I own the Vivoactive for about a year now and riding mountain bikes.
Following the procedure doesn't help and the accumulated height measurements is really bad.
It is about 40% off comparing to Strava on the phone.
It always shows me as if my house, when returning from a round trip ride, is ~70m or more lower than it was when I exited it to the ride.
It was once replaced due to this issue with no help. always on the latest SW update.
I swapped the watch orientation on the same hand so the barometer sensor will be close to the arm and not the hand.
It helped with the final height and now my house is in the same (more or less) height as it was when I exited to the ride.
Yet, as can be seen from the attachments, the Garmin watch (without height corrections) is smoothing the climb while the Strava on the phone shows it all.
This results with less accumulated climb gain.
This might be caused by one of two reasons: either the sensor is monitoring height in a too low rate comparable to the speed of the ride (which I assume is not the reason) or the software side is not recording enough data to create realistic picture of the heights.
My new Vivoactive 3 (6.20 from the start) was very inaccurate in floor climbed since first GPS calibration.
I notice that performance degrade in few days till new calibration; floor descend count was always accurate.
During an activity with the altitude field works fine (3mt every floor, both climb and descend).
I suppose is a software issue.
This calibration does not work at all. The altimeter (at least on the Vivoactive 3) is complete garbage and does not work, and Garmin just won't admit it. In my case, it is always, always, always, several hundred metres off (lower) in total elevation gain than the true value. Yes several hundred metres!. You call that a training watch?? I have contacted Garmin and they say the issue 'has been escalated', but cannot give me a timeline on resolution... that was 2 weeks ago... again complete garbage.
While this is useful, and I have done this many times, it does not address the erratic and inaccurate readings. I do a regular walk around my neighborhood that is flat - maybe +/50 ft max when recorded accurately, that is coming back at 600 feet or more climbing. Clean port, never wear in the shower or water, etc and this still happens. Including post-reset. This is also my second watch after the first took this even further to the battery drain issue. I am a lifelong Garmin owner of many devices, but this has to get fixed!