How Accurate is Fitbit Calorie Burn Count? A Research

In today’s world, Fitness bands are becoming an important gadget for everyone just like a smartphone. With just a small-sized wristband, you can track your health in real-time.

Fitness trackers are like a micro-sized lab on your hand which gives you perfect ideal data of your health. Though they are improving the accuracy of trackers year by year. But it is still impossible for a mini bracelet to provide the health data comparable to expensive equipment in the labs.

In this article, we will discuss how accurate are Fitbit trackers and how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn count. So, make sure to stay with us till the end.

Every wearable fitness tracker company like Fitbit promotes its products on the hinge of their reliability. But how accurate they really are and if not accurate then how close Fitbit’s calorie burn accuracy is?

To understand it clearly, Let’s first have a look at what Fitbit trackers like charge 2 and all the other trackers measure to calculate final calories burned:

  • Steps
  • Floors
  • Running
  • Heart-rate
  • and Sleep.

Fitbit Trackers Accuracy for Calorie Burn

how accurate is fitbit calorie burn count

For this particular article, we would take Fitbit charge 2 results as the prime stats for our analysis of Fitbit tracker’s accuracy for calorie burn and then have a close look at the factors that determine how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn count.

Counting of steps for the calorie burn is one thing, but how Fitbit trackers like charge 2 and its other sub-Fitbit products measure the amount of calories you burn in a day is very complex.

To understand that we will look at every data Fitbit trackers use to calculate your whole day calorie burn count and then use it to see if it is really accurate. Also, we will have a look at a Research that was held on the Fitbit tracker for its accuracy below this article. So stay with us till the end.

BMR data

how accurate is fitbit's calorie burn

The first thing Fitbit calculates is your BMR (basal metabolic rate). The BMR is actually the rate at which your body burns calories naturally without any exercise.

The BMR is calculated from your age, gender, height, and weight. This is the data that you manually need to add to your Fitbit tracker from the Fitbit mobile app.

When Fitbit trackers like Fitbit charge 2 have your BMR data. Then on its basis, it counts your calories from the steps you took throughout the day and also from the exercises performed from the Fitbit app(if you completed any of the exercises from the Fitbit App).

The BMR data is the only data apart from daily steps, floors, heart rate and, sleep duration that Fitbit uses to measure your calories burned.

Energy Expenditure Accuracy of Fitbit Tracker

One study that examined the accuracy of tracking of steps found that the fitness trackers showed the energy expenditure approx. at 8% when the research persons were just at the rest position.

When research people started moving, the accuracy of trackers degraded to the point where the energy expenditure was overestimated by 15-40% when the research people were just walking. Also, when doing regular household activities it was at 27-34% on the trackers.

The interesting finding from the research is, In performing household activities, Only Fitbit tracker estimated energy expenditure accurately and much better as compared to other trackers, getting the energy ex. right within 8%.

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Study on People Wearing the Fitbit tracker

how accurate is fitbit charge 2

Another research to find out how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn was held on 20 participants (10 Males and 10 Females) wearing Fitbit trackers. In which they had to do several physical activities, raking, walking upstairs, playing golf, and carrying products.

In addition to these activities, the researchers kept all the participants to an Oxycon gas analyzer. Which is a highly expensive lab tool used for measuring the energy people burn during physical activities.

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Results of Fitbit Research?

The results of the research determining how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn count was concluded with results that the Fitbit tracker shows significant variations in calculating energy expenditure.

Not only this Fitbit tracker also underestimates the calories burned for certain activates that include walking on a treadmill, laundry.

The most inaccurate and lowest numbers it showed were when participants were cycling, raking, doing laundry. While it overestimated the energy ex. numbers when participants were carrying grocery products.

The research also concluded that the only accurate estimation Fitbit tracker calculated was when the participants were golfing.


So, the quick and final answer to ‘How accurate is Fitbit calorie burn?” is: Definitely not accurate as the high-end expensive machines in labs but from all the information and research stats we have discussed above. We can say that the Fitbit tracker’s calorie burn stats show a lower calorie-burn count on the tracker than what you actually burned. Fitbit trackers may not be very much accurate but they are better than many available in the market.

That’s it, that was all about how accurate is Fitbit calorie burn count. We hope this article helped you with this query. If you liked our content do check out our other articles too like:

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