A pedometer is a small mechanical device that measures the distance traveled on foot by recording a person’s number of steps. This inexpensive instrument can help athletes and casual exercisers improve their fitness level. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. If you are among them, a pedometer could help you lose weight and stay fit.
Wearing a pedometer in the correct position will give you an accurate measure of the steps you take each day. If you wear the device in an improper position, it may add or miss steps and give you a false reading. A reading that is too high or low can discourage you or fail to challenge you. Check your pedometer from time to time to be sure it is placed properly. Here are three ways to wear a pedometer.
Your Belt or Waistband
Some pedometers must be worn on your body, so read the directions. Most devices must be several inches from the center of your body or in line with your knee to accurately record the steps you take. These pedometers have a pendulum that moves the counter as you step forward or backward.
If you have this type of pedometer, clip it to your belt or waistband. Walk 20 steps and check the pedometer for accuracy. Move the pedometer closer to or away from your navel until the step count is accurate. If your abdomen is large, attach the pedometer to the back of your belt or waistband.
Your Skirt or Pants Pocket
Some models give you the option of wearing or carrying your pedometer. Instead of attaching it to your belt or waistband, place it in your skirt or pants pocket. This is a convenient way to wear a pedometer if you cannot hide it under a shirt or jacket.
As with clip pedometer, walk 20 steps and check the display. If placing the pedometer in the bottom of your pocket gives an inaccurate reading, try clipping it to your pocket. Do another step test to ensure an accurate reading.
Your Purse or Briefcase
Pedometers that do not require you to place the device on your body can be carried other ways, too. Instead of wearing the device in your pocket, consider placing it in your purse or briefcase. This is another convenient way to measure your steps without advertising it to your colleagues or clients. You may have to try several different placements – waistband, pocket, or briefcase – to find the best and most accurate reading.
Your body fat or clothing can make it hard to wear a pedometer on your belt or waistband. If this is the case, drop the device in your pocket or find another way to carry it. Avoid clipping the pedometer to your shoe or bra strap because these locations will not provide an accurate reading.
Pedometers are an inexpensive way to get fit. You can find good devices in discount stores, drug stores and sporting stores. Many websites and online stores also sell them. PedometersUSA is one example. Buy a digital pedometer here.
If you are currently inactive, a pedometer can motivate you to get moving each day. Start with 3,000 steps a day and work your way up to 10,000 steps a day. This is the common recommendation of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) and other health and fitness organizations.