Contrary to popular belief, not all pedometers are the same. In fact, there are three main methods that pedometers use to count steps and each one has its pros and cons. Aside from the mechanisms, different pedometers also have different features that may be more relevant for some people than for others.
Types of Pedometers
There are three main types of pedometer mechanisms. The method the pedometer uses can significantly impact the accuracy as well as the place that it is worn.
- Hair Spring: This is the oldest method and it is one that remains quite accurate except that it must be worn vertically to work effectively. Generally, when companies provide a free pedometer this is the type that they offer because it is the most affordable.
- Accelerometer: These are the most effective and accurate of all three types and can generally be worn anywhere on the body. They also tend to offer more of the advanced features discussed below than either of the other two methods which makes them the most expensive option.
- Coiled Spring: This type of pedometer is in between the other two in terms of both pricing and accuracy. It also works best when worn vertically and may offer some advanced features but is not as effective as an accelerometer.
Ways to Wear Pedometers
There are three main ways to wear a pedometer. The right pedometer for you depends quite bit upon how you plan to wear it. In addition to how it is worn, the size is also important to consider based upon your level of comfort wearing it.
- Waistband Pedometer: it is one of the most popular. However, they are the older style that has to be entirely straight up and down to work effectively. This means that if you have a body that will not keep the pedometer perfectly vertical then this type is not for you.
- Pocket Pedometer: It is also known as a wear anywhere pedometer because it works well in any position. These types are traditionally a bit more expensive than the waistband option but they are also more accurate in any position.
- Watch Pedometer: They are generally used only for tracking a specific walk. In other words, they do not count daily steps that you take. So a watch pedometer is ideal if you only plan to track individual workouts.
Pedometers vary quite a bit in terms of the features that they offer. It is important to determine which features matter to you when selecting the right one. Below are some of the more popular features that may help you decide what matters.
- Calorie Estimate: Many people are interested in knowing how many calories they have burned walking and some pedometers estimate this number.
- Pedometer Apps: Some pedometers can be uploaded to the computer and have mobile apps associated with them to keep track of progress.
- Goal Setting: One of the major reasons that people use pedometers is to be a motivating tool and many offer a feature to set a daily, weekly, or monthly goal.
- Pulse Monitoring: For a lot of people it is important to keep track of their pulse and some pedometers offer this advanced feature.
- Clock & Alarm: Another nice feature on many pedometers is a clock and an alarm which makes it function dually as a watch.