How Oura Measures Steps & Activity
How Oura Measures Steps
The Oura ring registers all your daily movements and their intensities, from light housework to heavy workouts. From the gathered data, Oura’s activity algorithms are fine-tuned to recognize steps from the rest of your daily movement. Oura is able to identify step patterns within a very small window of time (30 seconds) and with a high level of precision from your finger. Any non-step movement is still captured in your total activity.
Other wearables or apps may show different step estimates because they use a different method of categorizing steps. Many trackers set a different threshold for what counts as "activity" while others categorize all movements as steps.
How Oura Measures Activity
The Oura Ring uses a 3D accelerometer for activity tracking which measures how your ring moves up and down, side to side, and back and forth. This system captures most of your daily activities well, however, all accelerometers have more difficulty with activities that involve limited hand movement in one direction (e.g, an elliptical, lifting weights), no hand movement (e.g., cycling), or intense movement that is isolated to your hands (e.g., drumming).
To improve the accuracy of your activity tracking, make sure the sensor bumps of your ring are on the palm side of your finger. For non-step-based activities that are more difficult to measure (e.g., yoga), manually adding your activities or workouts on the Home tab can improve the accuracy of your Activity Score.
How Oura Uses METs to Calculate Energy Expenditure
Oura calculates your daily energy expenditure using METs or Metabolic Equivalents. MET is a common measure used to express the energy expenditure and intensity of different physical activities. If the MET value of a specific activity is 4, it means that you’re burning 4 times as many calories as you would burn while resting.
The time you spend doing different activities with specific MET values can be expressed as MET minutes. For example:
- 30 min x brisk walking (MET value=3) = 90 MET minutes
- 30 min x jogging (MET value=7) = 210 MET minutes