What Is a Pedometer?
A pedometer is a simple device that is about the size of a pager and is worn on the waistband of your clothing or belt. Pedometers work on a pendulum motion and count the number of steps taken while being worn. Pedometers are limited to activities that are based on steps – so, for other activities (e.g., swimming, yoga, etc.) do not wear your pedometer. Rather, record the amount of time you do that activity and then use the Activity Converter to determine approximate steps for that activity.
The basic pedometer, which simply measures the steps taken, is a great addition to any active living plan. More advanced pedometers can also measure distance traveled, calories burned, and duration walked. A good quality pedometer usually has a cover flap to protect the reset button. The more features your pedometer has, the more it will likely cost.
Pedometers can be purchased from various sporting good and department stores and range from free giveaways to over $100.
How to use a Pedometer
- Place your pedometer by your bed and put it on as soon as possible each day – every step counts towards your daily total.
- Reset your pedometer to zero
- Attach the pedometer to the waistband of your clothing or belt
- The pedometer should be lined up with your hip and above your knee
- The pedometer should be parallel to the ground and must remain upright to record correctly (not tilted)
- The pedometer will not record properly if the cover flap is open. So, keep it closed unless you are checking your steps.
- Do a quick check to see that your pedometer is counting steps accurately – Put your pedometer on, press reset, and then walk 20 steps. If the pedometer reads between 19 and 21 steps, your pedometer is in the correct place. If not, try a different position along your waist until you find a spot that works best for your body type.