Does Fitbit Charge 3, 4, 5 Track Floors Climbed? (And How to Fix Inaccuracies)

Does Fitbit charge 3, 4, 5 track floors climbed

With advancing technology, doing almost anything has become much easier. This includes monitoring your health too! Taking care of your health with technology is accessible not only to fitness enthusiasts but also to the common crowd. A Fitbit helps with exactly that. It is a step tracker that tracks and records the number of your steps. It is a wearable device, making the entire process easy and convenient. That said, there are several generations of the same product. Each of these has several unique and overlapping features.

Does Fitbit Charge 3, 4, 5 Track Floors Climbed?

The Fitbit Charge 3 and 4 can track floors climbed. However, their accuracies vary depending on the kind of technology each one uses. On the other hand, the Fitbit Charge 5 cannot track the number of floors climbed. Also, it does not count the floors if you go down a flight of stairs instead of going up.

How Does a Fitbit Calculate Floors?

You might think that a Fitbit counts the number of steps you climb up or down, just like it counts the number of steps when you walk. However, the technologies these devices use to do both these tasks are vastly different. To count how much you have walked, a Fitbit uses an accelerometer.

On the contrary, Fitbit devices that calculate flights of stairs use an altimeter to accomplish this task. A pressure-based altimeter can calculate the altitude based on the change in atmospheric pressure. The atmospheric pressure is the result of the Earth’s gravity. The Earth pulls everything towards it and the pull is much higher at the surface of the Earth. So, when you go up, the amount of pressure reduces. Hence, the change in pressure corresponds to the amount you have climbed. An altimeter smarty makes use of this fact. In this way, it can measure the floors you have climbed.

Does The Fitbit Charge 3 Track Floors Climb?

A Fitbit Charge 3 has an in-built altimeter. Thus, it can track the number of floors you climb. When they introduced the Fitbit Charge 3 after the Fitbit Charge 2, they were quite the rage. This was because the Fitbit Charge 3 had an exciting feature – water resistance. Many people switched to Fitbit Charge 3 because they wanted a waterproof device.

While the waterproof feature worked just fine, people noticed some problems in tracking the number of floors. As the device could tolerate water, people went swimming. After that, the number of floors registered was much higher. Sometimes, the number could be as high as 49 floors in a single day. Thus, though the Fitbit Charge 3 can track the number of floors you climb, the accuracy varies depending on your activities.

That said, the feature in itself does not cause any damage to the device. If you do not use the device for swimming and upgrade the software, you would notice that the number of floors counted is consistent. However, the solution from the company was that you could manually correct the wrong inputs.

Does The Fitbit Charge 4 Track Floors Climb?

The Fitbit Charge 4 also has an altimeter. So, it can count the number of floors you climb. The Fitbit Charge 4 comes with a GPS. It enables you to track your location accurately. Although it can track your location correctly, the device cannot make a reference to the sea level. This is because the altimeter it uses to count the number of steps is not calibrated. It only measures the elevation by monitoring the changes in pressure over a short period of time. Thus, it cannot give you the absolute value of altitude. It means that it cannot aid in your hiking or mountaineering activities where you need to know your exact position with respect to elevation.

Does The Fitbit Charge 5 Track Floors Climbed?

The Fitbit Charge 5 is the latest model of Fitbits. It has many new features that make it an interesting product. However, it does not have a built-in altimeter. Thus, it is not possible to track the number of floors you climb with your Fitbit Charge 5.  Due to all the inaccuracies from the previous versions, Fitbit has not included the altimeter in this version. Although people are demanding the addition of an altimeter to the Fitbit Charge 5, the company has not currently planned for it.

Why Is Your Fitbit Counting the Floors Wrong?

A Fitbit device is programmed to register a floor after a continuous motion, or an elevation gain of 10 feet. So only your device will count one floor only after you climb at least 10 feet.

For example, you climb 4 short flights of stairs of say 5 feet each. In this situation, your Fitbit will show that you have climbed only two flights of stairs. This is because, for a Fitbit, two flights of stairs = 20 feet. It does not matter how many steps you have climbed, or what the actual number of flights of stairs was. In this case, you have climbed 5*4 = 20 feet. This corresponds to 2 floors according to the Fitbit.

So, if you notice that there are some variations like this, your device may be working just fine. However, if this is not the case, here are some reasons your Fitbit may not be counting floors correctly:

  • You are trying to measure simulated stairs: If you are in the gym and trying to have a workout by climbing stairs, you would use simulated stairs. For this, you could even use the inclination feature of your treadmill. And you would want your Fitbit to measure how much you have climbed. After all, you are burning the same amount of calories, aren’t you? Unfortunately, your Fitbit relies on actual variation in pressure when you climb a certain amount (at least 10 feet) of stairs. This elevation is not replicated in exercise equipment. Hence, your Fitbit cannot measure it. So, if you want to track the number of stairs you have climbed with your Fitbit, you will have to physically climb them.
  • There is a storm: A storm or any natural phenomenon like winds can change the pressure of the atmosphere. And, if you are still walking in such weather, your Fitbit may think that you are climbing stairs!
  • You have a broken altimeter: An altimeter is the heart of the system that measures the number of floors you have climbed. Thus, any damage to your altimeter would mean that your device measures floors inaccurately or does not take them into account at all. If this is the case, you must take your device to an expert. They would suggest the next course of action.
  • Lotions: As crazy as it sounds, if you use hand lotions, you may cause a bit of a problem with your Fitbit pressure sensor. It is because some Fitbit devices have a hole around the pressure sensor that you cannot close. When it comes in proximity to any greasy fluid, it could have trouble counting the number of floors correctly.

How To Correct the Inaccuracies in the Number of Floors Registered?

Even though you cannot delete the record of flights of stairs from the app, you can correct it. This requires you to cancel out the extra steps or floors during the activity. Here are the steps which will help you get this done.

  1. Log in to your Fitbit app and go to the Today tab.
  2. From there you can select the Exercise tab.
  3. Click on the Log Previous icon to include an exercise
  4. Select Driving as the exercise type but ensure that you overlap the details of the period of unwanted floors.
  5. Click Log or Add.
  6. Going back to the main menu you will find that the floors or steps have been removed.

Thus, with these steps, you can correct the inaccuracies in the number of steps. If you face a lot of inaccuracies, you may not want to go through the process of manually fixing the count every day. In this case, you can try upgrading your Fitbit software. You must also install the latest firmware. This way, you might be able to see an improvement in the accuracy of the number of stairs your device counts.


Hopefully, you now know what to expect from different versions of Fitbit devices in terms of the stair climbing feature. Should you come across any inaccuracies with the calculation of floors climbed, you will also be able to correct them. That said, you should purchase a new Fitbit only after you have familiarized yourself with all its different features.

Elena Davis

If you are a tech-savvy person, then maybe we have something in common. My name is Elena Davis, and I love everything technology. Testing new wearable technology products and review them is one of my favorite things. I’m contributing my 10+ years experiences in product reviewing for multiple digital brands and companies.

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