Fitness Friday: active minutes

For the past few months, I’ve been focused on my daily step count. In fact, I set myself a goal this year of earning the Fitbit badge for 20,000 steps in a day.

Lately, however, I’ve started paying attention to my active minutes, too. I was amused to see that I ended up with seven active minutes on an otherwise inactive Saturday. And that was doing my weekly grocery shopping!

That made me wonder what counts as an active minute. I found this on the Fitbit site:

Fitbit devices calculate active minutes using metabolic equivalents (METs). METs help measure the energy expenditure of various activities. Because they do so in a comparable way among persons of different weights, METs are widely used as indicators for exercise intensity. For example, a MET of 1 indicates a body at rest. Fitbit devices estimate your MET value in any given minute by calculating the intensity of your activity.

You earn active minutes for activities at or above about 3 METs.  To stay in line with the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) “10 minutes at a time is fine” concept, minutes are only awarded after 10 minutes of continuous moderate-to-intense activity.

I hadn’t set myself an active minute goal but kept in mind that my Fitbit dashboard goes green when I hit the 30-minute mark. So imagine my surprise to check out my 28 day results and see that I’ve managed to increase my active minutes by 10% over the previous four weeks.

I was also thrilled to see that my 28-day average is 41 active minutes. You can see in the chart above that I’m getting minimal if any active minutes. I’ve been making up for it by trying longer workouts or combining shorter workouts until the minutes add up.

When the weather is nicer, I plan on getting outside more. Meanwhile, I’m taking advantage of my stash of DVDs at home, those available to borrow from the library, and the ones I can stream to stay active and reach my other fitness goal of completing 100 new workout videos this year.

Do you have a daily or weekly goal for active minutes? 



2 thoughts on “Fitness Friday: active minutes

  1. I think my difficulty with setting a daily goal is I think it needs to be big (30 mins+). But some days that just isn’t possible. So I don’t do anything. Maybe the key is aiming lower. What do you think?


    1. One of the quotes from a Jessica Smith video goes something like “The 10 minute workout you complete is better than the 30 minute workout that you don’t.” The minutes add up over the course of the week. They also add up over the course of the day. Two 10-minute walks would give you a total of 20 minutes. So, yes, aim lower. Because a few minutes is better than no minutes.


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