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What’s the Best, Most Accurate Pedometer?

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Kymberly's pedometer

Just 7000 steps to go.

Dear Fun and Fit: I read your post (on whether walking can really get midlife women fit). What pedometer brand or model would you recommend? I’ve tried Walmart off-the-shelf pedometers in the past and have been frustrated with the lack of accuracy or noise. Thank you so much for being willing to take my question! Your input is much appreciated!!

Bev Carrasco @choosing4balance

Kymberly: Dear Bev, the pedometer I use is the Accusplit Eagle, a super simple clip-on that counts steps. It makes no noise and seems accurate … or at least consistent. Did you think I was just describing my sister by any chance? Ahh ahah No way! Nothing fancy and fairly inexpensive. Oh, wait. Maybe I am describing her. Mwah ha ha! Back to pedestrian matters: This link points you to pedometers rated best by Pedometers USA, which lists the Accusplit. Score!

Alexandra in the botanic garden in Thailand

I just know there’s a garden gnome in here somewhere.

Alexandra: You walked (get it?) into my mind trap Bev, because I just wrote my opinion of the Polar Loop a few weeks ago. I love its features — counts steps, calories, heart rate (with the optional monitor that straps to your chest), what you need to do to reach your goal, and the ability to sync to certain phones.

Really, the only missing feature is a garden gnome. One caveat — it hates my fingers. I have to tap it a lot to get it to show my stats. I don’t know if it’s MY Loop or all Loops, though it does seem to like the gentle caress that my son gives it!

Kymberly: You heard it here folks! Alexandra admits to being loopy. Back to our regular programming ….. Consumer reports did a review, but it requires a paid subscription to access their results. So I stepped back and went instead to their free article on how to choose a pedometer. Color me Fun, Fit, and Frugal! This article from the Mayo Clinic offers criteria for selecting a pedometer.

Kymberly walks tall at Rancho la Puerta

Can you spot my pedometer? Closer, closer.

A friend and I also tried the PE -330 Tri-Axis when we were at Rancho la Puerta Fitness Resort a little while ago. (The resort provides the Tri-Axis for guest use). She and I wore these pedometers every day for a week. We compared steps to see whether it was accurate. Her legs are longer than mine (sigh… long leg envy moment) so our numbers did not match exactly, which was probably correct. Our test counts found this pedometer also pretty accurate. Very simple, lightweight, and easy to use. Like my Accu-Split, the Tri-Axis counted steps only.

Kymberly walking in Santa Barbara

These feet were made for walking… and counting steps

In summary, I prefer and suggest using the simplest pedometer possible if the priority is to know your steps per day. Once you add in calories, distance, stride length, and more the gadgets not only get more expensive, but also less accurate. While I have an app on my phone that calculates distance and miles, (but not steps), I don’t always have my phone on my person so would not get total steps recorded. Nor do I want to always have my phone on my body.

Is any pedometer totally accurate?

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care. About time. — Is a certain Chicago song now running through your head? You are welcome!

Ultimately I figure if I get close enough to 10,000 steps each day then I am meeting my overall movement goals. Hope that works for you too!

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