A pedometer senses your body motion and counts your footsteps. This
count is converted into distance by knowing the length of your usual
stride. Wearing a pedometer and recording your daily steps and distance
is a great motivating tool. You can wear a pedometer all day, every day
and record total steps. Or you can wear it just when you go out for a
All pedometers count steps, although they may use different methods to do so. These include (in general order of accuracy): piezo-electric accelerometers, a coiled spring mechanism, and a hairspring mechanism. Beyond showing the step total and/or calculating the distance, features abound. The top features are: Calorie estimates, clocks, timers, stopwatches and speed estimators, 7-day memory, pulse rate readers.
Simple Step Counting Pedometers
The simplest pedometers only count your steps and display steps and/or distance. This is all you need to track to keep yourself motivated. Set a goal of distance or steps for each day. The recommended number of steps is 6000 for health, 10,000 for weight loss when you count all steps during the day. For weight loss, an uninterrupted walk each day of 4000-6000 steps is recommended.
The current generation of pedometers uses turned pendulum technology, accelerometers, and/or electronics to count your steps. The unit should be accurate in its count when you wear it correctly - you may have to experiment with where to wear it. Distance accuracy depends on setting your stride length correctly.
How to Wear Your Pedometer
A pedometer should be comfortable to wear all day and be held securely by its clip, an extra safety leash is almost required. The display should be easy to read without removing the unit from your waistband. It should be protected so that bumps don't punch a button and reset the count. It should easy and intuitive to move between functions.
How to Set Your Pedometer
Most pedometers require you to measure your step length in order to set it to estimate distance. Where and how you wear the pedometer will also influence step counting accuracy. The pedometer must be straight up and down, not tilted.