Pedometers and Accelerometers

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Using a pedometer or an accelerometer is a great way to track your activity. Knowing how much activity you are getting is an important step to getting more exercise.

What is a pedometer?

A pedometer is a device that counts the number of steps that you take.

What is an accelerometer?

An accelerometer is basically a fancy pedometer. A FitBit™ is an example of an accelerometer. Compared to a pedometer, an accelerometer is able to pick up on more bodily movements. For example, if you were to do some jumping jacks, the pedometer would pick up every time that you take a step. But, the accelerometer would be able to pick up on more of the movement that you are doing, such as moving your arms and jumping.

How Do I Use the Pedometer or Accelerometer?

The way that you wear the pedometer/accelerometer depends on the one that you use. Some are worn around your waist, while others can be worn around your wrist.

Using One that is Worn Around your Waist

  • First, hook the pedometer securely on your waistband. It should be located directly above your knee.
  • Then, go about doing your normal daily activities. The pedometer is always on and measuring your steps.
  • At the end of each day, note your steps and then reset the pedometer.
  • If the pedometer has a cover, keep it closed to get the best results.

Try to take at least 10,000 steps each day.

Are you new to this?

No worries! You may not be able to reach 10,000 steps your first day, but keep working at it until you get there. So, you may average 6,000 steps your first week. Challenge yourself the second week and aim for 7,000 steps. Just keep increasing your number of steps until you reach 10,000 a day.

If you are able to consistently reach 10,000 steps a day then you may want to increase your goal to 11,000 or higher. Increasing your goal will increase your fitness.

Where do I get one?

If you don’t have a pedometer or accelerometer, you can buy one at Target, Walmart, and many pharmacies and electronics stores.

Here are some pedometers you can order online:

Here are some accelerometers you can order online:

Keeping Track of Your Steps Each Day

Click here to download a pedometer step tracking record.

At the end of each day, check the number of steps you have taken by opening the pedometer cover and reading the number on the display.

In your record, write down the number of steps you took that day.

Let’s say you started using your pedometer on Tuesday. At the end of the day, the display may read that you have taken 4,931 steps. Write down this number in the “Today’s Pedometer . On Wednesday, write down the number of steps you have taken that day and so on.

By keeping track of your steps in your record, you will be able to see your progress over time.

Quick Tips for Using your Pedometer/Accelerometer

  1. Keep your pedometer/accelerometer in a place that you’ll remember when you’re not wearing it. For example, place it on your nightstand. That way, you can easily see it when you get up in the morning.
  2. Keep it on or near the clothes you will be wearing the next day.
  3. Stick a note on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator reminding you to wear your pedometer.
  4. Record the number of steps you take on a calendar or on this website.
  5. Let your family, friends, or neighbors know that you’re tracking your exercise.

Quick Tips for Getting More Steps Each Day

  1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  2. Park your car a farther (but safe) distance from the grocery store.
  3. Walk to your mailbox instead of getting mail from the car.