An active lifestyle is the key to good health and well-being. But not everyone follows the recommendations of doctors and devotes time to physical activity. How to measure such activity and understand in which direction to move? A special device will help in this – a pedometer.
What is it and why is it needed?
A pedometer is a device that measures the number of steps taken over a given period of time. What is such a device for? To assess your physical activity, which is sometimes necessary. For example, walking is recommended for certain diseases of the musculoskeletal system, as well as the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
But such an activity will only be useful if a certain number of steps are taken. And the pedometer will help to measure it. But do not think that it will actively contribute to weight loss or better health. Yes, this is a good helper and a great incentive to improve discipline and improve composure, but no more.
How to make a choice?
How to choose a pedometer? There are several important points to consider when buying.
Principle of operation
If the principle of operation of the device is taken as the basis for the classification, then the following types can be distinguished:
- Mechanical pedometers appeared two centuries ago and were the very first. The principle of their operation is quite simple. The device has a weight attached to a spring and swings like a pendulum. With each step, this weight moves and moves the gear of the mechanism by one tooth. It, in turn, provokes the movement of the hand on the dial by one division. As a result, after a walk, the number of steps taken will be reflected on the dial. Such devices are practically a thing of the past and today they are very rare in stores.
- The electromechanical pedometer has a built-in mechanical sensor that captures all body vibrations and converts them into electrical impulses that are sent to the microprocessor and reflected on the display in digital form. This type can be called the most reliable, but since the sensor can respond not only to steps, but also to other movements of the human body, errors in calculations are likely.
- The electronic form of pedometers is considered the most difficult, since complex programs are used to calculate steps, involving multi-level mathematical calculations. The results will be accurate, but if the program fails, the instrument will fail. And it’s not easy to fix it.
Modern models have built-in accelerometer sensors with two (2D) or three axes (3D). 3D sensors allow not only recording movements, but also evaluating them. And the microprocessor, for example, will not respond to activities other than walking (such as waving hands or changing body position).
In addition, there are pedometers with two sensors, which are the most accurate. If one sensor will give reliable results only when perfectly fixed, then two will eliminate errors at any location.
Features of use and method of fastening
According to the mounting method, the following types of pedometers are distinguished:
- The pocket pedometer can be put into a pocket or a bag, for example. This is quite convenient, because the device will remain invisible to everyone around. But on the other hand, it will react not only to steps, but also to any movements, for example, squats and any other changes in body position.
- Some pedometers attach to shoes, such as laces. This is quite convenient, since the device will count exactly the movements of the legs, that is, steps, and not the waves of the arms, like some other models.
- Some pedometers have a sensor that attaches directly to the sole and is triggered every time you touch the support by pressing a button. This is inconvenient and can be uncomfortable while walking. In addition, with active use, the device can quickly fail.
- The bracelet pedometer is a wrist-worn device. It is easy to use and looks like a discreet accessory. When choosing, you should pay special attention to the strap, since it will constantly contact the skin and, in the case of poor quality material, it can cause allergies. The best option is a leather strap. But silicone ones are becoming more and more popular. They stretch well, are durable, durable, comfortable to wear, and also completely hypoallergenic.
- A pedometer with a strap is usually attached to the hand, and not only on the wrist, like the previous type, but also on the forearm or shoulder. For some, this is more convenient.
- A clip-on pedometer is attached to the waist, which is not always possible or convenient. Of course, you can put it in your pocket or bag, but this placement will greatly reduce the accuracy of the calculations. For reliable results, it is advisable to fix the device in line with the front of the thigh.
- Pedometer programs are becoming more and more popular. Such an application may be available on a phone or other similar device, which is very convenient. But the accuracy of the calculations leaves much to be desired.
Modern models can have a whole range of additional functions:
- The heart rate pedometer not only measures the number of steps, but also allows you to monitor your heart rate.
- Memory. The device can memorize the results and store them, which is sometimes very useful and even necessary.
- Calories burned calculation. This function will especially delight the girls, but do not flatter yourself, because the burning of calories will depend not only on the number of steps, but also on their quality, as well as on the speed of movement.
- A pedometer with a watch will allow you to keep track of the time without interrupting your walk.
- GPS. Such a function will help to draw up a walking route and correct it while driving.
- The ability to connect to a computer is required if you are serious about your health and draw graphs or make tables.
- Vibration protection will increase the reliability of results when walking on slopes or hilly terrain.
- Measuring the distance traveled.
- You will need a timer when walking or running for a while.
- Built-in thermometer and even a barometer that measures atmospheric pressure.
The price of a pedometer will depend on the manufacturer, type and set of additional features. So, the simplest Chinese models can cost about 500-1000 rubles. The cost of better and more complex models can vary from 1.5 to 3 thousand. And modern and sophisticated pedometers can cost about 5-7 thousand.
Choose the right model and start active and regular walking!