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New & Improved Ways to Track Your Activity

Hi there! I’m Christine, and I’ve been working on the product team at Fitbit for the past few months. I’ve been working on enhancements to the website, including improving logging and social features.

Since Fitbit launched, we’ve received many feature suggestions (in addition to building a giant list of our own ideas!). The requests for activity based features generally fall into 2 types – integrating with 3rd party apps (like RunKeeper) and enhancements to our logging tools.

I’ll focus on the second category, where we’ve launched several new improvements (and we’ll post more about our 3rd party integrations on this blog, soon.)

Before we get into the details of what’s new, it might be worth explaining why a person with a Fitbit would want to manually log an activity (since the tracker was made for that!). Here are some common use cases.

  • Forgetting to wear the tracker
  • Doing an activity that is not tracked well (like cycling or swimming)
  • Wearing a heart rate monitor or using another tracking tool while wearing a fitbit

We’ve observed that these use cases are frequent, and being able to support them via manual activity logging helps our customers get a more accurate picture of their overall fitness. Now, here are a few of those enhancements:

Activity search and custom activities

Activity search and custom activities

    • Popular workouts added. If you log manual activities, you can now choose from a variety of yoga styles as well as pilates, elliptical, treadmill, bootcamp, spinning, kickboxing and several Wii and Wii Fit games
    • Activity search. You can search for activities ( in addition to browsing) which makes finding and logging your workouts faster than before.
    • Custom Activities. You can create and log favorite workouts that are not in activity search. This is great for new workouts and ones that vary based on intensity and routine (such as P90X). Find this in the search results box (pictured above) and in the favorites area
Editing calorie estimates

Editing calorie estimates

    • Editing calorie estimates. When you enter a manual activity we estimate the calorie burn, but now you can enter your own – particularly useful for those of you that workout with Heart Rate Monitors (pictured right).
Tracker Record with name & notes added

Tracker Record with name & notes added

  • Tracker Activity record labels (pictured right). When you add records from your tracker you can now give them names and notes. Tip: you can add these records either by using the start/stop button or if you forget to use the button during a workout –  by adding one from the activity log page ( We think this is a handy but hidden feature)

If you have a suggestion or request for Fitbit’s product roadmap, please come post them in our forums.

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Very cool stuff. I am working on a PhD looking at social networking, physical activity and technology. I’ve been wearing a FitBit and a competing product for a few months. Some interesting stats that will be in a future paper – keep on the lookout.

  • Hi, just got my fitbit and do love it. Not really a suggestion, but a bug: When I use the social feature, whenever I look at someone else’s profile (if I look at my friend’s and vice versa), the stats modules on their profile pages say “My Stats” but actually read theirs. Is there any way to fix this? This mislabeled info is really detracting from the UX. Thanks for your attention.

  • I know this post is old but I have a question. When you log an activity such as running, and the fitbit already tracked calories burned for that period of time, does it take those into account or add them on?

  • First of all “love my fitbit”. I just have a question, am I suppose to log my activity even though it is keeping track of my steps? Example; took a zumba class and fitbit kept track of my steps and showed calories burned but if I log Zumba, I burn twice as many calories. What is the correct way to keep track? Can anyone answer this please.

  • Hey Christine – I am not sure if this will motivate a response, as this post is nearly 3 years old. However, as I noticed that you are the Head of Product at FitBit, I wanted to ask you a quick question regarding your work culture/product development cycles.

    How does research/engineering work together in the development of a product? Do researchers and engineers work in tangent with one another, or is it more of a research first than engineering (i.e. figure out what we want the product to do – then start building the product).

    Thanks for your help with this! I will likely look for another way to contact you as well, but thought I would start here.

  • I am trying to figure out how to enter my yoga sessions on my FitBit using my IPhone 5S. The app does not show the icons that the directions keep referring me to – for example – there is no + under activities to add an activity. Do I need to use my computer? Thanks.

  • In other words, if you actually workout, buy something that tracks your activity level better.

    Great product if you don’t work out, and simply want to know how many calories you burned walking to your car. Anything beyond that is inaccurate and for 30$ more I could have had a product that did what I needed to do.

  • Not everything is measured in miles or time. I purchased the advanced fitbit program thinking it might give me a bit more options but still can’t find what I need. How do I measure activities like pushups, situps, pullups and other general circuit training. I see a lot of people here asking the same thing about Yoga, Martial Arts, etc.

    As a prior body-building instructor, I can figure certain things out such as it would be an average of .40 calories burned per pushup at my weight so with that info, how do I enter it as a “custom activity” without being forced to measure by time or distance which has nothing to do with these forms of circuit training or is fitbit not capable of doing this yet???

  • Hi, I have the Fitbit One device and have a querie.
    When tracking activities such as running, I put my device into sleep/activity mode to monitor how long the activity has been going for, as well as the intensity. However, while doing this I have noticed that the timed activity is ONLY recorded in ‘activity history’ on the Fitbit website – but no exercise or timed activities (other than my sleep) are recorded within the android app on my phone.
    I therefore double-log the activity, by manually entering the time and distance travelled into my phone, so I can see my activity/exercise over the course of a week/month (without having to use the website).
    I was wondering if this is a feature that the app is unable to perform (logging timed activities) at the moment, or whether I am doing something wrong?
    Are you’re supposed to double-log activities? It’s a lot of extra hassle and would be nice to see timed exercise within the app.

  • I have yet to see the information harvestable with fitbit or some other tool utilized to study longevity benefits. It will come. Some insurance company will give lower rates to folks who are willing to friend them and share their data over the long term. Data could be analyzed using a multi factorial approach that might yield valuable insight into how to extend our healthspans significantly. (and save themselves tons of money!!!)
    What diseases are impacted by our habits most. Are there diseases that respond to life style changes that we are not currently aware about.

    Who owns the data base? I wonder if fitbit owns all of our data? Oh, to be a young graduate student in this era!

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