How to choose a pedometer

When choosing a pedometer, you should first of all evaluate it intended use – is this a medical device for high-precision activity tracking or just a fitness device for motivation for sports.

choose a pedometer

How to choose a pedometer: basic criteria

When choosing a pedometer, you should pay attention to the following device parameters:

  1. View – electromechanical or electronic;

  2. Placement (pedometer on the arm, on the belt, pedometer-sneakers);

  3. The presence of a heart rate monitor;

  4. Having a connection with a smartphone and mobile functionality applications

  5. Integration into ecosystems of monitoring physical activity;

  6. Additional functions.

  7. The manufacturer is also important.

Types of Pedometers

Pedometers are electromechanical and electronic. Vary these two types of operation principle and measurement accuracy.

  1. Electromechanical pedometers are simple and budget devices. However, they are often used in medicine for monitoring. physical activity of the user. The principle of operation of such pedometers simple enough: after switching on, they are placed on the belt or hip and count, in fact, the number of leg swings.

  2. Almost all electromechanical pedometers highly specialized. Neither connection with the smartphone, nor counting burnt calories, no other useful functions for the “average” user (including remembering the number of steps taken during previous workouts) no. But electromechanical pedometers, by placing directly on the belt or thigh, Count steps as accurately as possible and don’t take into account “junk” movements like waved hands.

  3. Electronic pedometers are equipped with a large number of biometric sensors and position sensors in space, including gyroscopes and accelerometers, and calculate the number of passed steps for a special software algorithm. Therefore their accuracy may not be too high (up to the “loss” of 10% of movements or “attribution” of non-existent activity), but this is compensated functionality.

  4. Electronic pedometers, depending on the model, can count distance traveled, calories burned, monitor activity for period, measure the pulse, recognize the types of exercise, build jogging tracks, etc.

  5. But the main advantage of electronic pedometers is motivation user. Being a companion device, such devices worn by the owner constantly and can remind you what you need move a little bit. Electromechanical is just a counter steps.


Electronic pedometers are now integrated into fitness bracelets, smart watches and similar “companion devices.”

Which pedometer to choose?

which pedometer to choose

If a detailed count of steps taken during training, walking or other physical activity, It is recommended to purchase an electromechanical pedometer with a mount on a belt or hip.

If you just need a “general monitoring” of activity or motivation to walk more, you should pay attention to electronic pedometers.

The main difference between electromechanical and electronic pedometers is that the first show accurate results only when placed on a belt or hip. Second show equally inaccurate measurements regardless of location placement. But at the same time, the “fallacy” of electronic pedometers is extremely small due to continuous improvement of the software algorithm analysis of physical activity.

Almost all modern (as of the end of 2017) electronic pedometers have an error not exceeding several percent of actual activity.

Selection options


Pedometers can be placed on the hands (wrists) or on the belt either hips. Also in 2016, mass production several models of sneakers with integrated fitness tracker.

In this case, the electromechanical type pedometers imply placement solely on the legs or belt. In your pocket or on the wrist, they count the number of steps taken wrong. But the electronic type pedometers are located where convenient for the user.

At the same time, pedometers with rich functionality (fitness bracelets) are placed on the arm. It can do the counts. somewhat inaccurate due to tracking of “junk” activity. For example, some fitness bracelets even typing on the keyboard computer count as steps. But thanks to the wrist placement in pedometers additional useful functions are implemented, such as the:

  1. Display of time and some notifications from a smartphone;

  2. The presence of a heart rate monitor;

  3. The presence of GPS, a sensor of the skin-galvanic reaction, temperature and etc .;

  4. Waterproof housing.

Belt-mounted electronic pedometers performed in a simplified design and designed exclusively to monitor physical activity. Those. neither notifications nor there is no heart rate monitor in them. But they differ significantly more battery life – up to several months.

Sneakers with an integrated pedometer also have limited functionality. They monitor physical activity. Despite placing the pedometer in place, it would seem direct steps, the accuracy of the analysis is not much higher than wrist.

The main manufacturer of sneakers with an integrated pedometer favored company Xiaomi. But the pedometers built into sneakers, also produced by Nike.

Therefore, when it comes to buying an electronic pedometer, choose a device based on your own preferences.

The presence of a heart rate monitor

The heart rate monitor is found mainly in fitness bracelets – universal devices that combine a pedometer and several other sports accessories, depending on the configuration. For counting heart rate he uses a special plethysmography technology: skin translucent special LED, and the photosensitive receiver analyzes the amount reflected and absorbed by blood light, and based on these data builds a graph of the pulse. The accuracy of the measurements depends on the condition of the skin, the degree of sweating, the tightness of the sensor and other factors.

In modern (released, in fact, after 2015-2016) Fitness bracelets heart rate monitor is quite sensitive and has a high heart rate accuracy, which differs from the real one by several percent or 5-8 beats per minute.

Fitness bracelets with a heart rate monitor should be purchased by beginners athletes who have heart problems or cardiovascular system. Heart rate sensor will warn when the pulse will become high, and will recommend a break in the marathon.

Smartphone connectivity and mobile functionality applications

Electromechanical pedometers are a “device in themselves” – completely independent and in conjunction with a smartphone that does not need. Electronic may require connection depending on functionality. Some models, such as Fitbit Charge, and they can work offline for weeks, but Xiaomi Mi Band 2 requires a permanent connection with your smartphone.

The functionality of a mobile application largely determines functionality of a fitness bracelet with a pedometer in general. So if in it has a calorie burn calculation mode – the device will consider. If it has a memory for previous workouts, you can will see. If it has a physical reminder function activity – the device will vibrate. Etc.

Therefore, if a pedometer is purchased for motivation, it’s worth pay attention to models with a well-developed mobile companion application.

Integration of physical activity monitoring ecosystems

There are many ecosystems for monitoring physical activities that store data on training, nutrition, well-being, health etc. The largest are Runtastic, Endomondo, Google Fit and Apple Health

If you use one of them – make sure that the data with The purchased pedometer can be uploaded there. It will do activity monitoring more convenient and holistic.

Additional functions

additional functions

Among the most practical additional features you can highlight:

  1. Waterproof housing. For running in the rain or just when excessive sweating;

  2. GPS module. For accurate tracking of routes;

  3. Sleep tracking. Determines the phases of sleep, its quality and in some Cases works like a smart alarm;

  4. Virtual trainer. Motivates and gives tips on physical activity.

  5. In addition, advanced fitness bracelets, in addition to a pedometer, can include sensors for temperature, height, skin-galvanic reaction, blood oxygen levels and many biometric indicators.

Top manufacturers

In general, in 2017, finding a pedometer is quite difficult a task. These devices are gradually being squeezed out of the market. fitness bracelets and smart watches that have the same functionality, but at the same time provide comprehensive monitoring physical activity of the user.

However, several companies still produce electronic and electromechanical pedometers. This is for example:

  1. Omron (manufacturer of medical equipment designed for domestic use);

  2. Pedometer (manufacturer of ultra-budget pedometers);

  3. Silva, Tanita (mid-price pedometer manufacturers segment).

  4. Among the manufacturers of fitness bracelets, we can distinguish companies Xiaomi, Fitbit, Jawbone, Moov, Misfit, Garmin and Samsung.

In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose running shoes and the best models of Nike sneakers.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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