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What is a Pedometer?

A pedometer counts a person's steps.
Pedometers measure how many steps a person takes.
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  • Written By: Stefanie Spikell
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 22 March 2014
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A pedometer, sometimes called a stepometer, is a device that calculates the distance that a person has walked or run. It senses the wearer's movements and counts the steps he or she takes, then converts those steps into distance by knowing the length of the person's stride. Using this device can be an effective way to motivate an individual into doing more walking. He or she can wear the device all day, every day, or just during a daily walk. Either way, he or she can be motivated to walk more, particularly if the person sets specific distance or step goals.

Using a pedometer is relatively easy. It clips onto the person's waistband and monitors every step as he or she goes about his or her daily activities. For the best results, the stride length should be set at about 2.5 for men and 2.2 for women. This is a rough estimate that can be used as an average without measuring stride length. To get the most out of the device, the wearer should follow the following three steps.

First, the wearer should find out where he or she is by wearing the device and following a daily routine. The person should then record the number of steps he or she takes each day for one week.

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Second, the person should set a goal. He or she should try to increase the first week of walking activity by 20%. The wearer can create a walking routine that will help reach this goal and write down his or her results each day for another week.

Third, he or she should reach his or her maximum potential. Each week, the person should continue to add 20% onto the goal for the number of steps he or she takes. The wearer should try to set goals that will allow him or her to get to 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day.

The key to success in using a pedometer is for the wearer to set realistic goals each week and slowly change his or her activity to meet those goals. The device is quite simple to use, and by following this program, a person may be able to walk himself to a healthy and more active lifestyle.

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Discuss this Article

andee
Post 11

I have a pedometer that sits in the drawer along with other gadgets that I thought I couldn't live without. Reading this article has motivated me to get it back out and use it again though.

My lifestyle is pretty sedentary as I sit in front of the computer all day long. In the evening I don't have much energy to exercise so find myself plopping down on the couch in front of the TV.

I realize I need to be more active and do like to set goals for myself. One thing I liked about using the pedometer was you could see your progress at any time. If something as simple as a pedometer can make me more aware of taking more steps throughout the day, I really need to get it out and start using it again.

bagley79
Post 10

I wore a pedometer for awhile but got out of the habit. I am very active during the day chasing three young children around so I don't usually have any trouble taking a lot of steps throughout the day. When we went to Disneyland I took my pedometer with me. I was curious to see how many steps I walked each day around the park. One day I had walked almost 18,000 steps, which is twice as much as I usually walk in one day. By the end of the day my legs and back also felt like I had walked that many steps.

julies
Post 9
I am not very tall, and take about half the stride my husband does when he walks. This doesn't bother me so much because I feel like the important thing is that you are moving about instead of sitting in one spot all day long.

When I have my pedometer clipped on I don't even know it is there. It is quiet and I usually forget about it until I take it off at the end of the day to see how many steps I have walked. This was a free pedometer I got at a health fair and it is one of the best freebies I have ever received.

sunshined
Post 8

@anon24969 -- I was also amazed at how something so simple could be so motivating for me. My goal was to get to 10,000 steps a day and I looked for ways to add this to my daily routine.

Instead of driving around for 2-3 minutes looking for a close parking space, I would park at the back of the lot and walk those extra steps. It probably even took me less time to do that than driving around hoping to find a close spot.

I made other choices like taking the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. Simple changes like this can make a big difference in the number of steps you take every day. It didn't take me long to reach my goal, and now my goal is to make sure I take 10,000 steps every day.

clippers
Post 7

I know some people claim that the vast majority of pedometers are inaccurate because they count the number of steps without knowing the length of your stride. Some people have a short stride while others bound around like gazelles. Without knowing how much distance the stride consumes, it is impossible to know how far the runner has traveled.

Think of a distance discrepancy of just 6 inches. Over the course of a long run with thousands of steps that distance would add up pretty quickly and give you a skewed result.

profess
Post 6

I bought a cheap pedometer to use when I run but it ended up annoying me so much that I stopped using it. Every time I took a step it made this quiet little clicking noise. After a mile or two the sound started to drive me crazy. It was so methodical that it made me very conscious of myself while I ran, which any runner will tell you is the fastest way to get annoyed with running. I think if I had invested a little more money I could have gotten a model without such an audible action.

anon231503
Post 5

I've been using Pedometer Ultimate gps +. It is very useful. I can connect my iPhone with sensors and adapters produced by 60beat, Wahoo Fitness or Runalyzer. There are a lot of useful features that can help you to be slimmer. As a motivator, you can use the daily goal and calories burner bar.

All my results I can share via sms, e-mail, 60beat, Wahoo Fitness or Runalyzer. And moreover, I can track my route in my and see all routes I passed. I consider the Pedometer Ultimate GPS + to be the best pedometer iOS app. And the main feature is that Pedometer Ultimate GPS + is absolutely free.

anon24969
Post 2

I recently purchased a pedometer, let me tell you it works great. Its small and easy to wear, it has motivated me in so many ways just seeing the calories just makes you want to walk, walk, and walk some more.

somerset
Post 1

I think it is a good investment. It makes you aware of how many steps you have made during the day. I think it might actually help us stay fit.

There are quite a few options on the market. Some count steps only, others will do a song and dance for you. My philosophy is the the simpler the better. You want it to be lightweight and accurate though.

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