How to Manually Add Steps Activity Data on a FitBit Tracker

Fitbit trackers are popular fitness devices that allow you to track your daily activity, exercise, sleep, and more. While Fitbit devices automatically track your movement throughout the day, there may be times when you want to add activity data manually.

When to Manually Add Steps

Here are some common reasons to manually add steps or activity data to your Fitbit:

  • You forgot to wear your Fitbit device for part of the day.
  • Your Fitbit didn’t accurately track steps for an activity. This can happen when pushing a stroller or shopping cart.
  • You want to log a specific workout that your Fitbit didn’t automatically detect, like strength training or cycling.

How Accuracy Works

Fitbit trackers use an accelerometer to detect motion patterns that represent steps. They apply proprietary algorithms to interpret this motion data and determine your step count, distance, calories burned, and more[7].

However, no fitness tracker is 100% accurate. Fitbit accuracy ranges from 46-97% in controlled testing environments[22]. Accuracy is affected by:

  • Walking speed: Faster speeds are more accurate when the device is worn on the wrist. Slower speeds are more accurate when worn on the torso or ankle[22].
  • Activity type: Pushing a cart or stroller may undercount steps[7].
  • Wear location: Wrist, torso, ankle, or clipped onto clothing[22].
  • Device model: Some trackers have more advanced sensors.

Steps to Manually Add Activity Data

You can manually add activity data either in the Fitbit mobile app or on the Fitbit website dashboard:

Using the Mobile App

  1. Open the Fitbit app and log in.
  2. Tap the “+” icon and select “Log Previous” exercise.
  3. Choose the exercise type (walk, run, hike, etc.)
  4. Enter the date, start/end times, duration, distance, calories burned if known.
  5. Tap “Log It”.

Using the Website Dashboard

  1. Log in to your Fitbit account on
  2. Click the “Log” tab.
  3. Under “Log Activities”, click the exercise type.
  4. Fill in the date, time duration, distance, calories.
  5. Click “Log”.

The mobile app and website allow you to log details like duration, calories burned, intensity minutes, distance, and even heart rate for some exercise types. However, you cannot manually enter a specific number of steps. The system will automatically calculate an estimated step count based on the activity details you provide.

Tips for Accuracy

Follow these tips to help ensure your Fitbit tracker records steps and activity data as accurately as possible both automatically and when manually logging:

  • Make sure your personal stats (height, weight) and stride length are set accurately in the app.
  • Wear the tracker properly tightened on your non-dominant wrist.
  • Occasionally calibrate your stride length by manually calculating over a known distance.
  • Log strength workouts, cycling, and other non-step activities that won’t auto-track.
  • Check that the exercise type matches what you actually did when manually logging.

What About Challenges and Leaderboards?

One limitation to understand is that manually logged activities will not count toward step challenges or friends leaderboards. So if you care about competing in those features, try to wear your tracker consistently[5].

However, manually added activity data will display in your personal daily and weekly summaries of steps, exercise minutes, distance, calories, and more.

Can Data Be Edited or Deleted?

If you make a mistake when manually logging activity:

  • In the app, tap the exercise entry and edit details or delete.
  • On the website, click the date’s Activities list and edit or delete.

You can also fully delete all data for a particular day if needed.

So in summary, while Fitbit trackers aim to automatically track your activity with no effort on your part, you have the option to add or adjust your stats manually. Doing so allows you to log specific workouts, add missing steps from times you didn’t wear your device, or correct inaccurate step counts. Just be aware that manually entered data doesn’t count toward competitive challenges.