“Active Zone Minutes is a new concept developed by Fitbit to measure the heart pumping capacity of its users by assessing the time spent on each activity zones.”
It is first introduced in Fitbit Charge 4 devices by replacing Active Minutes, and now this feature is available in all the latest Fitbit Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers.
What is Fitbit Active Zone Minutes?
World Health Organization (WHO), American Heart Association (AHA), and other health organizations recommend that an adult should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise in a week for a healthy (heart) life.
With this goal, Fitbit is helping its users achieve WHO and AHA recommended weekly goals scientifically and systematically.
So Active Zone Minutes is a new concept developed by Fitbit to measure the heart pumping capacity of its users by assessing the time spent on each activity zones.
In simple words, it is directly related to the time spent on each active zones.
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Difference between Active Minutes and Fitbit Active Zone Minutes?
Previously Fitbit wearables used active minutes to measure the intensity of your workout. You were given active minutes for every moment you move, irrespective of your workout intensity. Heart rate was not taking into consideration in active minutes.
On the other hand, in active Zone Minutes, you were given heart rate points based on your intensity/heart rate zone. This is more effective in assessing your overall fitness compared with active zone minutes.
This means that all activity is not equal. You get more heart rate points for the activities that raise your heart rate to the cardiac zone or peak zone.
How Fitbit Calculates Active Zone Minutes?
Fitbit uses four different heart rate zones to calculate active heart rate points. The heart rate zones are as follows,
Resting heart rate zone
This is the basic reading to calculate the other three heart rate zones. This basic heart rate zone varies from person to person.
With PurePulse heart rate tracking, Fitbit automatically calculates the resting heart rate zone based on a person’s age and cardiovascular health. So, the resting heart rate zone also varies as the person ages.
The Fat Burn, Cardio, and Peek are the other three zones Fitbit used to calculate heart rate zone minutes.
|Heart Rate Zone||Calculations||Active Zone Minutes||Exercises|
|Fat Burn||Resting HR+40% Heart Rate Reserve||1||Brisk Walking, Dancing, Gardening, etc.|
|Cardio||Resting HR+ 60% Heart Rate Reserve||2||Cycling, hiking, etc.|
|Peak||Resting Heart Rate+ 85% Heart Rate Reserve||2||Mountain clamping, cycling, running with weight, etc.|
You will be awarded one Active Zone Minutes for Fat Burn Zone, and you will get two active minutes for reaching Cardio and Peek Zones.
For example, if you want to achieve the World Health Organization recommended 150 active minutes, you have to earn 30 active zone credits per day.
In addition to that, you will get credited additional Active Heart Rate (AHR) zones whenever you touch fat burn, cardio, or peak heart rate zones during the day-to-day activities.
Even five minutes of activity, you can earn one or two active zone credits based on your activity zone. It is a huge advantage of the AHR zone over Active Minutes.
Because you will not get any active minutes for the first 10 minutes of any activity as the wearable device considers it as a warm-up period.
To explain these brand-new metrics further, I will give you one more example.
I had heard people saying that “yesterday when I walked for 30 minutes, I did not get any active zone minutes. On the other hand, when I walked 15 minutes today, I earned 25 active minutes”.
This is simply because your zone active minutes are directly related to activity intensity. If you work out harder, you will get more points. In the same way, you will get 2X points if you touch Cardio Zones or Peek Zone.
So, we can say that a more intensive workout means more active zone minutes.
In the above example, she or he may walk at a slower pace so that the heart rate might remain within the resting heart rate zone. So, Fitbit will not award you any points here.
However, on the same day, she or he might have walked faster and reached Fat burn Zone and then Cardio Zone or Peak Zone to get a total of 25 zone minutes.
How to Count Active Zone Minutes with Fitbit Charge 4?
Active Zone Minutes is now available on many Fitbit wearables such as Fitbit Versa Series, Inspire 2, Luxe, Charge 4 and Charge 5, and Fitbit Sense.
Now the Fitbit will accurately track your heart rate and give you a vibration when you move from one zone to another zone.
This way Fitbit continuously motivates you by displaying a progress bar on your weekly active minute goals. This helps you to work harder to achieve your active zone credits.
The default daily active zone minutes goal for Fitbit wearables is 22 minutes. You can easily increase or decrease it in the settings.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
Now let us have a look into some FAQ about Active Zone Minutes.
Are Fitbit active zone Minutes accurate?
The Active Zone Minutes measured by the Fitbit is accurate. It uses many factors such as your heart rate, the type of activity you do, and workout intensity to calculate how much time should be spent in active zones.
How do active zone minutes work on Fitbit?
When you elevate your heart rate into a fat burn zone, cardio, or Peak zone, you earn Fitbit Active Zone minutes. If you spend one minute of Fat burn zone, you are awarded one active zone minute whereas when you spend one minute on cardio or peak zone, you are awarded 2 active zone minutes.
Will 10000 steps help lose weight?
No. 10000 steps a day won’t help you lose weight. 10,000 steps are just a goal that people can aim at every day. It depends on your workout intensity not the number of steps that you take to lose weight.
In a nutshell, Active Zone credits are directly related to your workout intensity and are not associated with the duration of an activity.
Also, you do not need to work out a long time to achieve WHO or AHA recommended heart rate goals every week. Thirty minutes of workout per day is enough to hit the weekly target.
I think this article on Fitbit Active Zone Minutes was helpful for you in understanding and achieving your Active Zone Minute target efficiently.
Saneesh VS is a Registered Nurse by Profession and Wearable Tech Enthusiast by Passion. He loves to write about fitness, smartwatches, and fitness trackers. He also loves reading books on wearable tech, technology in healthcare, artificial intelligence, etc., which he has been writing for the past 5 years.