Thank you, SLYSAM, for the additional input. This was also very helpful and I will be checking out the bmr/rmr calculators!
Fitness Minutes: (104,846)
1,473 11/10/12 2:24 P
Just to add, the base of it is what Courtney describes for time that has passed if you have calorie estimation turned "on" and are not wearing the fitbit or not moving. If you are wearing it and move around enough, it is more like an estimate of your bmr (the calories you bur at rest so less than your sedentary burn) + how fitbit estimates your activity calories. How fitbit estimates your activity calories has a lot to do with how much you move (steps) and how fast they are in any given minute. Notice on the fitbit dashboard there is a graph of calories burned per five minutes, the graph has colored spikes. The colored spikes represent the activity level that five minutes is classes as... gray = sedentary, teal=lightly active, yellow=fairly active and red= very active. Fitbit actually does this per minute as the pie chart for "time active" breaks this down per minute of the day. So it is tracking how much you move (to the extent it can) even if it isn't intentional exercise and more movement would result in adding more activity calories on top of your base bmr calorie burn.
Just one side comment, I can't really comment whether 2000 calories is high for a sedentary burn. I think it might be quite typical for some people considering that a lot of people eat more than 2000 calories a day (some restaurant meals can run that in one meal). It can be pretty hard to compare calorie burn estimates among people of different heights, weights, ages, and genders. Some people might have a 2000 calorie burn just from sedentary activity while others have to work very hard to reach 2000 calories (or may not be able to). It really varies by the height, weight, age and gender and how they balance out. Similar to the common discussion on "how many calories did you burn today?" in this board. Some people routinely post a thousand or more exercise calories, yet I would have to workout for three hours or more to get my heart rate monitor to credit me with that many calories burned. It is kind of meaningless to compare unless maybe you are comparing with people very similar to yourself. It might make more sense for you to run your stats through a couple of the popular bmr/rmr calculators to see what kind of numbers they give you. They are just estimates, but each method gives me a slightly different number. Keep in mind the number these give you should be slightly lower than your "sedentary" calorie burn for the day (as even sedentary assumes some activity while bmr/rmr is meant to be what you burn resting all day).
Thank you all for your responses. Cortney, this perfectly explains away my confusion! Thanks you so much for your help!
Fitness Minutes: (50,979)
3,236 11/8/12 2:08 P
From the fitbit website
When you first join Fitbit, your dashboard will show an estimated number of calories burned for that day. The estimate is based on your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which we calculate using the height, weight, age, and gender information you provide during sign up. If you are using the Tracker and syncing your data we replace the estimated burn with the Tracker's data plus any additional activities you might log that were not captured by the Tracker.
When nothing much is logged, we try to guess how many calories you have burned if you were sedentary. (Sedentary means you got out of bed, got dressed, went to your day job, came home, and did nothing much more than walk to your car). Once you start logging activities, we assume that you know best and we stop estimating; we use the data you provided. If you only log a small portion of your activity, we'll be missing a lot.
(If you are not using the Tracker and just using our online tools to manually log your food or activities, then you will see estimated calorie burn plus what you manually log in activities. If this applies to you, you should probably also log your general life activities - i.e. 8 hours of working at a desk or 1 hour or so of house work to get a better picture of how many calories you are actually burning.)
contact fitbit directly. they may be able to help you. the support team is very good. also if you are on facebook look up Craig Raiper. he runs a group for fitbit on there and he is also extremely knowledgeable. the group is closed to the general public but message him and he will send you an invite.
Fitness Minutes: (75,769)
6 11/8/12 1:05 P
I just received my Fitbit yesterday...and I have to agree and would love to find out the answer as well...can anyone help?!
So, I am sure that this topic has probably been discussed and buried somewhere within all of the message boards, but I had trouble finding it, so I thought I would make a new topic. I am hoping someone can help.
I have the Fitbit Ultra and I love it! The sleep tracking is so awesome! I am having trouble, however, understanding why the calorie burn counts are so high. I just got it and have only been experimenting with the features, but have been wearing it daily, mostly as a pedometer, to have an idea of what I walk each day. In other words, I have yet to use it for a workout or an actual walk or jog, but it is averaging 2,000+ calories burned, when I am sedentary most of the day.
Does anyone else have this problem? I read that it estimates what you burn as you are sedentary throughout the day, but this just seems extremely high for me, considering you only burn in the 100s range on a walk or jog. Does anyone know how to make this more acurately reflect what one may truly burn in a day so that I can sync it to my Spark account?
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