How To Get Your Fitbit To Count Steps While Pushing A Stroller

There are parents who set daily step counts whenever they are up and about. It is both fun and a great way of working out. One of the devices you can rely on when tracking your activities and calories burned in a day is a Fitbit fitness tracker.

While this device works great most of the times, it does have some shortcoming when counting your steps as you push a stroller with your little one on board. As a mom who spends most of your time either pushing a stroller or a trolley, this incapability is a big problem.

As you push a stroller, your arms are still, yet the Fitbit requires your arms to be active so that it counts all of the steps you make. A possible solution is swinging your arm around as you push the stroller with the other hand. This article will help you know how to get your fitbit to count steps while pushing a stroller.

Why are some steps unaccounted for with a Fitbit?

Apart from pushing a stroller, there are a host of other activities that end up in uncounted steps by a Fitbit device. Other activities include pushing a grocery trolley, wheelbarrows, walking on a treadmill (hands on the crossbar), holding an umbrella, using a walker and other activities that don’t involve any hand motions.

The reason for this apparent inefficiency is the tendency of wrist model Fitbit to measure activity levels based on hand movement. So, as you have your arm in a still position, or move slightly, the device believes you aren’t getting any sweat on.

Buying another Fitbit to replace the wrist model you have is probably out of the equation. But if you can, then either a Fitbit one or a Fitbit Zip would be ideal. These options are attached to your clothes, eliminating the flaws in the Fitbit Charge 2.

However, even with your seemingly flawed Fitbit, there are hacks that you can use to count steps while pushing a stroller.

Hacks for Counting Steps While Pushing a Stroller with A Fitbit

1. Push The Stroller with One Hand

It may go against stroller usage conventions, but if the Fitbit measures you full strides based on the swinging motions of your hands, then this hack will do. What I do is let the hand with the Fitbit on swing freely as I push the stroller with the other hand.

It is a hack I learned from one of the Fitbit community forums and my steps count has been pretty accurate of late. I have also noted that it works for other users as well. So, if you are having this Fitbit problem, having a one-handed stroller operation may solve it.

The only problem is that you might end up with a sore elbow from using excessive pushing force with one hand. Maintaining a straight path on uneven terrain is another nightmare.

2. Push The Stroller with The Fitbit in Your Pocket

Sounds ingenious, right? Well, if your motionless arm is the problem, then why don’t you have the Fitbit in some other body part? Your pockets offer a great alternative to your arms with pretty accurate results as well.

As you push the stroller, put the Fitbit in the back pocket of your jeans or side pockets of your jacket. Ensure the pockets have zips, otherwise, you may lose the device in the course of your trip. This hack is easy, fast to grasp and yields accurate results.

The only drawback to this hack is the possibility of losing the Fitbit. Also, if you forget to put it back on your wrist, you may end up washing it as you do your laundry. When in your pocket, no heart rate data is logged into the device.

3. Bra Strap or Belt Loop can Work as Well

No pockets? No problem. There are still a whole lot of other points you can attach the Fitbit device on. Your belt loop and bra strap are perfect spots for solving your uncounted steps while pushing stroller problem.

In comparison with the previous method, this hack sounds more secure. You don’t have to deal with unzipped pockets, neither do you run the risk of forgetting to remove it after your workout. However, you still need a strong clasp on the Fitbit to prevent it from popping off.

4. Strap the Fitbit onto your Ankle

Right, I know that look. Your Fitbit probably doesn’t fit around your ankle. There is already a solution to this problem as you can add an ankle band to your Fitbit for a secure fit around your ankle.

Once you have gotten the fitting right, you can rest easy as the results will be more accurate than the previous alternatives. There is also the alternative of tucking the Fitbit into your socks for added security.

5. Let the App do the Calculation for You

If you don’t need very accurate results on the steps count, you can log the activity later into the Fitbit app, then it does the calculation for you. Note that this is based on a pre-determined formula and may not represent the actual steps you made while pushing the stroller.

It is the same technique used when you forget to bring along your Fitbit when going for a run or when the battery runs out. On the Fitbit app, tap on the (+) button then the track exercise button. To change from tracking to logging, slide its selector to log.

From the available menu, search for walking, key in the pace, duration of walking, and the distance, then let the app do the steps calculation for you.

Knowing the exact pace, distance, and time of pushing stroller is key to getting the most accurate results from this method.

6. Utilize internal GPS

First of all, not all Fitbits will have an inbuilt GPS, so your options are a little limited here. If you own the Surge Fitbit, then you can use the hike setting to accurately record how many steps you make.

Despite the unavailability of this option on some Fitbits, those that have it generate accurate results, while also being able to record your heart rates.

7. Synchronize Your Fitbit with External GPS

Your Fitbit has no inbuilt GPS? Worry not. You can still sync it with other apps to allow you to count your steps while pushing a stroller. Popular applications are Map My Walk and Map by Run which is compatible with Fitbit.

While this method is convenient, it has its set of challenges. Since you have the apps running during the whole time you are pushing the stroller, power drains quite fast.

Conclusion

A Fitbit is your greatest fitness companion. If you set up a daily step of say about 10,000 steps, when it clocks this figure, it buzzes, lights up, and fireworks go off on the screen. How great does it feel to be appreciated for reaching your goal?

If you were looking to solve the inherent inability of Fitbit to count steps while pushing a stroller, I hope these hacks have been useful in a way. You can then connect with friends and share your results. You can even have a mini competition to see who clocks more steps in a single day while pushing their strollers.

  • November 7, 2018
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