Are pedometers the answer? "All in all, it is entertaining to ponder that such a seemingly insignificant gadget may be of practical importance in the war on obesity!
"Pedometers are practical and accurate tools for measurement and motivation for physical activity. The steps goals should be personalized considering baseline values, specific health goals, and sustainability of the goal in everyday living." Catrine Tudor-Locke, Ph.D., Department of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University
That's the conclusion of a paper from the President's Council of Physical Fitness and Sports, June, 2002. Using a pedometer to count your steps and setting a goal that you can stick with and achieve can motivate you to get moving.
Today's electronic pedometers are inexpensive and work well for counting steps. The study noted that there have been few true comparison studies and that brands keep shifting with the booming market. They found that all were reasonably accurate, with less than 5% error.
• Before You Buy a Pedometer
• Top Picks for Pedometers
How Many Pedometer Steps for Fitness and Weight Loss?
Japanese programs set a goal of 10,000 steps a day. But the paper found that fewer than half of the adults studied were able to achieve that goal. A 30-minute walk is the equivalent of 3100-4100 steps and a better goal would be for the individual to measure their steps in a typical day without a sustained walk, then add 3000-4000 steps to that number.
Get With the Pedometer Program
Group walking programs using pedometers are springing up, including the virtual "America On the Move" program. Creative Walking offers a package that includes any of three models of pedometers plus Rob Sweetgall's "Pedometer Walking" book and 12-month walking log.
Top Picks for Pedometer Walking Programs
Step Counters Pedometer Walking Program
Our free daily four-week program will send you an email newsletter that will encourage you to add more steps to your day towards a goal of 10,000 steps per day.
Walk of Life 10-Week Program
Our 70-day free program is a great way to kick off a personal pedometer walking program. Each day walkers get a walking assignment, walking lesson, nutrition tip, motivation tip, and free logs to chart progress. Walkers may follow it daily from the web, starting at any time, or subscribe to the email newsletter version which starts once per month.