The step count on your Fitbit may be an indicator of your activity, but Fitbit’s active minutes are a clear indicator of your daily activities than steps. Active minutes will let you know if you’re doing the right kind of activity to build fitness and minimize health risks.
Here’s everything you need to know about active minutes on Fitbit.
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What Are Fitbit Active Minutes?
Active minutes measurement shows you’ve been active for at least 10 minutes and burned three times as many calories as you do to the rest. When you’re resting, your metabolic equivalent (MET) is 1. A level of 3 MET or higher shows moderate-intensity exercise.
At 3 MET, you might walk quickly or participate in other exercises that increase your heart rate. A 6 MET level shows vigorous-intensity exercises, including running, cycling, lap swimming, heavy gardening, among others.
Why Track Active Minutes?
Sleep tracking is a great way to get started, but there is a difference between “active steps” and “passive steps.” In “active steps,” you’re continuously taking several steps at a time, while in “passive steps,” you only take some steps, but only for a minute or two.
Passive steps are better than idling on a couch, but active minutes have tons of health benefits.
How Does Fitbit Measure Active Minutes?
Fitbit trackers come with sensors that sense your steps to determine whether you’re moving faster or having a leisurely walking pace. Other trackers are equipped with wrist-based heart rate detection that shows the need for moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise. Heart rate is a more accurate measurement.
How do you earn active minutes?
You need to be active for at least ten consecutive minutes to earn active minutes. If you’re active for less than 10 minutes in a row, they won’t count at the end of the day. You can do several activities of at least 10 minutes to increase your total active minutes.
Therefore, if you walk for 10 minutes after breakfast, do yoga for 10 minutes after lunch, and play basketball for 10 minutes after dinner, this will add up to 30 active minutes.
How many active minutes should I have on Fitbit?
Fitbit comes with a default goal of 30 active minutes per day or 150 Active Zone Minutes per week (22 minutes daily). These goals are based on CDC recommendations for the amount of exercise that minimizes health risks: at least 75 minutes of intense exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
What is the difference between zone minutes and active minutes?
Previously, to earn Active Minutes, you needed to hit at least 10 minutes. But this is now the main difference with Active Zone Minutes, which awards credit immediately.
With Active Zone Minutes, you don’t need to heat the 10 minutes mark to get credit. For instance, you can run up your stairs for five minutes and earn a few Active Zone Minutes.
Are active minutes or steps more important?
By achieving your active minutes goal, here are some health benefits you’re likely to enjoy according to CDC:
- You’ll greatly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve your blood pressure.
- You will minimize the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
- If you’ve arthritis in your joints, low-impact exercises will help you manage pain and maintain function.
- You can improve your sleep, improve your moods, and eliminate the risk of depression.
- You lower the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and exercise can help cancer survivors lead a quality life.
- Additionally, you increase your chances of living a longer and more active life
Are Fitbit active minutes accurate?
Let’s face it. Your Fitbit may sometimes be wrong when calculating your active minutes. Sometimes you may work up a sweat, but your tracker logs very few active minutes or none. This is mainly because your tracker might find it hard to recognize a physical activity that doesn’t involve taking steps.
Fitbit trackers equipped with a heart rate monitor are more accurate since they consider the increases in your heart rate. Fortunately, Fitbits are the most accurate in recording active minutes for runs and walks.
Do all Exercises Count Towards Active Minutes?
No! Active minutes are only detected by Fitbit when an activity hits a MET value of 3 or higher for a period lasting at least 10 minutes. Your physical activities might qualify, but the time of the exercise matters in Active Minutes.
Does Weight Training Show Up as Active Minutes on My Fitbit?
If your Fitbit doesn’t have a heart rate monitor, weight training may not be recorded as active minutes because it’s not a step-based activity.
Staying active throughout the day is a great way to reduce health risks and lead an active lifestyle. You should ensure that you hit your daily and weekly active minutes goals for effective results.