Troubleshooting Activity, Steps, & Calories

If you're looking for information on Oura's Activity metrics, try starting with this Comprehensive Activity Guide.

Still have questions? Search for an answer below. 

How Does Oura Measure Activity / My Activity Seems Off?

The 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).

Learn more about how activity trackers measure movement in this New York Times piece.

To improve the accuracy of your activity tracking: 1) Make sure the sensor bumps of the ring are on palm side your finger. If your ring thinks you are upside down, it can't capture your activity correctly! 2) For non step-based activities that are more difficult to measure (e.g., cycling, yoga, or strength training), manually inputting your activity improves your data.

On the Oura app for iOS, you have the option to import your workouts from Health and with Android you can import workouts from Google Fit.

How Are METs Used For Calculating Activity / Calories? 

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

Learn more: Metabolic Equivalent on Wikipedia

How Does Oura Calculate Steps? 

The Oura ring registers all your daily movements and their intensities, from light housework (such as washing the dishes) to heavy workouts (such as running). 

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 sensitivity from your finger. Any movement that is not steps is still captured in your total activity. We do this to ensure that even subtle steps get counted and that all of your non-step activity is credited as well. 

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 movement as steps. 


Tips for More Accurate Activity 

  • - Remember, wearing your ring on your dominant hand during the day may result in a higher step count.
  • - To ensure accuracy, make sure your ring fits your finger snugly.
  • - Position the sensor bumps of the ring on the palm side of your finger.
  • - If you add an activity manually or have enabled imports through Apple Health and Google Fit, the data from that entry will be factored into all of your activity measures except your step count.
  • - It may take up to 10 minutes for steps to appear after syncing your ring.


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