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Don't Panic, ch. 2

Monday, December 02, 2013

For the past couple days, I've been wearing two pedometer on my belt. As if my waist needs help being wider! One pedometer was sent to me by my health insurance provider after I logged onto their site and tried to use their weight and fitness pages. (Alas, I was already spoiled rotten by Sparkpeople.) The other pedometer, my mom found at the bottom of her sewing basket and gave to me when I showed her the one from the insurance co.

Both work by sensing the vibrations of movement. Both can be adjusted for length of stride. Both can be reset easily. Both have displays that are easy to read.

Newbie will report out both the number of steps and the mileage to the thousandth of a mile. The display is numerical. Oldster will report out the distance to the eighth of a mile on its analog face. Newbie can be adjusted for sensitivity. Newbie can be clipped securely almost anywhere on your clothes. Oldster' s clip is definitely designed for a belt or waistband, not your shoes. Newbie will show the time to the second. Oldster, who can't be adjusted for sensitivity, advises me to wear a watch if I can't tell the time by the Sun.

The results. I set newbie to maximum sensitivity. I set my stride on both to 24 inches.

Walking around the house: neither of them tracked all the steps I'm sure I took. Oldster tracked twice as many steps.
Walking on a measured course outside. Oldster understated the length of the course by a quarter mile (3.75 miles for a 4-mile walk, 6%) Newbie reported 2 miles.
Walking on a treadmill. Oldster reported a 1.38 miles for a routine the treadmill reported as 1.47 miles. Newbie reported 1.04 miles.

Oldster is going on the walks. I might need to measure and adjust my stride more closely. Newbie has stopwatch duty for resting heart rate because the screen doesn't go blank like the watch on my cell phone.

Thanks for listening!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SHARON10002
    Wow! You are indeed a true scientist - testing and reporting your findings. I agree with most said here. I too have an Omron pedometer and have found it to be fairly accurate.
    1567 days ago
    When you can measure distance by your car or just count the minutes. It isn't worth stressing over. I also never had luck getting consistent reading with pedometers. At the end of the day you can tell if you didn't move enough or if you did more than yesterday. Listen to your body. Good Luck!
    1567 days ago
    I use a fitbit one and also the spark tracker. I've found the fitbit to be more accurate when measuring my distance, but they are fairly close at least. Other pedometers I've found to be crazy different and I couldn't trust them at all. Good job walking and tracking!
    1568 days ago
    I wear an UP band with the Spark Tracker. The Up band seems to detect steps and activities better and doesn't stop recording because I made a short stop. I like the Spark for my water activities because I am afraid to go in the water with the UP. I lost my Omron but loved this pedometer and it seemed so true. It is interesting to see the differences and love reading the differences. emoticon
    1568 days ago
    I decided to order the Spark Activity Tracker. It should arrive in a week or so. I hope it will work well. Keep on walkin'! emoticon
    1568 days ago
    Hey there Tennessee Walker!! Congrats on getting into walking and using pedometers! I've used quite a few pedometers - and you're absolutely right - there's a lot of variation in their accuracy. A lot of the freebies - regardless of where you get them - are made by the same couple of companies - and so they have the same strengths/weaknesses. Omron makes pedometers - that in my experience have been the most accurate - and they work on a different design altogether.

    Don't give up though - like you already know - there are lots and lots of ways to measure your steps!! Good for you!!
    1568 days ago
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