Computer-linked pedometers/activity monitors are devices that keep track of your walking steps and other activities, and then allow you to review your results on a computer or phone app. The finalists were nominated by readers and selected by our expert panel of walkers. Then the readers voted. Results shown during voting may not reflect the audited final counts used to determine winners. For more information see our FAQ. The prize: bragging rights.
The ActiPed+ footpod sensor clips onto your shoelaces and tracks your steps all day. Then, whenever you are near your computer, it uploads the data wirelessly to a USB stick. You can view your steps and data online. The ActiPed+ is used by corporate-fitness programs and such health programs as HealthAmerica's Race to the Moon. The unit has no step display.
The LifeSpan MyStride is a 3D accelerometer that you can wear clipped to your waistband or carry in your pocket. It tracks steps, calories and distance and has a seven-day memory. You can set a daily goal and see your progress towards it on a bar indicator. It also has a USB connection to upload your data to a computer. A four-month subscription to the LifeSpan Fitness Club is included. After that, the lifetime subscription is currently $69.
The Omron HJ-720ITC Pedometer is a full-featured pedometer (steps, distance, calories) that also hooks up with your computer via a USB connection so you can enjoy graphs and charts of steps, aerobic steps, distance, calories and fat burned. The drawback is that the software that comes with the pedometer from Omron is only PC-compatible and meant for use on one computer rather than uploading to a website. However, the pedometer can upload data to Microsoft HealthVault, Google Health or WalkingSpree, using their software.
You can use the same activity monitor used on NBC's The Biggest Loser. The Slimcoach has a visual monitor that turns from red to green to track your activity goals, but no step-count display. For more details on your daily activity, you plug it into a computer via USB and view them on the MYTRAK website. The site has coaching, social interaction and personalized programs to help you lose weight. A one-year subscription is included.
The Fitbit Ultra improves on the original Fitbit by having a brighter display and tracking stairclimbing, as well as steps. Fitbit has a faithful following that enjoys all of its features - steps, distance, calories burned and sleep-quality monitoring. It uploads wirelessly to the Fitbit website, where you don't have to pay an additional subscription fee. There, you can also track your diet and other health indicies, such as glucose, blood pressure and heart rate. You can keep tabs on your friends who also have Fitbits, and even set it to tweet or post to Facebook. Fitbit was the winner of Computer-Linked Pedometer 2011 About.com Walking Readers' Choice Awards. Will it win again?