App-linked or computer-linked pedometers/activity monitors track your walking steps and then allow you to review your results on a computer or phone app. Learn more about our winner and finalists. 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 Pebble can be worn on your shoe or clipped to a waistband, pocket or bra. It has indicator lights to show how your are progressing towards your daily goal. Then, whenever you are near your computer, it uploads the data wirelessly to a USB stick. You can view your steps and data online. One nominator said, "Tracks steps/distance/calories burned/activity time. Works across multiple activities and measures intensity levels. Display shows daily progress/sync status/battery life. Data is wirelessly uploaded to websites/users see progress, set/measure goals/ join groups." Another said, "Easy to use, very accurate, able to show me all day activity and my exercise events separately. Waterproof, replaceable battery."
While the Pebble is primarily used in corporate wellness programs, individuals can now get a version of it to use with the popular SparkPeople.com site. Review: Spark Activity Tracker
"It works at a cost I can afford for my lifestyle. I don't lose it like I lose others that clip on to the belt or inside the pocket because of the unique shoelace holder or insoles or ankle strap."
"The website with your achievements in very user friendly. The site gives you all the important information you need, uses graphs for visual motivation, and allows you to share your accomplishments with friends."
"It is accurate, easy to use, and I love the "awards" they give you for meeting step goals!"
3. Fitbit One
The Fitbit One is an upgrade to the original Fitbit Tracker and the Fitbit Ultra. It now can communicate to a phone app via Bluetooth in addition to wireless transmission to a USB stick on a computer. It tracks steps, distance, calories burned, stairs climbed and sleep quality. There is no subscription fee to track all of your data online and on the phone app. You can also use their online food diary and track other health indices such as blood pressure and glucose. You can share info with your Fitbit friends and post badges to Facebook and Twitter. Fitbit was the winner of Computer-Linked Pedometer 2011 About.com Walking Readers' Choice Awards. Will it win again?
The BodyMedia FIT system was featured on The Biggest Loser weight loss reality show in 2012/13. You wear it as an armband on your upper arm. It measures your physical activity with an accelerometer and also measures sweat and skin temperature. They say this gives them a very accurate measurement of your calories burned and exercise intensity. You have to upload the data to see your progress. The LINK version transmits data to a phone app as well as to a computer, so you can get a real-time update on your progress throughout the day. The diet tracking tools with the FIT system are excellent. One nominator said, "BodyMedia has integrated with a number of key fitness apps to allow user options when it comes to linking their device. Between food logs, run trackers and info graphics, there's an app integration for a wide variety of uses."
The FuelBand is ridiculously motivating. I put it on my wrist in February, 2012 and I immediately began doubling my steps per day, just to make my daily Fuel goal. This wristband tracks your steps and activity calories on the wristband, with rainbow hues showing how your are progressing towards your daily goal. When you hit the goal, it flashes a rainbow dance. You can also upload it via Bluetooth to a phone app to see the Nike guy do a happy dance when you reach goal. Plus, you can upload your data via a USB connection and see charts of your activity, badges, and more on the Nike site. They updated it in late 2013 as the FuelBand SE, making it even better by adding hourly Move Reminders and the ability to track individual exercise sessions.
Review: Nike+ FuelBand SE