Monday, 6 November 2017

Exporting Fitbit Data

I, like so many others on the planet, have a Fitbit. It has replaced my watch. I have set myself some activity goals, and to track those I check my data daily and weekly.

However, I have two problems with Fitbit's data. Firstly, the Fitbit summaries are often inaccurate. Fitbit emails me a weekly summary, but often I find that the data is completely wrong. It is often out by 10,000 steps for the more or less week on week comparisons with the week before. Because of this, I tend to go to the Fitbit website, and export my data, then import and track it in Excel (which at least proves to be more accurate than Fitbit's summaries).

Sadly, Fitbit put restrictions on how your own data can be downloaded. For example, you can only download a maximum of 31 days at a time... but I guess at least users can download it.

Until the third week in August, that is. This is when Fitbit's export function stopped working. For nearly a month, if users logged into their Fitbit accounts, and attempted to download, they got an eternal hamster wheel. Of course, I was not the only one to have noticed. Many, many keen fitbitters ground their teeth about this problem in the community forums. Fitbit themselves were largely silent on the matter for far too long. 

This would be OK if this was the first time this had happened with fitbit. However, it isn't. What appears to be the same problem has happened once earlier this year, and once last year. I would have thought that the company would have got their act together a bit better than this... and have been more responsive.

However, the repetitive nature of the fitbit download problem caused MrWizard, a Fitbit community member, to probe for a more permanent solution. He found that an enterprising gentleman, Nick Heiner, had created a fitbit export site at All I now need do is to log into the site using my Fitbit account, then click the "Download all available data as a csv" button on the front page.

Then, once the page of data comes up in my web browser, all I have to do is to go to File | Save As, direct where I want the 'export.csv' file to save to and with what name. Once the file has downloaded, I am able to open it in Excel.

And best of all? I now get ALL my data in one go, from the date my Fitbit was manufactured. Not just a measly 31 days. 

If you have a fitbit, give it a try!



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