What Are Pedometers?
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
I wanted to talk about Pedometers as I have just started to use one recently & have found it to be a little gem! I aim for 12,000 steps a day at the moment and I have found that I am sitting down less and moving around at every opportunity. It's very motivating as when you start to wear one and have a goal to reach each day, you will push yourself to get to that number before you retire for the night. Whereas before when I wasn't monitoring it, it didn't seem to matter (I was so slack.) I would highly recommend Pedometers to anyone, particularly if you are trying to loose a bit of weight.
A small electronic device that is usually attached to your waistband, a pedometer counts the number of steps taken when you walk or run. These gadgets may also have features that indicate calories used and distance covered, but the accuracy of the step counting will determine the usefulness of these additional features.?
What Affects Pedometer Accuracy?
Factors that affect the accuracy of your pedometer include the type of waistband it is attached to, your walking speed and your abdominal size. Attaching your pedometer in the upright position on a firm waist band will give better accuracy. If your waistband is loose, you will get a lower reading than the number of steps you actually take. The device tends to miscount at lower speeds, with accuracy increasing at and above 2.5 mph. An article in Britain's "The Guardian" notes that pedometers can have up to 50 percent error rate, with more expensive units having better accuracy.
You should establish a baseline measurement before you start using the pedometer in your walking program. Attach your pedometer and wear it in your routine daily activities for a week. The steps per day recorded during this week measures your activity level. An "active" label is assigned to 10,000 steps per day for healthy adults. If your baseline is well below this number, you can attempt to increase your activity by 1,000 steps per day until you reach your goal. The American College of sports Medicine estimates about 2,000 steps in a mile.
Benefits of Pedometers
A study published in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" by Dr. Dena Bravata in 2007 reported of the review of 26 studies where participants used pedometers to record physical activity. The researchers found that subjects who used a pedometer increased their physical activity by 26.9 percent over their baseline measurement and had an activity increase of 2,491 steps per day when compared to those not using a pedometer. The conclusion drawn from the study is that using a pedometer is associated with increased physical activity, decrease in blood pressure and decrease in body mass index.
Be aware of individual personal fitness levels when using pedometers with children or young people. Inactive individuals may be discouraged by the number of steps required for a certain goal and be put off by the pedometer. Conversely, active persons who easily reach a recommended goal may become complacent and not increase physical activity. An activity baseline should be established for each person before setting goals to be measured with a pedometer.