured according to weight, gender, height and age. Fitbit takes into account BMR when it is calculating lost calories. The tracker also accounts for the calories lost because of the heart rate. At midnight, the tracker automatically resets the calorie statistics and starts over.

Does Fitbit Track Calories Burned by Cycling Accurately?

Fitbit is basically meant for lifestyle/household activities, running and walking. It is not as accurate when it comes to activities like cycling. However, you can log activities manually into the website. This way an estimate for the calories lost in biking can be accounted for in your daily statistics. If the cycling will only take a short time, the rest of the day will be well accounted for. Fitbit is basically meant to give a picture of your day and give motivation to make improvements where there is need.

How to Increase the Fitbit Charge HR Accuracy

To increase the Fitbit Charge HR accuracy you need to change the dominant hand setting. You do this by logging into your dashboard on and selecting the gear icon. Proceed to settings then devices. When you change the setting to “Dominant”, this will make your Charge HR less sensitive. This will help if it has been over counting steps, but if it has been undercounting, the “non-dominant” option is the best as it increases sensitivity. 

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