Side note re: jumping rope and jumping jacks. This really surprised me, but when I compared the fitbit burn to my heart rate monitor burn they are often the same for jumping rope. I think the impact counts a little in the fitbit intensity, but I would expect the hrm to estimate a higher burn due to the constant arm movements. Jumping jacks tend to count as 3 steps or so for me so it does give it a pretty fast pace. I did a workout dvd called "Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp" and was surprised that both my Polar hrm and fitbit gave the exact same calorie estimate for this workout. This workout alternates between cardio and bodyweight strength (or resistance band intensified bodyweight). During the cardio portion you can run or do jumping jacks and other plyos. I tend to jump rope, run in place or do jumping jacks during the cardio portions. The whole workout was red (very active) spikes with little yellow dips during the strength portions. The fitbit might estimate the activity/calorie burn from jump roping and jumping jacks okay for you. Of course, the distance is meaningless for those activities. Most of the strength exercises included in the workout mentioned are generally not well tracked by the fitbit (there were a lot of pushups for example).
December Minutes: 703
Fitness Minutes: (102,199) Posts: 1,473 1/23/13 3:10 P
I didn't change mine for the first year or so. Then I did. In my case, I did notice a difference. I ended up achieving fewer "very active" minutes from walking (I think this is a good thing). Before I calibrated my stride, I saw very active minutes when fitbit determined I walked or ran faster than 3.8 mph. This happened pretty much whenever I did a brisk walk for more than 5-10 minutes. I do walk pretty briskly though. I did notice my distance when I walk briskly was always farther than I walked (it was fine for slower steps as near as I can tell). When I tested and changed my walking and running stride settings, I still see very active minutes when I exceed 3.8mph only now it is harder. Usually when I walk, it counts as "fairly active" minutes unless I am really walking like I am in a hurry. My distance has been more accurate too. I suspect my height based running stride was too long and was being applied to my brisk walks.
I am not sure how much of a difference with calorie burn it made, as my weight and age has changed so I just burn fewer calories now anyway. I do think the activity levels and distance are more accurate for me now though. I don't consider normal in town walking to be "very active" for me--unless I am going as fast as I can so I prefer it being counted as "fairly active" time. I think for some people the height based defaults are fine--possibly the same as what you would enter if you calibrated your stride. I think it just depends on whether you are noticing inflated distances and activity compared your actual activity.
December Minutes: 703
Fitness Minutes: (20,178) Posts: 309 1/20/13 5:03 A
I did change mine to what I thought my average stride is for most of my walking exercise. I do not know if it affected calories burned at all; I wasn't expecting it to do that and didn't even try to compare. But, it definitely affected the distance. I will probably adjust some more because I think I put a stride that is too short. I like it to be accurate for my walking workout; not worried about the incidental walking around.
"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." Edward Everett Hale
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Personally I noticed better accuracy for runs/walks. I am not so concerned with the step count while performing other activities because honestly they amount to very little when compared to the whole picture.
Raúl Leader of the FitBit Users Unite! SparkTeam www.fitbit.com/user/228NLM ~Keep moving people!~ ^^^You got this!^^^ *** Just Do! ***
current weight: 205.6
Fitness Minutes: (448,995) Posts: 119,801 1/19/13 5:38 P
I think most did not bother. They just let the system figure it out
Everybody tells me that they would love to knit, but they don't have time. I look at people's lives and I can see opportunity and time for knitting all over the place. The time spent riding the bus each day? That's a pair of socks over a month. Waiting in line? Mittens. Watching TV? Buckets of wasted time that could be an exquisite lace shawl. ~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
For those of you who have set your stride length under your Fitbit profile: Did you notice a big difference in your calories burned/distance traveled? Do you like it better than the automatically-calculated values? Does it even matter to you?
I don't know if it's worth it—I mainly just compare myself with myself, so I'm not overly concerned about accuracy. Plus, my stride varies depending on how fast I am running or walking, so it can't be very accurate in any case. Not to mention the fact that I do a lot of jump roping and jumping jacks, which must throw off the Fitbit something fierce!
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