Easily keep up with the number of steps you take each day with a pedometer. A great self-monitoring and accountability tool to help you meet your fitness and activity goals, this handy little device features a mechanism that detects the motion of your hips so that it can count your daily steps. Pedometers are worn on the waist.
The best pedometer for you may be one that has a digital display that allows you to see your steps taken and miles covered. Most pedometers are made with electronic components and have digital displays for ease of viewing results.
How Do Pedometers Work?
Many pedometers have a spring lever that makes contact with an electrical circuit with every movement of your hips, adding a step to your count each time. Other pedometers feature a weighted beam that compresses a piezoelectric crystal in unison with your body's movement, creating a harmless charge that registers a step. Watches with this type of built-in pedometer detect movements in your arms as you walk. A tri-axis pedometer, such as those by Omron, offers both horizontal and vertical tracking of steps.
What Do Pedometers Measure?
Pedometers measure the number of steps you take, and many of them also measure the distance covered and provide an estimate of the number of calories burned. Many health care practitioners recommend pedometers for walking a specific number of steps each day in an effort to increase physical activity - and as a consequence, overall physical condition and health.
Fitness-tracking watches that double as pedometers may also measure things such as heart rate and oxygen saturation. Some even track your sleep hygiene.
Are Pedometers Accurate?
How accurately a pedometer detects your steps depends on detectable movement in your hips or arms, depending on the pedometer you choose. If you drag or shuffle your feet, as people often do, accuracy falls. Because of this, the accuracy of pedometers ranges from 60% to 96%, based largely on speed. Accuracy is between 60% and 71% for speeds less than 2 miles per hour, 74% to 91% for speeds from 2 to 3 miles per hour, and 96% or greater when walking at a speed of 3 miles per hour or more. For the highest level of accuracy, make purposeful movements as you walk.
How To Track Your Steps
One way o get the most out of your pedometer is to set a daily goal. Then, use your pedometer every day and keep a running log of how many steps you take. This can provide you with encouragement and motivation to stay on track. And, even though you might not get in 10,000 steps every day, it's still a great tool to keep you moving. Use it everywhere you go so you can measure how many steps you're taking, even if it's a "normal day." The more you use your pedometer, the easier it will be to continue staying active