Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pedometer woes

I've been using the pedometer I bought for about a week. It is definitely making me more conscientious about going to the gym or walking more, but I don't think the step count is very accurate. I was just reading a report in a consumer mag. that said a lot of pedometers are not very accurate when you are walking slow (2.5 mph), but the accuracy increases when you walk 3.5 mph or faster. If you haven't bought your pedometer yet, the article recommended the Omron $35, FreeStyle $20, and LifeWise $20. These cost more than the one I bought, but I think they count calories, too. The other problem I'm having is that I keep bumping the reset button on mine when I'm sitting at my desk. So, I lose track of my steps. I'm having trouble coming up with a goal because I don't really know how many steps I walk in a regular day. Any suggestions? Maybe I should start running everywhere so my steps get counted right...

11 comments:

Irene said...

Try wearing it in different spots - it took some experimenting to figure out that mine does best if I wear it on a band around my ankle. But then, that's possible mainly because I bought a really small one.

Sally's sister said...

I had a walgreens one too & it counted way more steps than I was taking. But I lost it the 1st day I had it! So I think I'll get a better one, and keep better track of it.

Sally's sister said...

Amazon sells them, and this one comes with a safety leash! Freestyle Tracer Pedometer (Black Color) with Safety Leash $14.99!

Sparkling Squirrel said...

I really like my accusplit Eagle 120xl which couldn't have cost much because the state gave it to me. It closes so one can never inadvertantly reset it (occasionally forgot to re-set it) and as far as I could tell was pretty accurate both jogging in place and doing little dances. It had a little leash too. Our instructions were very clear that it needed to be perpendicular to and directly over the hip.

Most inaccurate pedometers are systematically inaccurate (always under or over counting), which for our purposes is fine. As long as days you take more steps you record more steps, the absolute value is not an issue (although it would making goal setting a pain).

(You can change your goal if you change pedometers and the numbers change greatly).

American Heart Assoc. goals are 10,000 a day for active people, and 5,000 a day to start if you have been inactive. 2,000 a day more than you've been doing is suggested for weight loss.

Sally's sister said...

they sell those kind on ebay - someone's offering 2 for $4 + shipping. But I did the pay now for $15 total, cheaper than any other online place ($14.99 + shipping elsewhere).

Cathy said...

Erin,
I bought the same pedometer you did and it is lousy-- it doesn't count the steps right at all. I think I'll have to go for a pricier one and start a day or two late.

Beth said...

I got the Omron and I really like it - I got it on Amazon and got the one with the computer software so I can just download the data. It has yet to reset and it very good at telling me just how inactive I've become...

Molly said...

I bought the same one as Irene, but promptly lost it on my first walk on Saturday. I think my goal is just going to be to take one short walk in the morning and one long walk in the evening, and gradually start mixing in runs with the evening walks. But now that I know about the safety lease I might go ahead and try again with the pedometer... something about having data excites the nerd in me :)

Sparkling Squirrel said...

While I definitely encourage excercise in any form, measured whatever way works, I must agree with Molly that there is something very satisfying about data. Step data is really fun because I learn things like I walk A LOT while I teach, and not at all while I grade at work (but a lot while I grade at home or do laundry). It's also nice to have some data everyday, even if I didn't officially exercise (and I think I must burn some calories by all of the little extra steps I take brushing my teeth or dancing down the hallway).

Erin said...

Thanks for all of your great advice! I think I will spring for a better pedometer (since I need the constant monitoring as incentive) and make sure to wear it in the right spot. So, it will take me a little while to catch up to the rest of you who have already started. But I'll keep walking in the mean time!

Tucson Trekker said...

I got the one Lisa has. It's really accurate when I'm walking if it is at hip level (like those new low-cut pants - hip-huggers are they called?). Unfortunately, I like pants with the waist-band at waist level. When I wear it there it overcounts by 20 to 25%. I was fantasizing about sewing hip-level horizontal loops on all my pants, but really doubt I'll actually do that. The thing is that I can correct for the inaccuracy, but it's less fun that way. If I see 10,000 on the gizmo, I want that to be how many steps I've taken, not remind myself that that's only really about 8,000 and I need to get to 12,000 before I can feel that sense of satisfaction! Ah well... I can deal.