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Top Computer-Linked Pedometers

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Updated May 16, 2014

Keep track of your walking steps, distance, calories burned and other data with these pedometers that can be downloaded to your computer or to a personal web site. You can view data charts and graphs and see how you are progressing to your goals. Those that link to a web site may have interactive features with other users or experts, and may or may not charge a subscription fee.

1. Fitbit Activity Tracker

Fitbit One
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Finding a computerized pedometer that works with both Mac and PC can be a challenge. The Fitbit not only does that, but it is tiny and works completely wirelessly and automatically. Then Fitbit added Bluetooth syncing to an iPhone app with the Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip models and the Fitbit Flex Wristband  and Fitbit Force wristband in 2013. The sensor is unobtrusive when worn on your waistband. You can see your steps, distance, and calories burned on the pedometer. It uploads to your computer and onto the Fitbit web site whenever you are in range of your computer, or to a phone app with the One or Zip models. Online and on the app you can track you steps, calories burned, log your calories eaten, and share the info with friends. Best of all, there is no additional fee to use the web site, it's included in the price of the sensor. The Fitbit One and Force also track your sleep quality and count the stairs you climb.

2. Nike+ FuelBand

Nike+ FuelBand
Wendy Bumgardner © 2012
I was rarely achieving enough steps per day during the work week until I put on the Nike+ FuelBand. Since I clasped it to my wrist, I made that goal every single day. I did a lot of hallway walking during the rainy season and circling the work campus in good weather. I found excuses to run documents to other buildings. Your mileage may vary, but I have to see the little FuelBand character do his happy dance each day when I make it to my goal. On the bracelet itself you can see steps, calories, time of day, and your NikeFuel total. It uploads via Bluetooth to an iPhone app or you plug it into a USB port to recharge and upload data. Online, you can see graphs of your activity and view all of your achievement badges, engage in challenges, and more.The upgraded Nike+ FuelBand SE, debuting in late 2013, also allows you to track specific exercise session and has Move Reminders to get you moving for at least five continuous minutes each hour.

3. BodyMedia FIT

BodyMedia FIT LINK Activity Monitor
Courtesy of Pricegrabber
The BodyMedia FIT system has been featured on reality tv shows, and it is well-suited for those who want to lose weight and improve their fitness and monitor their sleep quality. The armband monitor is definitely more bulky and obtrusive than wearing a waistband or pocket pedometer. But it has sensors to better determine the intensity of your activity in addition to steps. You can view your data on a computer or phone app and track your food calories. I loved the clear presentation of how you are progressing towards each of your daily goals.
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4. Omron HJ-323u Pedometer

Omron HJ-323U Pedometer
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This 3-axis pedometer is very accurate and has big, readable numbers. On the pedometer you can view your all-day steps, aerobic steps, distance, active calories burned, pitch (steps per minute) and time of day. You simply remove the endcap and plug it into a USB port to download your data to view on the OmronFitness Dashboard. Set goals, earn badges and track your fitness activities. The dashboard is rudimentary, with only full-day totals rather than minute-by-minute details.

5. Omron HJ-720 ITC Pedometer

Omron HJ-720ITC Pedometer
Wendy Bumgardner © 2007

The Omron HJ-720ITC Pedometer allows you to track your data on your own computer rather than uploading the data to a web site. You can connect it via USB with a PC. It tracks steps, distance and calories. I like the depth of detail you can view with the data, which is superior to what you get with the OmronFitness Dashboard online with their updated models.

6. Spark Activity Tracker

Spark Activity Tracker - Lights
Wendy Bumgardner ©
I don't usually like pedometers that lack numerical displays, but I warmed up to the Spark pretty swiftly. It has only 12 LED lights that light up as you achieve 1/12th of your daily step goal. You can adjust the goal yourself. Then it connects wirelessly with a USB stick and you can view your full data online at the popular Sparkpeople.com web site. What tickled me was that the Spark automatically detects workouts, including cycling. I can clip it to my shoe and get workout credit for stationary cycling. It tracks steps, distance and calories. The web site is a very interactive diet-tracking site, where you can log your food, set and track weight loss goals. You can also go mobile with their apps, although the Spark can only communicate through the USB stick, not via Bluetooth.

7. Polar Loop

Polar Loop
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This wristband pedometer watch tracks steps, calories and your progress towards a daily activity goal. You can also link it with a Bluetooth Polar heart rate monitor strap to track workouts and view your heart rate on the Loop band. Sync your data to PC or Mac computers with a custom USB cable, or via Bluetooth Smart with an iOS app. It also has inactivity alerts if you've been sitting for an hour, and tracks your sleep time. Online and on the app you can see minute by minute details of your activity intensity for each day, with daily, weekly and monthly activity totals.

 

8. Wahoo Fitness Stride Sensor

Wahoo Fitness Stride Sensor
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This foot pod sensor transmits stride and speed data to any ANT+ compatible device. It is an advanced accelerometer that needs no calibration. There is a sensor key and apps available for the iPhone and iTouch. Most apps include speed, distance and calories. Apps should be available that also show step data. This device is only used for workouts, not for all-day step data.

9. Nike + iPod Sport Kit

Nike+ Sport Kit iPod
Wendy Bumgardner © 2006

The Nike + iPod Sport Kit comes with a shoe sensor and an adapter for your iPod nano, Touch, or iPhone 3GS, 4 or 5. It also is compatible with a Nike Sportband and Sportwatch. You can record and track your walking workout, get audible updates on your speed and distance, and view it all on the Nikeplus.com web site. The sensor is supposed to be used in the sole of Nike+ shoes, but there are various ways to attach it to other shoes.

10. Garmin Forerunner 10 and 110

Garmin Forerunner 10
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The Forerunner uses a GPS to get true distance and speed, although not really a pedometer in that you don't get a step count. It also works only outdoors unless you upgrade to versions that are compatible with an optional foot pod. The 110 version is compatible with an ANT+ chest strap heart monitor to also capture your heart rate data. With the basic 10 and 110 units, which sell for under $200, you get fewer training features than with their more expensive units.
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