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Omron HJA-312 Activity Monitor Pedometer Review

Track Workouts and Calorie-Burning Goals

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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Updated January 23, 2013

Omron HJA-312 Activity Monitor Pedometer

Omron HJA-312 Activity Monitor Pedometer

Wendy Bumgardner © 2013
If you love having a pedometer with a 7-day memory but also want to track individual workouts, the Omron HJA-312 Activity Monitor is a good choice. You can also track your total daily calories burned and set a weekly goal for weight loss. With an optional NFC Communication Tray, it will also upload data to the OmronFitness.com dashboard so you can track and share your progress.

Best for:

  • Automatically tracking daily totals for steps, distance and calories. Has a 7-day memory display.
  • Tracking individual walking and running workouts with distance, time, and pace.
  • Setting and tracking a weekly calories burned goal, with 8-week history.
  • You don't need a computer to use this pedometer, but there is optional add-on for downloading data to the OmronFitness.com web site dashboard for more goals and social sharing.

What You Get

The HJA-312 is a highly accurate tri-axis pedometer if carried in a pocket as a pocket pedometer or worn with the detachable belt clip (included). It also comes with a security leash.

It comes with a CR2032 button battery installed, which should last for five months of use and is replaceable. You don't need to plug it in to recharge every few days.

If you want to upload the data from the pedometer to the OmronFitness.com web site, you need to also buy the NFC Communication Tray, which plugs into a USB port.

Backlight! I was pleased to see that it has a backlight, which is great for those of us who walk in darker conditions.

The pedometer is 1 6/7 inches square, a nice size for fitting into a pocket, and smaller than the classic Omron pedometers and the new Omron HJ-321 Pocket Pedometer and Omron HJ-323U Downloadable Pedometer. Like them, it is silent -- no annoying clicking.

Set-Up: The set-up was easy, but you should prepare by measuring your stride length for both walking and running, as it wants those two measurements to give you a more accurate distance and speed estimate.

You can also set a 4-week weight loss goal to use the weekly calorie tracker function.

What it Tracks

Omron HJA-312 Workout

Omron HJA-312 Workout

Omron HJA-312 Workout
The pedometer has an easy three-button operation. Although the buttons aren't shielded, you can't accidentally reset it by pressing a single button. The DISP button changes views. The MEM button is used to review past days and past workouts. The Start button is used to start and stop tracking of individual workouts if you wish to do so. The daily tracking automatically resets at midnight.

The daily display shows:

  • Steps: The pedometer doesn't start showing steps until you've walked four steps in a row, so it edits out junk steps.
  • Distance: this is estimated from the stride length you entered.
  • Daily Calories Burned: You may be surprised to see a reading when you first put it on in the morning, but it shows you how many total daily calories you have burned, even at rest. This is useful if you are trying to balance the calories you've eaten vs. those you burn throughout the day.
  • Workout Tracker: Use the Start button to start and end a workout you wish to record. You can view pace, time, distance and calories burned. It also will automatically detect and track running workouts.
  • Weekly Tracker: Shows your progress towards your weekly calorie goal, with a congratulations sign if you are on track.
  • Daily Aerobic Minutes: These show for the current day on the Weekly Tracker screen, but you can't review previous days.
  • Date and Time: Press the start button to see the date and time.

Tracking Workouts

To track a workout, you press the Start button until the Achievement Indicator circle in the middle shows all segments lit up.

It will then show the elapsed workout time and distance, and by changing screens with the DISP button you can see the workout calories burned and pace in minutes per mile. Ticks on the Achievement Indicator show your progress.

To end a workout, you press the Start button until it stops. If you have worked out for 30 minutes or more, it congratulates you with "Good Job!"

It automatically saves 14 workouts, including your Best Workout. You can review the previous nine of these with the MEM button.

The HJA-312 will also automatically detect and record a workout if you have been running or walking fast enough for five minutes or more.

Weekly Tracking Calorie Goal

Omron HJA-312 Weekly Calorie Goal Screen

Omron HJA-312 Weekly Calories Burned Goal Screen

Wendy Bumgardner © 2013
The Weekly Calories Burned Goal screen gives you a percentage achievement towards your weekly goal, and a little waving icon if you are on track. You can review the previous eight weeks.

Daily Memory Review
You can review the previous seven days of all-day data for steps, distance and all-day calories burned. It does not display aerobic activity time per day except for the current day.

With the Communication Tray, you can download up to 14 days of information to view online on a free OmronFitness.com Dashboard. See details about this in my review of the Omron HJ-323U Downloadable Pedometer. You can also create a free account there and manually enter your pedometer data if you don't want to buy the Communication Tray.

Bottom Line on the Omron HJA-312 Activity Tracker

This is a good choice for those who want to track workout time and distance for individual workouts in addition to total daily steps.

For those working on weight loss, the daily calorie readout is more useful for balancing with the calories you eat than having a pedometer that only shows activity calories. I like the weekly calorie goal feature to help you stay on track. It makes it easier to judge for those of us who may slack off a day but make it up during the rest of the week.

What it doesn't do: It doesn't automatically track aerobic steps per day. The aerobic minutes per day appear only for the current day (on the Weekly Tracker screen). Those are functions found on Omron's HJ-323 Downloadable Pedometer and the HJ-321. Workouts that registered as aerobic steps for me on those pedometers didn't get automatically tracked as workouts with this activity monitor, although they counted into the aerobic minutes per day.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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