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Could Step Counter Gadgets Be The Motivation You Need?
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Could Step Counter Gadgets Be the Motivation You Need?

Maybe you’ve been seeing more and more pedometers these days and wondered, “What the heck is up with all these people wearing pedometers?”

Or maybe you even asked yourself, “What the heck is a pedometer?!”

Well to address the later question first, a pedometer is simply a device or gadget that tracks the number of steps a person takes throughout their day.

These step counter gadgets are typically small, portable and electronic in nature, and a person just attaches the device to their body, most often worn as a bracelet or even clipped to a belt and upright since it detects the motion of your hips. This position at your hips and waist also allows for the most accurate reading possible.

The small pedometer device is oftentimes used to help a person meet a set goal of steps taken per day in order to increase the amount of calories burned.

A word of caution though, if you wear the pedometer incorrectly, it will not count your steps accurately, so you won’t be able to track those lost steps. And that can be very frustrating, especially if you put in an extra hard day on the track or treadmill. So make sure you’re wearing your pedometer correctly!

History of the Pedometer

The history of the pedometer is quite interesting in that Thomas Jefferson first introduced the original pedometer to the U.S. It’s believed he obtained an initial unit (or parts of one) from France, although details are not clear if he adjusted the design he obtained, or introduced it to the U.S. in it’s full, original state.

Apparently Jefferson never registered for any patents on his inventions either, so records are non-existent, making it difficult to determine his exact involvement.

In 1965, a pedometer called a manpo-kei (translated to "10,000 steps meter") was sold in Japan by Y. Hatano. At that time, he stated 10,000 steps in one day (approximately 5 miles) was the ideal balance of caloric intake and activity-based caloric expenditure in order to maintain a healthy and active body. These findings were accepted by experts then and are still used today as the American Council on Exercise also endorses the 10,000 steps as being the minimum daily recommended amount.

Pedometer Data

Steps taken while wearing a pedometer can be collected and measured in two different ways.

The first way is by measuring the movement of the hips, counting each motion a person makes via the hips as a full and complete step. Although each person may take a different stride length, it’s often times possible (and recommended) to calibrate your specific pedometer according to the length of your personal stride.

The second way a pedometer can measure steps taken is to count the number of times your feet actually hit the ground. This method is oftentimes for more advanced monitoring devices, including specialized shoes with a transmitter, that then sends data to a wireless device, such as an iPod.

It’s true some of these gadgets are known to be a bit more accurate in their data compared to those that just measure hip movement, but they can also be a bit more expensive at times as well.

Pedometer’s that are calibrated to a person's stride length may use that specific data to also compute the amount of miles you’ve walked throughout the day and night as well. Additional measurements may also include estimated calories burned based on your number of steps.

Pedometer wearers must also take into account that their step measurements are not always completely accurate. For example, some lower-end models can possibly have up to 50% error rates in terms of measurement, which could affect what you think you’ll really accomplishing.

Because of this, it’s recommended to consider higher-end pedometers which offer custom calibration and provide much more accurate data.

Step Counter Gadgets and Motivation

Nowadays, pedometers come in many shapes, sizes and styles, but in reality, they’re all really designed to accomplish the same objective, and that is to count your steps - and most importantly in my mind – they’re designed to motivate you to exercise.

Which takes us back to the question of “What the heck is up with all these people wearing pedometers?

Well speaking for me personally, it all revolves around the “motivation” aspect.

And that’s the part of the equation that’s key.

Step counter gadgets “motivate” you to exercise.

How do they do this?

By making you directly accountable (and make you feel guilty) when you haven’t reached your daily steps goal.

If you don’t achieve your minimum of 10,000 steps per day, your pedometer has the amazing power to guilt trip you. Or at least mine does, and that in turn motivates you to take the stairs that night, or even park your car a bit further from your intended destination the next day so you can get in a few extra steps for good measure.

Pedometers are no longer just for professional and hard-core athletes. They are now being used and worn by everyday fitness enthusiasts as well, and even non-active people, who just want to keep moving and stay healthy.

They’re a great exercise measuring device, as well as a great motivating gadget.

Step counters can definitely provide a sense of encouragement to compete with yourself, I remember the first time I had a pedometer was when I was younger. It wasn’t even an electronic one at the time, but I remembered I loved it since it showed me how many miles I had walked or run throughout the day. And each day I would try and beat my record from the prior day. Yes, the pedometer even motivated me when I was a kid.

Nowadays, step counter gadgets are being integrated into an ever-increasing number of portable devices such as MP3 players, smartphones, and incredible standalone gadgets such at the Fitbit Flex, the UP by Jawbone, BodyMedia FIT Monitors, and the Withings Pulse, just to name a few.

Pedometers help us set goals, train for goals, and hopefully accomplish those goals.

What else could you ask for in today's amazing step counter gadgets?


Street Talk

This a great change from the old fashioned pedometers and it looks very promising. It does sound like the motivation I need.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Hi RoCheryl, the new pedometers of today definitely motivate you to sleep better, exercise smarter, and live stronger overall since they're able to track your movements 24/7. It's like having a personal trainer with you at all times!

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thank you Eugene. Happy to hear you enjoyed the article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Cool gadget Jeff, Thanks for sharing it. I did not know there something like that.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Thank you Eugene. Happy to hear you enjoyed the article.

Reply
  about 6 years ago
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