What is a Pedometer?
A pedometer is a compact, pager-sized device that measures the distance travelled by the wearer while they walk. It does so by taking into account the number of steps taken while walking. A pedometer is embedded with motion sensors to identify vertical moves during ambulation. It is usually worn on the waist or hip. Some pedometers can be worn around the ankle as well.
Motivates the Users to Walk
Many a pedometer case study conducted around the world revealed that pedometer can encourage people to walk. The device is an economical and efficient way to motivate the people with a sedentary lifestyle to get some exercise. A brisk walk at 3 mph for half an hour every day lowers the risk of heart ailments, maintains the blood pressure at healthy levels, reduces the waist girth and enhances the BMI of the person.
What Does the Pedometer Do?
We often walk 5,000 feet per day on an average. It takes about 10,000 feet to stay fit and in shape, whereas 15000 feet for consistent weight loss. But how do we measure each step that we take? That’s where the pedometers come into the picture. Pedometers give the users an insight into the step count and calories expended while walking.
The pedometer case study results published in the Harvard Letter presents quantifiable results. The outcome indicates that people using pedometers walked at least 2,000 feet more than those who weren’t using the device, upping the levels of their physical activity levels by an impressive 27 percent.
Researchers are still hazy about how and why a pedometer works when it comes to encouraging the users to get off their feet and keep them going. It goes without saying; this would be a hot topic for future pedometer case studies.
So this was all about pedometer’s role in keeping you on your feet. Here is what the pedometer you buy should have.
Pedometers have been around since a very long time. They have evolved a lot from being a simple, mechanical device to a compact and precise electronic gadget. The features that you would want in your pedometer shall differ with your needs and your budget. For example, if you just need to get motivated and start walking, a simple pedometer with a step counter would suffice. But if you are seriously considering keeping a track of calories spent, a pedometer with a calorie counter would be a wise choice.
· Piezoelectric Accelerometer
A piezoelectric accelerometer is a device that measures the changes in the acceleration of a body that is in motion. This is what your pedometer packs within itself that measures how many steps you have taken and how much distance did you cover.
Pedometers embedded with the piezoelectric accelerometer measures the changes in acceleration and vibrations with better precision and accuracy as compared the pendulum pedometers. Not to mention they don’t make the clicking sounds and are much quieter. Besides, if you expect your pendulum pedometer to give you accurate step count, it is necessary that you wear it on your waist in vertical position. Nevertheless, the pendulum pedometers cannot beat the precision offered by their counterparts with a piezoelectric accelerometer.
· Processing Power
The accelerometers just sense the movements. It’s the processing power like that of a smartphone which interprets the data logged in by the accelerometer and converts it into information such as steps, calories, distance, speed etc. To be able to know all these associated variables, it’s vital that your pedometer uses smartphone technology.
· Memory for Data Storage and Retrieval
Most modern pedometers come with an in-built memory that stores your information such as step count, calorie count, activity time, speed and distance for anything between 3 to 30 days. Such pedometers get automatically reset daily so that you do not need to worry about forgetting to reset before you start to run.
You could connect your pedometer to your smartphone or computer and synchronize the data. You could then take a look at the graphic interpretation such as graphs and charts of all the data gathered by your pedometer and keep a tab on your progress towards your fitness goal. This also helps you discover if your efforts are falling short somewhere and you need to buck up.
· The Extras
Apart from the step counter and a clock/stopwatch, the high-end pedometers have an additional range of features. The Fitbit Zip which allow you to set a challenge and earn badges when you completely them successfully. You could compete with your friends and other Fitbit users, which is a great way for everyone to stay motivated. Fitbit Zip also keeps track of your food intake.
· Your Budget
Your budget matters a lot when you choose your pick. The market is flooded with pedometers that are as cheap as INR 300 and as expensive as INR 4000.
The Fitbit Zip is loaded with features and costs INR 3990. On the other hand, the Dr. Morepen Pedometer is a somewhat low end as compared to the Fitbit Zip and costs INR 299. It all depends on how much money you are willing to shell out and the features you expect in your device. So basically, it’s the trade-off between the price and features.
What pedometer is good for you is a very subjective question. One thing we can say for sure is that a pedometer can boost your morale and give you an enormous push towards a healthier lifestyle. We hope this write-up helps you identify your needs and chose the perfect pedometer.