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The Google Fit app is kinda bad at calculating calories

As the title suggests, the Google Fit app does a really bad job at estimating my calorie expenditures. The idea of the app is that you don’t have to wear any special tracked, it just tracks your movement via carrying the phone in your pocket. As I tend to always have my phone on me, I figured I’d give it a go.

Quickly, I’ve noticed that the estimates seem a little… off. For example, this is the “activity” of me wandering around my flat in the morning:

0.07km, 127 steps. 45 calories. What? I’ve always worked on the assumption that 1km is ~65 calories, based on the estimates from back when I wore a Fitbit regularly. How in the world did the app interpret 0.07km as 45 calories?

Interestingly, the weird estimates aren’t consistently off.

The above screenshot is of my usual afternoon walk. 1.45km, 86 calories- seems pretty reasonable. It seems that generally, the app comes up with weird values for the shorter distances. The app has a tendency to record every move I make as an activity however (walking to make a cup of tea is an activity), and so there are lots of these short distance-high calorie events. This means that the overall estimates for my day are ridiculous.

3.62km, 960 calories. I wish!

It’s the lack of consistency that makes this so odd to me. If it was always overestimating, then I could look at what could have caused it. My height and weight are both input correctly, and the long distance walks are calculated correctly based on these. Any suggestions as to what’s going on here are appreciated!

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