Advertisement

How to Choose a Pedometer

Spend your time walking, not pedometer shopping, with this quick guide.

Woman using activity tracker. Outdoor fitness concept

Medically reviewed in March 2019

Using a pedometer can motivate you to walk farther. But which one to choose? Take this checklist to the store to score exactly what you need:

[  ] Check the accuracy. While we all love a bargain, a pedometer that adds steps when you simply shake it doesn't do you much good. And good ones aren't that expensive anyway, typically, $15 to $30. There are different mechanisms that count steps, but accelerometers are considered the most accurate. Look for models that need to be calibrated to your stride length (it's really easy to do).

[  ] Check how it attaches. The last thing you want is to have to retrieve a pedometer from two stalls over after it's popped off your sweats in the Target bathroom (happened to one of us). Look for a sturdy clip-on model, ideally with a tiny clip-on "leash" as a backup. (Pedometers with flimsy clips fall down faster than leaves in autumn.) Some styles clip onto a waistband, belt, or bra strap. Others strap on like wristwatches. A few even count steps when carried in a backpack or briefcase. Pick out what works best for you.

[  ] Check the display. Look for big, clear numbers that are easy to read. Some displays light up, helpful if you tend to walk early or late or use reading glasses.

[  ] Check the tech. Only buy features you need. Most walkers want a daily step counter and a 7-day memory so they can get a weekly step total or compare daily distances. A pulse-rate reader, speed estimator, stopwatch, and other fancy tech features may just make the thing too complicated to use.

More On

Get in Step

article

Get in Step
"Walking saved my life." So say many walking enthusiasts who picked up the habit and as a result either reduced their risk of disease, lost weight, be...
Get the Most Out of Winter Walking

slideshow

Get the Most Out of Winter Walking
Don’t let cold weather stop you from burning calories and having fun with friends.
Find the Right Walking Shoes

article

Find the Right Walking Shoes
The Shoe Check The toe should be wide enough that toes aren't pinched. This is extra important if you have any foot issues like bunions or Morton's n...
6 Ways to Burn Fat Faster (No Running Needed!)

article

6 Ways to Burn Fat Faster (No Running Needed!)
1. Go up (and down). Do 15 minutes of a 35-minute walk on hills, not flat ground, and you'll burn close to 100 extra calories, according to walking gu...
How to Keep Life from Getting in the Way of Your Walk

article

How to Keep Life from Getting in the Way of Your Walk
Problem? What problem? Here's what to do to get back in the groove when you're up against any situation. What to Do: When You're About to Break Your ...