Pedometer Features: What features are available and are they useful?
There are currently two primary uses for pedometers. They are either being used in a research environment to track study data, or as a tracking / motivational tool for fitness programs. Both of these uses only require the counting of steps. Because a step is the native unit of measurement for a pedometer, we highly recommend that steps (not miles or kilometers) be used to track progress in any walking programs. A pedometer’s step count will be accurate regardless of other data entered into the pedometer. A pedometer that measures only steps is all that is needed to accurately track your progress in the program.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER PEDOMETER FEATURES?
Pedometers range from simple steps-only models to more full-featured models that measure distance walked, calories burned, time spent walking, weekly memories, Internet upload, and more. These features can be very useful as an additional motivational tool. We suggest matching a pedometer with your personality-- and most importantly, your technical savvy. If you are a person who generally struggles with setting up electronic devices, stick with a basic steps-only pedometer. Steps-only pedometers don’t require a setup, reducing possible frustration, and increasing your chances of success with your walking program. On the other hand, if you are technically savvy, the added features may further motivate you and increase your chances of success. Be honest with yourself, and try to pick a pedometer that fits your level of technical skill. Listed below are some common features, and setup requirements associated with those features:
|1.||Step count – native function of the pedometer; no setup required. (Bodytronics ProStep, Qstep, ProCal, ProFit, ProMaxx, Omron HJ-105, Omron HJ-112, SportBrain iStepX)|
|2.||Distance – measured in miles or kilometers, often selectable. Requires you to measure your stride length (the length of the step you take, measured from toe to toe, or heel to heel) and enter it into the device. (Bodytronics ProCal, ProFit, ProMaxx, Omron HJ-105, Omron HJ-112)|
|3.||Calories Burned – measured in kilocalories. Requires you to enter your weight in pounds or kilograms. (Bodytronics ProCal, ProFit, ProMaxx, Omron HJ-105, Omron HJ-112)|
|4.||Exercise timer – automatically runs when walking activity is sensed; no setup required. (Bodytronics ProCal, ProFit, ProMaxx, Omron HJ-105, Omron HJ-112)|
|5.||Time of day clock – requires you to set the time (Bodytronics ProCal, ProFit, ProMaxx, Omron HJ-105, Omron HJ-112)|
|6.||Weekly or monthly memory – requires you to set the time, day of week, and in some cases, day of month. (Bodytronics ProCal, ProFit, ProMaxx, Omron HJ-105, Omron HJ-112)|
|7.||Internet Upload – required you to download and install software on your PC, and register your pedometer on the internet. (All SportBrain Pedometers)|
Again, the only feature that is needed to successfully participate in the program is Step Count. Pick the pedometer that matches your personality and technical skill level.