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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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About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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6 Responses to What’s the Best, Most Accurate Pedometer?

  1. Deb Roby January 16, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    I have used an Omron HJ112 pedometer for years.

    I have also tried most iterations of the electronic activity monitors.

    First: I have lost/washed/ruined every single monitor I owned. So I’m back to the accurate, basic model again. It’s heavy enough not to go through the wash (like the Fitbits did), comfortable to wear (unlike any kind of bracelet for me) and if I lose it, I’m only out $20 or so.

    It is also accurate while I wear it in my bra.

    A key feature because the ones that clip onto my waist always get screwed up.
    Deb Roby recently posted..Loosen up the Back: Lacrosse ball SMRMy Profile

  2. Jody - Fit at 56 January 16, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    Such a great post ladies!!!! Thank you for your input & humor!!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Lose Weight & Live Happily Ever AfterMy Profile

  3. Tamara January 16, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    I love your advice to KISSister. Whenever we’re looking to purchase new technology, my hubby always reminds me to go with the simplest version possible; fewer things to go wrong!

    I use a very simple pedometer; it can calculate calories and HR, but frankly, all I care about is meeting my daily step goal!

    Thanks for a fun review! Now get walking!
    Tamara recently posted..6 tips for getting through the January gym rushMy Profile

  4. Gwyn January 18, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    I’m much the same as Kimberly and Tamara and actually nearly all the people I know who use a pedometer are only interested in tallying steps per day. Pedometers are great little motivational tools… somehow they make you move more.

  5. Josh February 25, 2014 at 3:08 am #

    I use a Fitbit pedometer, and I think it is very accurate for tracking steps both when I am just walking around, and also when I am playing sports. I haven’t had any problems checking for accuracy, and thoroughly enjoy seeing how many calories I’ve burned that day, or how far I have traveled.
    Josh recently posted..Ozeri 4X3Motion ReviewMy Profile


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